Kaotic Scenes

Welcome to another post as we try to keep you up to date with goings on in the Victorian Goldfields Railway’s Maldon Workshops.

If you read the last post you would know that our crew had spent the last few months working around a rather large obstacle which was taking up a bit too much space in the loco shed. Meanwhile the work kept rolling in and in particular Steamrail’s K153 was in need of a bunch of attention. Much of this work had been deferred due to the XYZ set taking up the workshop road but now the K was required for the Maldon Weekender from August 16 to 18 before she was to return on the mainline back to Newport in time to run the Hurstbridge Shuttles so it was all hands on deck.

The K was shedded on the 1st of August & we got it out for a test run on the 15th, just in time for the big weekend. Crucial to this work was the loco passing it’s Rail Safety Accreditation which as we have mentioned before is like an RWC for trains. This is in addition to the annual boiler inspection – as one wag once noted “I don’t care what happens to the boiler but if it jumps off the rails I’ve got a big problem”. Hence springs, pins, clips and profiles get a thorough seeing to in this phase of work.

Overall there were 22 issues worked on to prepare the loco for her trip home as could be seen in the long list of log book entries for the repairs.

One of those was the nagging issue of the Clack Valve on the Driver’s Side Injector which had been playing up in one of those annoying on again, off again situations. In the photo below we see at left the view looking into the injector at the partially cut Clack Valve seat. Note the bottom half is flat & shiny as the cut slowly makes its way to the top of the seat, which had worn off square. Much lapping would form a good seat, but in service it would still leak because it was not aligning correctly.


In the middle we see that a quick facing of the clack valve shows how badly burnt it was, which is why the valve was replaced. On the right we see the 2 Clacks sitting on Mick’s desk. Note one is nearly flat (worn out) & the other has a high seat face.

Another issue requiring attention was the Fireman’s Side Gudgeon Pin which had a stripped thread. Here on the left we see the first test fit of the replacement sitting in the Crosshead. The Gap on the right shows how much allowance there was for lapping & Draw to pull into the Crosshead. On the right we see the old pin with it’s stripped thread watching over it’s newly fitted replacement


Little end Brasses also had to be removed & fitted to the replacement Gudgeon as seen in the shot below.

Acc Little end K153

3 of 4 Pony Trunion bolts had also managed to work loose (one had actually stretched) leaving just one to hold the plates together. Holding the load had caused wear on the bolt head as seen in the shot below left. The repaired suspension (spring buckle, leg bushes & pins) sitting beautifully where it should, lifting the loco & improving the ride and not to forget Banjo Baz (on secondment from the Civil Gang again) playing with springs


Below we see why Baz was playing with suspension. The spring buckle is just a bit worn!

Acc Worn Spring Buckle K153

Well that is about if for now. K153 made it out of the workshop alive after her accreditation and was last seen hauling the Wattle Festival shuttle to Hurstbridge. But this story would have a sequel – all this talk of Pony Trucks and springs would come back to haunt us. Tune in next time to see some interesting repair work and some exciting blog news. Until then may your sanding boxes provide traction during these cold, wintery running days.

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