3801 and 3830 were 2 completely different restorations.
3801 was assessed by State Rail as a Bi-Centenary project. Subsequently it would be a State Government funded restoration. Before this was done ownership of the locomotive needed to be established. To prevent funds being used on other projects a location was needed so to restore the locomotive. A facility had been set up at the State Dockyard Newcastle by the Hunter Valley Training Company to train out of work apprentices who had lost their job in the Newcastle area. Kevin Harper was contacted and the tender was offered to him for restoration. His reply was 'all or nothing'. 3801 was taken from Thirlmere to Newcastle and the restoration done.
One of the biggest concerns determining the whole project was the restoration of the boiler. Several options were looked at including using another 38 boiler, a new boiler, or repairing the old one. Of the 3 38's 01,13, 20 3801 had the best boiler although the inner firebox was beyond use. 3813's boiler at Clyde was also inspected and 3820 was internally inspected. 3830 could not be touched as it belonged to the Museum of Applied Arts and Science (Powerhouse Museum) 3820 had already been decided would remain untouched as it would represent a 38 class in ex service condition.
The only option then available would be to restore 01's (3819's) boiler. This would include the replacement of the inner firebox, repairs or replacement of the rear firebox plate (backhead) repair or replace the front tube plate and other minor repairs as required. It soon became apparent, after extensive investigation, that no one wanted the job of producing a new backhead for 01 because of the complex shape needed, so repairing the rear corners was the only option. A new inner firebox was manufactures although when drilled was drill wrong for the stay holes when fitted. It being slightly different in size and shape. 01' boiler was tested to 245 PSI however the boiler inspector after some arguments with HVTC management lowered the pressure. His reasoning being that 3801 would draw the public and also in consideration to the longevity of the boiler, which turned out to be a wise decision.
3801 although being a Bi-Centenary project had it restoration completion date brought forward with Mr David Hills retirement in 1986 from State Rail. As 3801 was a State Government asset it was decided to appoint an independent organisation to run and maintain the locomotive. To achieve this a 20 year lease was issued so that if this organisation (3801 Limited) failed in this period the locomotive was not lost as the governments asset. 3801 Limited was set up and would be based in the Large Erecting Shop at Eveleigh. 3801 after her restoration would return to the RTM for a six month period under 3801 Limited for crew and maintenance training arriving as planned at the large erecting shop on 1 July 1987 and operating from here for the duration of the lease period.
At the end of this period 3801 would be returned to the State Government (State Rail) as a condition of the lease. Being the agreed life expectancy of the boiler. 3801 then fell under the control of the Office of Rail Heritage and was returned to their base at Thirlmere which became Trainworks. The ORH as a result of the initial investigation of 3801 and other State Rail assets then took control of much of the Thirlmere collection. The operation and Accredited are of Trainworks being the RTM and so 3801 and several other locomotives not recognised as part of 'Core Collection' and operational locomotives then became part of the 'Legends of Steam'. 3820 being recognised as the representative of a 38 class, 3801 to remain operational as long as possible.
Again when it became time for 3801 to undergo a further restoration the same process occurred. It was taken from Thirlmere for an independent assessment. It was then returned to Thirlmere before going to Chullora for the restoration. Being isolated it as in the 1980's can be easily established what funds are spent on the locomotive and no allocated funds can be spent on anything or any other exhibits. This way 3801 remains a State Government asset, under the control of Trainworks and operated by the RTM.
3830 was a very different story. Again 30 was taken from Thirlmere and moved to the LES. As the Powerhouse was a representative in 3801 Limited it was decided 30 would be restored and operated under 3801's Accreditation. It was also so 30 could be used for 3801 Limited trips if 01 was not available through maintenance or other State Rail commitments. Subsequently 30 was towed to the LES, partly stripped and sent to the asbestos building in the carriage works. Returning to the LES 30 was completely dismantled. Some parts went to the Powerhouse workshop, while others were sub contracted for replacement or repair. The powerhouse worked on the principle that the locomotive had to be restored using as much as possible of the original locomotive and so unlike 3801 which was restored for operation 30 was restore to be as original as possible.
Most of the boiler work for 30 was done at the LES or sub contracted and so was mainly 'cut and shut' old plate cut out and new plate added and welded in. When it came time to assemble the boiler, particularly the riveting of stays etc that boiler was relocated to the HVTC workshop now located in the old SMR workshop at East Greta. The boiler could be riveted hear without worrying about noise, most of the work being done by Powerhouse Museum volunteers.
As with 3801 the firebox threaded stays were commercially made, however with 3801 the boiler inspector failed almost 2/3's of these as they were not a good fit and custom stays were made and individually fitted. Having all the stays made for 30 they were all fitted and sealed as best as possible. Of course the Powerhouse claim to fame was that 30 would run at 245 PSI although her boiler was in nowhere near the condition of 01's after restoration. To increase the life of 30 the Powerhouse Museum limited the number of times 30 could be used and so it was always a concern how long 30's boiler would last.
Like 01 the tender was sent to the HVTC for restoration. As with 01 a new tank was manufactured the same as 01 being fully welded. Again 30 had to be as original as possible and so unlike 01 needed to represent a riveted tender. Subsequently the rivet heads were welded on the outside of the new tank. This was first looked at for 01 but because of the shortened restoration time and cost (about $3-5 a rivet head) it was decided that 01 would have the flat sided welded tender.
With 30's restoration almost complete all components were returned to the LES and final assembly completed. Trialing out of the LES before returning Light Engine to the HVTC for her official handover and return to service. 3830 completed its limited running but their were always problems. Attention then turned to 3265 which had also come from Thirlmere with 30.
At the same time changes in the Powerhouse took place and the focus of operating exhibits like 30 became second to the core reason of the museum. Several of the museums operation exhibits have been removed from the museum and come under the operation control of other groups, 3830 and 3265, as well as some tram exhibits being included. The ORH putting in the final funding to complete the restoration of 3265 and so the reason it has seen considerable more running than 3830 ever did.
3830 like 3801 would now no doubt need a full restoration of the boiler or a new one given that 30's original restoration was no where near the standards of 3801. Most of the staff from the HVTC who restored 3801 leaving the company after completion of 3801 and before the relocation to the SMR workshop. As 3801 was a SRA/State Government restoration in the 1980's it had to be completed on time and on budget to justify the restoration. Of course no one really knows the cost of the restoration but as Mr David Hill said in his launch speech her restoration was done in the 'Grand tradition of the great railway foreign Order' which she was. 3801 giving over 22 years reliable service and that alone is testament to the quality of the restoration undertaken.
It is interesting reading the reports on both 38's especially with 01 and the delays in the boiler allowing further items and parts to be restored that would not have been done. One needs to ask the question of what this includes as one would think that the restoration would include everything on the locomotive needed for it to be operational. As for the secrecy of the project, as it is a State Government restoration they need to be able to justify the costs involved and what has been done by there representatives the ORH, Trainworks and THNSW. With 30 we believed they had her ready for trial and then the boiler failed for unknown reasons.
As the Powerhouse Museum core activity and restructure is not the operation of exhibits it will be interesting to see if any funds are allocated to the restoration to service or static restoration of 3830. If the latter being the case the question then being where will 30 eventually be located as 3820 is recognised as the representative for a 38 class because it is still in original ex service condition, this being the reason 20 will (without a special reason) never return to operational service. It can be noted that as ORH put in significant funds to complete the restoration of 3265 and she was then not subjected to the limited running that 30 was by the Powerhouse.