Push Gathers Steam to Restore a Historic Loco
J515 Updates from the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre
Rare Arnott's biscuit van restored
The most interesting thing in the last couple of weeks is surely C501 alias "Big Gorge" or more correctly, George Brown, is out on the network working for his keep. He has been hired by SCT for a while to assist with their busy period.With George out and about there is now a focus on other things. Another visitor has turned up for a bit of love and attention in the form of GM27. Back on the home front, work continues on CLP7 on contract to SSR, carriages and our own locos.___________________________________________________________
Whilst 16ABE is the background in this picture, Kevin is cleaning the seats for 26BE out of view to the right. These seats were upholstered a few years ago and have been in storage in the back of the upholstery shop. When extracted, you should have seen the dust! Anyway it doesn't matter as it washes off. The seats are now in 26BE and apart from some trims the inside is finished.
Tuesday 27th October.__________________________________________________________________
On the subject of trims, David is caught "mid stroke" working out which trim fits wherein the vestibule of 26BE. Like the seats the trims were restored a while ago and no one remembers which bit fits where. A trail and error process is working and most bits have found a neat fitting spot.________________________________________________________________
Mid day Friday 30th October, another visitor has arrived. As Big George looks on, SSR's GM27 rides the turntable before heading up to the depot.______________________________________________________________
Two brothers together. GM27 has joined GM36 in 22 track. 27 is being attended to by contractors for some generator issues. We are not sure how long it will be here as that is in the hands of others, but it a pleasure to facilitate the work for SSR. ________________________________________________________________
It was actually a busy few minutes as just before GM27 arrived, a Qube hired GL loco from the ARTC ballast train arrived fro a quick turn on the table. The GM and GL crossed in the loco area and now 27 has just stabled, the GL is back on the main line heading north._________________________________________________________________
To more mundane things. Brandon is headless up under a vehicle welding away. Just another of those many unseen activities but note the ubiquitous milk crate universal chair!________________________________________________________________
It is now Saturday 7th November and after a few weeks of ''it's on then its off'', the day has arrived for C501 to go out on hire. George is being turned ready for the arrival of CLF2. Part way along the side can you make out the reflection of the loco stabled at right angles to the position of the table._________________________________________________________________
Now turned and backed onto the turntable approach track, the reflection can no be revealed as N471.________________________________________________________________
A few minutes later and CLF2 has arrived from Goulburn and backed up to the turntable approach.
CLF2 is one of what should be a pair to partner with C501 to haul the three times a week SCT Dooen to Appleton Dock service until near years end. Various problems with CLF2 and 4 which is not yet ready, have delayed the hire.________________________________________________________________
The CLF backs up to George.__________________________________________________________
Pardon us now while we indulge our passion for Big George.
The two locos are now coupled and ready to move out towards the main line._______________________________________________________________
Part way to the main line connection.____________________________________________________________
Waiting for a north bound SSR grain train to clear before being able to escape!_________________________________________________________________
On the main line and the driver is now securing the switch lock before they are off to Laverton to take up duties.________________________________________________________________
And they are now on the move.____________________________________________________________
On Tuesday 10th November a couple of the regular volunteers did not front as usual. Upon making inquiries after their welfare we learnt they had gone to Great Western to photograph George._____________________________________________________________
And to conclude the George focus, C501 and CLF2 are heading east in the area of Great Western Loop._______________________________________________________________
And now for something different. Saturday 14th November.
The stats have finally aligned including ending of some key Covid restrictions. Work has begun on the long predicted and awaited refurbishment of GM36. We had wanted to do this work in the turntable shed but the contract work on a CLP for SSR means that option is not currently available.
So we have started in the open up in the depot. The time of year is friendly and at some stage we may still relocate when the space is available. The first task is to deal with the bolts that retain the cover strips and so side panels of the loco. Some of these have given up the ghost and so we have decided to renew the lot.m
These are some of the cover straps that secure the body panels to GM36 having been needle gunned to clean off the rust etc and are now primed and ready to be refitted.______________________________________________________________
We are removing a few panels at a time to address rust both with the bolts, the loco frame and the cover straps. We cant remember whose arms are wielding the angle grinder cutting away the remains of the bolts and rough cleaning the girder side structure of the loco.___________________________________________________________________
The panels themselves are in very good order and so will be cleaned where the cover strips fit and the remainder will await the external repaint which cannot start until all strips and panels are dealt with.
As the colour of any locomotives is a subject that always raises a range of opinions, usually strongly and loudly voiced, we can say that the livery of GM36 will be just what you think it will be.________________________________________________________________
Also in the depot today, another loco has reached a milestone in its restoration. P23 has had its replacement piston fitted and a new water pump installed. It is now capable of moving itself around and the opportunity was taken to reintroduce it to its twin._______________________________________________________________
The other ends of the pair. There is still a few things to be done in the cab, the engine needs to be tuned, and the HEP diesel alternator is still to be looked at. So 23 is back in the shed now for the cab and tune while the HEP unit will be a while away as other things will take priority for the next while._________________________________________________________________
With P23 back in the shed, T378 is just taking up space while T320 is getting closer to its turn for engine work. _____________________________________________________________
So do you understand what colour GM36 will be repainted in?
In its traditional maroon and silver of course, is there any other colour??_______________________________________________
Now we are in a more relaxed post Covid lock-down situation, there are a few things we want to forge ahead with. Things like GM36 are on the list, final details on T382 and P23, and tackling T320. J515's boiler and other remaining activities including the change over tender are also about to restart.
Carriage wise we should not be to far from releasing 26BE from restoration, 2AE from refurbishment and repainting and 16ABE from various things, and that will mean another wooden bodied carriage will be shopped for its turn.
Outside in the yard more ballasting and footpath completion is on the go now addressing the long delayed area embraced by tracks 4, 5, 6 and 7.
So is it time you got involved as well? Always glad to have the company of willing and enthusiastic hands. With train operations likely to recommence early autumn, there is lots to do. Make contact, we would love to share our passion and have you on the team___________________________________
This article first appeared on srhcblog.blogspot.com
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