Frame and engine unit reconstruction, locomotive 3265
Hot riveting repairs to 3265's frame
The first items to receive major attention were the frame and engine unit. 3265 is the only surviving 32 class locomotive still with its original low frame-these were prone to cracking, and most were replaced during their service lives with a higher frame. Frame cracks were repaired and around three-quarters of the frame rivets were replaced. The drag box-the structural area beneath the cab floor that takes the load from the drawbar that connects the engine and tender-was very badly corroded and weakened, so it was cut out and a whole new one fabricated and riveted into place, using traditional fabrication techniques. One-inch doubling plates were fitted to the frame in this area, which means the new drag box is 2 inches smaller than the original.
All the wheels were sent out so the tyres could be turned and profiled, and the journals were machined and ground. The entire frame was string-lined. New horn-cheeks were manufactured from bisalloy and ground to bring the axleboxes back into the correct alignment and the correct positioning back from the cylinders.
All the plain, white-metal bearings were re-metalled and machined, as were the axlebox brasses, and new woolpacks were made for all axleboxes. The axlebox brasses were hand scraped to match the journals.
The front truck was dismantled and thoroughly cleaned and inspected. Out-of-line holes for the bushes were re-bored with an in-line boring machine, and all bushes and pins were replaced, as were the woolpacks.
The valve gear was completely refurbished; including the eccentrics, which were badly worn and so were sent out for metal-spraying and machining. One motion slide bar was missing and the other three were all top bars. A set of four new slide bars was cut out and machined, as per the drawings.
Brake shoe patterns were made and new shoes cast for both engine and tender. Because the shoes on 3265's tender were badly worn and no drawing could be found at the time, Lachlan Valley Railway in Cowra lent us one of theirs to have a pattern made.
Scores of hours were spent hand-scraping the exhaust manifold in the smokebox to ensure a good metal-to-metal joint, and this joint was tested under air pressure.
By the time the wheels were ready to be replaced in the frame, the landlords advised that they believed the overhead cranes were no longer safe for use because of deterioration in the structural fabric of the building, and that they could not justify the work to allow us to continue using them-from this point on outside cranes and jacks would have to be used for all heavy lifting jobs. Although the team managed to jack the driving wheels back into the frame on their own, the help of RailCorp's breakdown gang was enlisted to return the front truck to its rightful place.
The cab was dismantled and sent out for shot blasting and priming. Holes in the metal sheets have been welded, the body straightened and the cab has been riveted and bolted back together, as per original. The cab roof was in poor condition, with the wood warped and cracked and the canvas cover rotted away. A sample of the canvas has been kept as a reference and to match as closely as possible, while the wood was used as a template for a new roof. Museum carpenters machined the tongues and grooves into the new timber (Oregon), and then cut and fitted it to the cab roof. At the same time, they cut and shaped the timber boards in the back of the tender that separate the coal space from the access area.
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