Hello all, as promised we have part 2 of this post about goings on in the Victorian Goldfields Railway’s Maldon workshop. In last weeks part 1 we focused on the efforts of the Young Volunteer work who are prepping our heritage diesel locomotive Y133 for it’s repaint.
However while that goes on it is business as usual (or unusual as the case may be) for Mick, our new “fitter” Banjo Baz and the team of volunteers who don’t mind getting their hands dirty.
The Never NN Ending Story
The last time we checked in with the workshop gang they had been sidetracked by a request for work on our QR wagon. Now we move forward two weeks and a couple of things happened at once, just the way you don’t want them to. First of all a request came in from on high for work on a long delayed project to be fast-forwarded – that being our ballast wagon NN 114.
NNs were built at Newport Workshops from the early 1900s in a couple of different body styles. They were re-classified VHWA in 1979 and some are still in service. The VGR has a few of these wagons, NN 40, NN 68 and NN 106 among their number, these last two were even hired out to John Holland Rail in 2004 for the Regional Fast Rail project. NN68 (VHWA 68-P) is shown below on the Main line at Castlemaine during these works which is pretty cool.
Enter the Banjo
This particular NN arrived on our railway a bit later than the others. It was the roughest of the lot requiring a fair bit of rusty metal plate to be cut out of it and some new steel welding into it’s place to ensure that the ballast drops out when it is required instead of at random spots on the line. This job was started more than 3 years ago but now the wagon is required in traffic so it needs to be finished. Yesterday. Long time VGR volunteer Banjo Baz was recently lured from his job in the mining industry to come to work full time at the railway and currently splits his time between Civil and Mechanical work and he was just the man for the job. Some of his handy work is shown below.
While all this was going on we got some bad news on the Y class front. Y133 as regular readers will know has still been running driver experiences and works trains while the paint preperation is underway. Radiator leaks have been plaguing her for a few years and they have been patched up a few times with the plan always being to remove the unit while the paint job was underway to get a proper look at it. Now it became apparent that coolant was getting into the #3 Cylinder so Mick and Baz stopped work on the NN and took a look. That is to say they took a look at the myriad nuts and bolts which hold the thing together as well as undoing the 90 or so holding the radiator in place! The radiator is now out and being attended to by Baz who is being unusually shy around the camera.
Getting to the source of the coolant leak into the cylinder on the other hand is proving to be a difficult ask. Hours of work trying to release the Crab Nuts was to no avail, these are done up to 1400 ft pounds and more on some EMD motors. A hydraulic crab nut torque wrench is pretty much a must have to tighten or loosen these bad boys so it was decided to get the correct tool for the job instead of wasting any more time.
In between all this major work there were ‘little’ jobs like Carriage Safety inspections to be done plus Mick has returned to school for his 3E Advanced welding ticket so he can weld stays & tubes on boilers. As well as saving money on outsourcing the work this will be a huge time saver for the workshop as we will not have to down tools and wait for a contractor to turn up and do the work. As we have discussed previously pressure vessel welders need certification and in the past we have had to wait days for our preferred bloke to turn up to maybe do 30 minutes work, all the time the loco sits idle in the workshop.
Well once again we seem to have too much material for one post so we will be back next week with another update. If you have made it this far then thanks for reading! See you next time.