The Y, the YVG and the VGR

This post was supposed to be about our heritage diesel locomotive Y133 which is currently getting a bit of a makeover. However as the post started to roll onto the page it became apparent pretty quickly that a bit of explanation was going to be required. So here goes.

Y133 entered service in 1965 and was withdrawn in 1987. She is now owned by the people of Victoria under the VicTrack Heritage umbrella and after spending some time allocated to SRHC is now allocated to the VGR. For many years she has been a great servant on our railway doing anything from running regular services during Summer fire restrictions, hauling works trains, acting as yard pilot at Maldon to occasionally filling in at short notice for an ailing steam loco.

Y133a

However she is over 50 now and as you can see from the image above all this hard work has taken it’s toll and so it was decided that it was time to give Y133 a fresh coat of paint and maybe some other repairs as the project required. The mechanical work, welding etc where required would be done by the Workshop crew and the prep and painting would be handled by the YVG. Sorry, who?

The future of the VGR is in good hands

YVG stands for Young Volunteers Group and was the brainchild of young VGR member Fletcher who was spending pretty much every weekend hanging around the workshop at Maldon doing whatever job was sent his way (and probably some that weren’t). Your blogger put a few questions to him this week;

B – So Fletcher, how did the YVG come about?

F – “It was my idea and I got the ball rolling. Then it went to the board and it all formed from there.”

B – And who is eligible to join the group?

F – “The Young volunteers group welcomes anyone between the age of 16-35! We currently have about 10 regular volunteers. But that number is slowly rising as people gain interest in what we do.”

B – Before the Y class job what other jobs has the YVG tackled?

F – “We undertake big and small projects around the railway and reveal many talents the younger ones didn’t know they had! So far, the YVG have repainted J549, rebuilt the Maldon Gangers Shed and overhauled most of the trolley fleet. Earlier this year the BP oil tankers were restored to their former glory!”

Great stuff from the boys and girls of the YVG. That’s right folks, don’t be lulled into thinking this is a boys club – the Young Volunteers welcome both males and females with both genders active in group. In this bloggers opinion the future is looking very bright for our railway!

Off the rails

So now you know how this blog post went off the rails so quickly, a bit like the star of our show who got her feet dirty a few years ago in the yard thanks to a pesky broken rail.

Y133

Back on track!

With the Fire bans lifted towards the end of April this year and the railway able to run steam once more the work begun in earnest. The biggest job was always going to be removing all the years of dirt, dust, surface rust and layers of old paint that had built up over the years. The YVG got straight into it using whatever means they could find (but mainly elbow grease – oh to by young, fit and enthusiastic again!). Engine covers, panels and doors were removed to be stripped, checked for signs of rotting due to rust and primed.

Y04

Next she was rolled into the shed and the power tools came out to begin the sanding of the main body and other components. As she is to be spray painted everything needs to be super smooth before the jam goes on as any little imperfections will show up very clearly once the VR Blue and Gold hits them.

Y06

Well that’s probably enough for one post, next time we get up close and personal with some of the work being done on the loco and see the progress being achieved by the YVG with help from Mick and the workshop gang.

But just in case you can’t wait here is a sneak preview, an arty shot that Fletcher himself took of our hero taking in the night air at Maldon in winter with priming well and truly underway. Brrrrr.

Y05

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