Future Restoration of VR Steam

 
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
The Albury table appears to have been disconnected

I'm not sure if it is disconnected, but there is a whopping great tree growing between the rails on the approach side and another on the other side!
Graham4405
Correct It's still connected, but the track from the turntable to the old yard Is far from serviceable ! (I guess the old yard Is very unloved too ?)

If the turntable was to be reactivated, It would probably be easier to build a new lead track from the South linking that regularly  used crane siding.

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  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Don't forget the dual gauge turntable at Emerald, 2' 6" and 5' 3". From memory it's a 53 footer?
Ain't It the 70' DG ex Moe ?
53', ex-Newport Workshops.
LancedDendrite
Thanks, someone could write a book on the history of the VR turntable marygoround
  M636C Minister for Railways

The boilers of R Class and X Class are not interchangeable. The boiler in X 36, No. 1897, was completed and tested in May 1955 and installed in X 36 at Ballarat North on 17 May 1955. It was last tested at North Melbourne January 1960. In boiler terms it is a baby. I am not aware of a spare X boiler held at Newport but there may be some elsewhere; a number of boilers were sold by the VR for use as stationary boilers.

TW
t_woodroffe

I wasn't suggesting that the R and X boilers were interchangeable: I did say "with suitable changes to the frames to suit".

I don't have the dimensions of either boiler to hand, but a quick comparison of the diagrams and the quoted surface areas suggest that the R class boiler is both shorter and smaller in diameter than the X class boiler. It is, however, similar in overall appearance and could be used in the absence of an available X class boiler.

As far as I know, no locomotives exhibited in North Williamstown have been returned to service. While X36 may be able to be restored, it would depend on the museum agreeing to make it available.

As to J512, it was up to 25 years ago that I looked at it. The rectangular "spacers" may well have been cast "bosses" although they looked separate and were slightly smaller in dimensions than the cast stretchers themselves. The frame had not been dismantled for gauge conversion when I saw it.

M636C
  skitz Chief Commissioner

The boilers of R Class and X Class are not interchangeable. The boiler in X 36, No. 1897, was completed and tested in May 1955 and installed in X 36 at Ballarat North on 17 May 1955. It was last tested at North Melbourne January 1960. In boiler terms it is a baby. I am not aware of a spare X boiler held at Newport but there may be some elsewhere; a number of boilers were sold by the VR for use as stationary boilers.

TW

I wasn't suggesting that the R and X boilers were interchangeable: I did say "with suitable changes to the frames to suit".

I don't have the dimensions of either boiler to hand, but a quick comparison of the diagrams and the quoted surface areas suggest that the R class boiler is both shorter and smaller in diameter than the X class boiler. It is, however, similar in overall appearance and could be used in the absence of an available X class boiler.

As far as I know, no locomotives exhibited in North Williamstown have been returned to service. While X36 may be able to be restored, it would depend on the museum agreeing to make it available.

As to J512, it was up to 25 years ago that I looked at it. The rectangular "spacers" may well have been cast "bosses" although they looked separate and were slightly smaller in dimensions than the cast stretchers themselves. The frame had not been dismantled for gauge conversion when I saw it.

M636C
M636C

They are cast bosses.  There is a second landing flange that would make them appear to be spacers.
  t_woodroffe Assistant Commissioner

Why on earth would you want to fit an R boiler into the X Class? The X 36 boiler is younger than any R Class boiler and I am not sure that spare R Class boilers are to hand. The X boiler is 5'-8" diameter at the smokebox, 18'-8" between tube plates and 30'-2" long. The R boiler is 5'-61/8" diameter at the smokebox, 16'-0" between tubeplates and 28'-3" long. The R has a long smokebox; the X smokebox would have to be extended. A total mess that is never going to happen. Get real!

BTW in your Australian Locomotive Guide you state that when the VR steam Y Class were converted to knuckle couplings the frames were extended to accomodate coupler draft gear forward of the inside cylinder casting. A cursory glance of the headstock would indicate that the coupler is pinned to a casting bolted to the headstock. No draft gear! When Y Class were being converted to automatic couplers in the 1950s the VR cut the headstock and part of the frames off A2 locos being scrapped and welded same to the trimmed frames of the Y Class. Inspection of the front of the frames of the Y Class would reveal, clearly the joint. Similar modification was effected on D1, D2 and E Class locomotives.

Also, all D3 locomotives incorporated MFE and the compound nAs were never converted to simple expansion.

TW
  M636C Minister for Railways

Why on earth would you want to fit an R boiler into the X Class? The X 36 boiler is younger than any R Class boiler and I am not sure that spare R Class boilers are to hand. The X boiler is 5'-8" diameter at the smokebox, 18'-8" between tube plates and 30'-2" long. The R boiler is 5'-61/8" diameter at the smokebox, 16'-0" between tubeplates and 28'-3" long. The R has a long smokebox; the X smokebox would have to be extended. A total mess that is never going to happen. Get real!

BTW in your Australian Locomotive Guide you state that when the VR steam Y Class were converted to knuckle couplings the frames were extended to accomodate coupler draft gear forward of the inside cylinder casting. A cursory glance of the headstock would indicate that the coupler is pinned to a casting bolted to the headstock. No draft gear! When Y Class were being converted to automatic couplers in the 1950s the VR cut the headstock and part of the frames off A2 locos being scrapped and welded same to the trimmed frames of the Y Class. Inspection of the front of the frames of the Y Class would reveal, clearly the joint. Similar modification was effected on D1, D2 and E Class locomotives.

Also, all D3 locomotives incorporated MFE and the compound nAs were never converted to simple expansion.

TW
t_woodroffe
TW,

Thanks for providing the relevant boiler dimensions.

To put my comment in context, I repeat some of the post in question

"To convert an X class, the plate frames would need to be dismantled and new stretchers would need to be cast but  apart from the new components, the process would not be significantly more complicated than a locomotive intended for conversion. The cylinder castings themselves could be re-used.

However I can imagine that the North Williamstown museum would not like the idea of their sole surviving X class being taken to pieces and re-assembled. This would be significantly more complicated than the conversion proposed for "N441".

It might be just as easy to construct entirely new frames from scratch.

Are there any surviving X class boilers? If not, an R class boiler might be used with suitable changes to the frames to suit."


So I was only suggesting the use of an R boiler in the absence of a suitable X boiler. Given the dimensions you have provided, it would be possible to build an "adaptor ring" about 1'8" long to connect to the R boiler at its front ring and to the rear of the X smokebox. This could be concealed inside the boiler cladding to give an appearance similar to an X class boiler. This of course assumes that no X boiler is available and that an R boiler is available.

Thank you for the comments on the "Locomotive Guide". If the publisher decides go ahead with a fourth printing, I will try to make those corrections, but the publisher is less enthusiatic about corrections than I am.

I did actually go to North Williamstown and tried to compare the 2-4-2T and 0-6-2T E and EE class, since the EE was modified and the E not modified, as well as attempting to measure Y 108. This was some time ago when I was assisting with the ARHS (Vic) book "The First Fifty Years", largely based on the work of John Buckland.

My conclusion was that the addition of the new headstock lengthened the locomotive at the front by about 18", and some comment on this was added to the text. Clearly I wrongly assumed that draft gear was applied in this extra space. Could you enlighten me on why the locomotive was lengthened by this amount? It would provide space behind the buffer beam to gain access to the cylinder covers, for example.

I don't think the other classes you mention were lengthened significantly in the process of adding knuckle couplers.

I had fairly recently found a reference to D3 class having the "Modified Front End" as you indicate. I don't think this information has appeared in any of the published references to the class (outside official records, of course).

I'm not sure why the nA class information was incorrect.

I will try to make these corrections.

Are you still working on a book covering steam locomotives in Victoria from 1904 onwards?

M636C
  NSWGR 3827 Deputy Commissioner

Location: South of the Border
NSWGR 3827, you had better have another look at X 36. There are definitely spacers between the frames and the cast steel cradle. I photographed them! They appear on the X Class GA and are detailed on Drawing X 2, Frames.

TW
t_woodroffe
From my memory (many years ago) when I had a look at the casting in question after hearing from an ex VR employee that X's were not readily convertible. So went down and had a look myself it appeared they were there at first glance, but lying on the ground under it there seemed to be no evidence of a spacer there, not saying there wasn't/isn't.  However there appeared ample casting to machine off.  It is a pity the VR did not go down the path the SAR did with gauge conversion, would have made life alot easier.
  t_woodroffe Assistant Commissioner

The E and Y Class coupler conversions varied. Those undertaken in the 1930s were much more "elegant" as they were bespoke designs. Those undertaken in the 1950s were A2 headstock "kitbashes" (a smart bit of re-cycling) and are readily identifiable by the step on the footplate behind the headstock as the A2 headstock was deeper than that of the locos being modified. The cut and shut of the frames was undertaken with the minimum of modification whilst matching the frame of the A2 to that of the loco being modified. Hence the nominal extension.

I have no idea what the ARHS (Vic Div) are doing with the VR Steam 1904 onwards book. I am working on other things.

TW
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Here is the list of turning facilities we have come up with so far...

Dynon (BG and SG)
Various Metro Triangles - Sims Street, Sunshine etc
Traralgon 70' BG
Geelong Loco 70' BG
Warrnambool 70' BG
Seymour 70' DG
Yarrawonga 70' SG - Booked out - I assume, has it ever turned an SG loco?
Echuca 70' BG
Dimboola 70' SG
Colac 70' BG - currently disconnected
Ararat SG triangle - upon completion of stage 1 of Murray Basin project
Swan Hill 70' BG
Birchip Balloon Loop
Ballarat East 70' BG - Booked out - future uncertain
Albury 75' SG - Booked out - future uncertain
Bendigo 70' BG (inside Railway Workshops)
Castlemaine 70' BG - VGR
Bacchus Marsh 70' BG
St Arnaud 70' BG - Booked out - future uncertain
Warracknabeal SG triangle
Benalla 70' BG - Currently disconnected and gauge isolated
Mildura 70' BG - Booked out - future uncertain
Emerald 53' DG - may be difficult for mainline trains to access
To that list I will add:
Maldon 53' BG - VGR
Newport 70' BG (Probably too obvious, but as nobody else mentioned it, I thought I would)
Wycheproof 70' BG - Booked out? - when I was last there (albeit Nov 2014) the large Peppercorn tree next to the turntable road had grown well over the line, but there where no Baulks in place.
Korumburra BG - Line all but closed
Nyora BG - Line all but closed

It would be good to be able to add:
Maryborough
Hamilton, Dunkeld or Portland
Shepparton and/or Tocumwal
Bairnsdale


The facts are we have quite a decent number of places to turn locomotives, we just need to get a few more of them servicable again.

Is there any way of getting the State Government to specifically put some money into this? Probably not but I think it is probably beyond the volunteer based enthusiast groups, and V/Line/Victrack/PTV/DOT seem to have little interest in rehabilitating old railway turntables, some of which seemingly only get used once every 10 or so years.
  NSWGR 3827 Deputy Commissioner

Location: South of the Border

Emerald 53' DG - may be difficult for mainline trains to access
Gman_86
The Emerald Turntable is the one ex Newport Workshops and is only 50ft.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
It would be good to be able to add:
  1. Maryborough
  2. Hamilton, Dunkeld or Portland
  3. Shepparton and/or Tocumwal
  4. Bairnsdale
Gman_86
  1. Relocate St Arnaud 'table to Maryborough. Big costs, but if a business case is presented to local government and V/Line (extra utilisation of Maryborough station, extra tourism from steam trips etc) then it could be done.
  2. Pick whichever town has the best tourism potential. But where would you get the turntable from? Colac? Ararat?
  3. There's plenty of space in Shepparton Yard for a turntable. Tocumwal might have room too and is probably a better location from a tourism perspective, being on the Murray river and all that
  4. It's a long distance, but certainly has a good case for it (Gippsland Lakes tourism etc).

Nyora and Korumburra are both 70' turntables, by the way.
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

Daylesford and Healesville
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

I have a photo showing a turntable at Queenscliff, taken just last weekend. Where did this come from? Although similar problems of access to that at Emerald.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Wasn't some NSW based organisation looking at making Albury turntable active again or basing out of the yard?
  steamfreak Assistant Commissioner

Location: Wodonga, VIC
Wasn't some NSW based organisation looking at making Albury turntable active again or basing out of the yard?
speedemon08
Lachlan Valley Railway's Albury chapter have that as part of their plan.
  steamfreak Assistant Commissioner

Location: Wodonga, VIC
It would be good to be able to add:
  1. Maryborough
  2. Hamilton, Dunkeld or Portland
  3. Shepparton and/or Tocumwal
  4. Bairnsdale
  1. Relocate St Arnaud 'table to Maryborough. Big costs, but if a business case is presented to local government and V/Line (extra utilisation of Maryborough station, extra tourism from steam trips etc) then it could be done.
  2. Pick whichever town has the best tourism potential. But where would you get the turntable from? Colac? Ararat?
  3. There's plenty of space in Shepparton Yard for a turntable. Tocumwal might have room too and is probably a better location from a tourism perspective, being on the Murray river and all that
  4. It's a long distance, but certainly has a good case for it (Gippsland Lakes tourism etc).

Nyora and Korumburra are both 70' turntables, by the way.
LancedDendrite
Tocumwal has the BG turntable pit there still.  SRHC refurbished the pivot and abutments some years back with plans to relocate the Numurkah turntable to Tocumwal.  There was some protest by the Numurkah folk so it never happened.  Not sure if the table at Numurkah is still there?  The last time I looked there was an SG turntable still amidst the grass at Tocumwal.

BTW Yarrawonga's turntable did get regauged and connected to the main line.  Not sure if it has been used in its SG form though?
  NSWGR 3827 Deputy Commissioner

Location: South of the Border
It would be good to be able to add
  1. Bairnsdale
  1. It's a long distance, but certainly has a good case for it (Gippsland Lakes tourism etc).
LancedDendrite
Bairnsdale would only have to be a shorter table as R's are not permitted over the Bridge at Stratford.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
It would be good to be able to add
  1. Bairnsdale
  1. It's a long distance, but certainly has a good case for it (Gippsland Lakes tourism etc).
Bairnsdale would only have to be a shorter table as R's are not permitted over the Bridge at Stratford.
NSWGR 3827
By the time it takes to build the turntable in they'll have fixed the Avon river bridge.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Bairnsdale would only have to be a shorter table as R's are not permitted over the Bridge at Stratford.
NSWGR 3827
That'd be due to the length of the loco not the axle load, right? That's going to change, V/Line want to send Vlos down to Bairnsdale eventually.

53' turntables are only suitable for tourist & heritage railway termini, where the track quality dictates the size of the locos that run. You may as well put in a 70-footer where possible.

Tocumwal has the BG turntable pit there still. SRHC refurbished the pivot and abutments some years back with plans to relocate the Numurkah turntable to Tocumwal. There was some protest by the Numurkah folk so it never happened. Not sure if the table at Numurkah is still there? The last time I looked there was an SG turntable still amidst the grass at Tocumwal.
steamfreak
Numurkah's turntable is only a 53-footer, that doesn't sound particularly useful for a destination like Tocumwal even if the turntable pit there was only 53' as well. Of course SRHC wouldn't care as they've only theoretically got a J class to turn.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Go for a 70 foot everywhere and anywhere possible.
Makes balancing easier even if you don't need the length every time.
Is the 85 foot turntable at/from Ararat still extant?
  NSWGR 3827 Deputy Commissioner

Location: South of the Border
Bairnsdale would only have to be a shorter table as R's are not permitted over the Bridge at Stratford.
That'd be due to the length of the loco not the axle load, right? That's going to change, V/Line want to send Vlos down to Bairnsdale eventually.
LancedDendrite
I do not believe the length of the Loco is the problem it's the Total weight of the Loco.
Although R Class may have an Max axle load of 21.1Tons compared to a Vline N Class with a Maximum of 21.3 (D77/78 Motors),
The total weight of an R is 191 Tons compared to 128 Tons for an N Class, a not insignificant increase.
Therefore I would doubt VLine will upgrade the bridge for an occasional Heritage Train.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Bairnsdale would only have to be a shorter table as R's are not permitted over the Bridge at Stratford.
That'd be due to the length of the loco not the axle load, right? That's going to change, V/Line want to send Vlos down to Bairnsdale eventually.
I do not believe the length of the Loco is the problem it's the Total weight of the Loco.
Although R Class may have an Max axle load of 21.1Tons compared to a Vline N Class with a Maximum of 21.3 (D77/78 Motors),
The total weight of an R is 191 Tons compared to 128 Tons for an N Class, a not insignificant increase.
Therefore I would doubt VLine will upgrade the bridge for an occasional Heritage Train.
NSWGR 3827
I suspect the 10km/h an hour restriction for N classes might make them upgrade that bridge.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Wait and see what 'collateral damage' if any results from the skyrail bridge in the Metrop.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Wait and see what 'collateral damage' if any results from the skyrail bridge in the Metrop.
YM-Mundrabilla
There won't be any issues, the elevated rail sections will need to handle at least 23TAL for the QUBE Maryvale service. Span loadings should be fine because the span distances won't be huge.
  NSWGR 3827 Deputy Commissioner

Location: South of the Border
Bairnsdale would only have to be a shorter table as R's are not permitted over the Bridge at Stratford.
That'd be due to the length of the loco not the axle load, right? That's going to change, V/Line want to send Vlos down to Bairnsdale eventually.
I do not believe the length of the Loco is the problem it's the Total weight of the Loco.
Although R Class may have an Max axle load of 21.1Tons compared to a Vline N Class with a Maximum of 21.3 (D77/78 Motors),
The total weight of an R is 191 Tons compared to 128 Tons for an N Class, a not insignificant increase.
Therefore I would doubt VLine will upgrade the bridge for an occasional Heritage Train.
I suspect the 10km/h an hour restriction for N classes might make them upgrade that bridge.
speedemon08
Enough for a R?

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