The discovery of a broken side control spring on G42’s hind engine unit was soon followed by the dawning realisation that with the engine facing the ‘Down’ direction – towards Gembrook, as all our engines do – the workshop wasn’t long enough to get the pony truck in question over the drop-pit in the workshop.

This necessitated a stopover at Emerald whilst the loco was  carefully placed on the turntable and turned to face the ‘Up’ direction. Luckily, at that time, the 2.30 departure from Belgrave terminated at Emerald, giving plenty of time and some added interest from the passengers.

Obviously this was more exciting that we realised, and Social media was a-Twitter with photos and comments from local Puffing Billy fans!

After turning, the loco crew were faced with the rare challenge of not only running “backwards” all the way to Belgrave, but then having to dispose of the Garratt the wrong way round.

Above, a rare photo of G42 – facing the “wrong” direction – poking out from behind the new boiler of NG/G16 129, and below, the pony truck suspended in mid-air over the drop-pit whilst the spring is replaced. 

The new spring awaits fitting (above). Note the design, with one spring inside another; the original spring design and material section would be prohibitively expensive to replicate today, so we have achieved the same result using two springs of different diameters.

Below, Senior driver and G42’s biggest fan Graeme Daniel, poses with the Garratt on the turntable at Emerald shortly before backing onto the train for the trip back to Belgrave.