Hello and welcome to our first post for 2019. A combination of holidays, extreme weather and other jobs have meant that the new year was first quiet then extremely busy for the staff and volunteers at the Victorian Goldfield’s Railway’s Maldon workshop. Unless of course you were a young volunteer that is!
Mick and the gang are currently busy with a C exam on J 549 as she has been back in service for 5 years now. We will be covering that in some detail in the coming weeks but first we need to cover off the final stages of the re-painting of heritage diesel locomotive Y133.
The summer months in Central Victoria bring many challenges to our railway due to extreme heat and fire danger. For this reason we don’t run steam at all in February and all running at this time of year is organised in consultation with the CFA to ensure that we help to keep our community safe. So with the J set to come out of service for the exam which neatly coincided with the diesel running period the Young Volunteers Group were racing against time and some pretty horrendous weather conditions to get job done on the Y class. I’ll let Fletcher take up the story.
“Saturday 15th Dec saw Y133 run it’s last train for the year which was a Driver Experience. This would also be it’s last time running around Grey and rusty!!
That afternoon saw lots of works happen, she was striped of all removable parts like doors, windows, lights, cab interior features etc etc and by mid afternoon she was nothing but a shell.
I then started bogging up the areas where new metal was welded in or other imperfections existed in the metal. This was all complete by that night. Sunday 16th saw us sanding the bogged areas and the entire body smooth, then applying the primer where it was required on the freshly bogged areas.
Between the 17th and 21st of December the entire under frame was de-greased and pressure washed clean ready for paint. This revealed a very, very thick layer of grease, brake block dust, mud and everything else you can think of that splashes up while a loco is out on the road.
Friday 21st saw the under frame sprayed black, this was a very quick task with the new spray pot. Once the black was dry, it was all covered up so work could start on getting the body ready for the blue and gold. This weekend also saw a group of young volunteers sanding all the nose doors smooth ready for colour.
Between the 21st and the 28th we all worked hard to get the body and cab ready for colour. Quite a few days temperatures were climbing into the 40s – way to hot to be in the workshop where there is no airflow so the Air Con in the meal room was well utilised!!!
Friday 28th December was the first day for colour. It was forecast to be a hot one that day, so we started at 6am mixing a batch of paint and spraying by 6:30am! By 9am the temperature was already at 27 degrees, cut off temperature for spraying so the rest of the day was used the continue polishing number plates and masking up!
By the 2nd of January the entire loco was coated in Blue so next came the important part – measuring and masking for the yellow line! All the doors were carefully placed back on to ensure we got a perfectly straight line. This took some time while we measured, stringing lines along the loco, masking templates for the radius on the nose, running masking tape around the entire loco and so on and so forth.
Steven Fiume from the Daylesford Railway (DSCR) came out to help us stick on the template for the wings – this was a 2 person job and with Steven having previous experience from doing Y159 he was called in. The perfect man for the job and in 3 hours both sets of wings were on and ready to go!
From then we covered every bit of blue and black there was as yellow is very unforgiving on dark colours. We then sprayed the yellow late one evening when everything had cooled off and then patiently waited for it to dry, to then see if all turned out well!
We started by peeling off the wing template… and revealed a very crisp yellow on Midnight blue!!! AMAZING!!! We spent most of the day uncovering everything and preparing to put the loco back together.
From then until 11th Jan, we all worked hard to reinstall windows (big thanks to O’Brien’s Bendigo and VGR window installer Baz!!!), hang number plates and builders plates, organise the cab seats to be reupholstered, cut and polish the colour and everything else that goes into finishing a restoration job.
In the shot below you can see most (but not all!!!) of the gang posing with Baz Oh Oh Oh O’Brien and the nearly finished loco. Thanks to Mick for the shot.
By Friday 11th Jan she was fuelled up, washed, polished and finally started at around 5pm. She then rolled out into the sunlight for the first time in 3 weeks ready for a test run before she re-entered traffic.
Saturday 12th Jan was the big unveiling with members, newspapers and even WIN news waiting on the platform, the Young Volunteers all scrambled to give the Y one last wash and polish before she faced her admirers. At the stroke of midday the crowd was greeted by Y 133 powering into the platform with everyone applauding! We then had a group photo with the loco and finally everyone could inspect the amazing work.”
Well I think we can all agree that it is an outstanding job and a real credit to the boys and girls of the YVG. The standard of work and the level of finish is outstanding. Little details like the reproduction Clyde builders plate show the love that has gone into this project. Your blogger was around the railway a few times near the end and can attest to the tireless work that went into the last few days with exhausted bodies being pushed to the limit to get the job done.
Y133 is currently hauling Sunday only services in February before we get back to normal timetable in March. Come down to Castlemaine to grab a look or better still buy a ticket and take a ride behind this wonderfully preserved loco. We’ll leave you with a shot of some of our volunteers clearly enjoying spending some quality time with our hero on a lovely sunny Central Victorian day. Thanks for visiting.