Welcome to another update from the VGR Workshop. We hinted last time that this post would be a K160 update however as often happens other matters got in the way last week in the form of J549’s RSAVC or Rail Safety Accreditation Vehicle Certification (for short).
That’s right folks, just like your car our locomotives require a certificate of road worthiness if they are going to continue to operate on our railway. And like a Pinkslip in NSW or an MOT in J549’s birthplace, the UK, it needs to be done every year. This is in addition to the Boiler Test which also needs to be done annually, it really is a full time job keeping these old Steam locos running for people to enjoy!
Above; Only driven to Church on a Sunday! Our hero during restoration in 2007
Taxed and Tested
549’s Certificate was due to run out at the end of July so we enlisted the services of our friends at Traction Engineering in Seymour to come take a look at her. Overall it went pretty much as Mick had expected, the loco has been running quite a bit recently and so has been receiving regular attention. Items found to be in need of attention were as follows;
1/.. Pony wheel pivot beam mounting bolt loose drivers side. 2/.. Main reservoir balance pipe weeping oil at #1 reservoir, check for loose or cracked. 3/.. Nut missing from water transfer flange … bolt almost out on fireman’s side. 4/.. Tighten lock nut on water transfer cover on drivers side. 5/.. Replace worn cotter #1 bogie brake adjuster on tender. 6/.. Window cracked top corner on fireman’s door. 7/.. Generator mounting bolts loose. 8/..Fire extinguisher in cab is out of date.
So we set out to repair all of the above, some were difficult to find, some required welding and some required other fixes both simple and complicated.
In the image above you can see the Main Res balance pipe which has been removed, inspected for cracks, refitted with new gaskets and refitted, it tested AOK
Below; the Cotter pin on #1 bogie brake adjuster has been replaced, the worn item is shown in this Thumb selfie taken by Mick – he must be a dab hand with a camera or did he have some help under there!?!?
To replace the glass in the Fireman’s side cab door it was removed from the loco to make the job easier. Here we see the VR Factory tool (common garden wheelbarrow) being used to provide a softish surface to get it done. Glaziers beware, our guys can do just about anything if they put their minds to it.
In the end all 8 items were attended to over the course of a few days, the results photographed and sent off to the inspector for approval. A couple of days later we had our certificate and J549 was back in business.
Well that is about it for this post, your blogger will keep hassling Mick and the crew for the K160 updates including photos. Until then stay warm and happy steaming!