Update – July 2022

Rather than words for the July update we thought we would do something different.  See the attached video.  Our plans for the contract fitter have been delayed and we are still looking for anyone interested. This has the potential to slow progress so we are looking at contracting out quite a bit of the work.  If you are interested in the fitter position please ring Michael Vines on 0417 561 545 or email him on michaelv@vineslawyers.com.au.

Update – June 2022

During June we have continued to have good volunteer numbers at our Saturday work days.  To accelerate the project a contract fitter has been engaged who will work one week on one week off at least until the end of this year.  The work on the smoke box is now complete which involved new plating around the top and installation of the internal ring.  This was done by our contract boiler maker. Work to complete installation of the internal steam pipe has commenced and we have been attacking the build up of scaling inside the boiler. The driving wheels have been moved in readiness for priming and painting. We also took delivery of the donated steel plate which will be used on the cab. We are turning our minds to the condition of the tender and work needed to be done. The pictures with this blog show some of the progress occurring during June and as previously advised if you wish to attend as a volunteer on our Saturday work days please contact John Hoy Ph:  0419 372 696 or Stewart Phemister Ph:  0427 867 412.

Update – June 2022

The latest news is that on 1st June the boiler was lowered off its stands to ground level.  The smoke box door was removed and preparations made for the smoke box repairs.  This will involve replacement of wasted areas of plate work and replacement of the angle ring behind the smoke box door.  The previously formed plate and angle are for this task.  The driving wheels are being cleaned down and prepared for painting.  The new drag box has been mated with the old one to use as a drilling template and drilling of the various holes will shortly start.  The ash pan at Maldon is nearly finished and as previously advised will be moved to Newport for installation.  There is still plenty of work to be done for people who don’t have mechanical skills in such jobs as painting of the smoke deflectors and the cab top.  They have been needle gunned to remove many layers of old paint and require final cleaning and priming.  As previously advised our volunteer work days are on a Saturday and if you wish to attend please contact John Hoy or Stuart Phemister.

Update – April 2022

There has been steady, though not necessarily visible, progress on K160 during April. We have also set about some planning for work in the next couple of months. The ashpan which is at the Maldon workshop is nearly finished. A big shout out to Keith and Wayne for their work on this and it now needs to be turned over so that the sliding panels at the bottom fit and once this is done it will be transported to Newport. As for progress at Newport the springs are still with the contractor for assessment and refurbishment as required. Steamrail are shortly to engage a contract fitter to speed the work on the loco. In the next week or so the boiler maker will be completing the smoke box. The boiler itself is virtually complete save for final installation of the internal steam pipe. Once this is done the boiler will be refitted to the frame. The main driving wheels will be turned once the boiler is fitted. Work on the cab and drag box continues. The donated steel sheet will be measured and used for the cab sides. We have turned our thoughts to the tender and this is being assessed for work needed but it is believed to be largely in good condition. We continue to need volunteers coming on a Saturday so if you want to come please contact John Hoy or Stuart Phemister. Warren Hall continues to oversee the project and in the latest Steamrail news there was mention of VGR’s arrangement with Steamrail on K160.

VGR Mechanical Update – March 2022

During March steady progress has been made on K160.  The cab area metal work has been attended to which is a slow and time-consuming job.  Other works have involved re-bushing of the compensation beam brackets attached to the frames.  These are being worked through and worn bushes replaced from the stock of spares on hand at Newport.  The pony wheel is being needle gunned to clean it down prior to repainting.  We continue to have good numbers of our volunteers at Saturday work days.  We will be engaging a contract boilermaker to start work on the smoke box and plans are afoot to complete and fit the internal steam pipe.  If you wish to attend as a volunteer for this project as previously advised, please contact Stuart Phemister John Hoy.

K160 Update – February 2022

Work on K160 during February has progressed well.  We have had good numbers at our Saturday work days.  The pictures with this blog show some of the progress on the locomotive.  The smoke box metal, rings, and piping is there.  The wheel springs have been sent to a contractor for refurbishment.  The ash pan which is at the workshop at Maldon is nearly finished.  Last Saturday’s work included attention to the pony truck and cab floor.  To generate momentum the K160 Facebook page has been cranked up and we now have approaching 200 members.  If you want to attend work days please contact John Hoy or Stuart Phemister.  We also believe we have received a generous donation of steel from a company which will be important to both us in this project and Steamrail generally.



Prior to Xmas the VGR Board made the decision to appoint former president Michael Vines manager of the project to restore steam locomotive K 160 which remains located at Newport Workshops. The task of restoration is being contracted out to Steamrail under the direction of Warren Hall who is well known in the heritage railway movement and particularly for the recent restoration and return to operation of steam locomotives K 183 and not long before that A2 986. Those previously involved in the work done on K 160 will continue to be utilised under Warren’s guidance along with VGR volunteers. The plan is to return K 160 to operation and capable of both branch and main line work within 18 months.. As we go along there will be monthly blogs on this site with photos starting late February. The VGR continues to be grateful for the generous donation it received some little time back which will fund the restoration of the locomotive and is excited at the prospect of the planned return to operation of K 160.