With a projected completion date of mid-2019, the race is on to get our re-gauged South African NG/G16 class Garratt assembled and tested.
A lot has been happening, so here’s a snapshot of progress to date:
Once the cross shafts and the reverser stand were complete, the reach rod brackets and reach rods were overhauled. The existing reach rods have been modified to allow packers to be inserted fore and aft of the reverser stand, making adjustment far simpler.
Below you can see the outer end of the forward cross shaft, and the reach rod extending back towards the reverser stand.
Much of the engine unit lubrication pipework has been run, including oil pots and dividers. Above and below, the inner pony truck centering spring oil lines.
Above, lubrication lines feeding the cylinders installed, along with the draincocks, linkage and operating cylinder.
Below, the engine unit foot plating being installed, and in the background, the tank support timbers fitted to the angle frame.
Above and below, the inner end of the reverser shaft within the boiler cradle stretcher casting, showing the inner live steam ball joint installed.
The boiler has been clad in expanded mesh, before the insulation layer was added, and the steel cladding sheets fitted. The cladding sheets, all laser cut and rolled new, have been sprayed black, ready for the boiler bands and cut-out surround pieces to be fitted.
Below, some of the various pockets which surround the washout plugs and cover transverse stay heads have been sprayed in primer, ready for painting, and will finish the cladding off neatly when fitted.
The firedoor surround, firedoors, and operating lever & linkage has all been refurbished and fitted to the backhead. The backhead corner cladding is the original, repaired as necessary and fitted.
With most of the cladding fitted and sprayed, the boiler was lowered back into the boiler cradle and secured in position.
Work on the smokebox continues, with the fabrication and fitting of the spark arrestor platework, including table plate, and the removable sections to allow access to the tubes and superheater header behind. The smokebox front plate has been fitted and the smokebox door has been machined and will soon be ready for fitting.
Another significant part to be manufactured recently is the Lempor exhaust nozzle. Based on a design by the late Phil Girdlestone, CME of the Alfred County Railway in South Africa, this complex fabrication incorporates the 4 blast nozzles, as well as a separate chamber and nozzles for both the blower and Westinghouse air compressor exhaust.
Finally, on the 24th April, the 2 engine units were rolled up the workshop and positioned next to the boiler cradle, which was craned over and slung between them. This will allow the completion of all the pipework fabrication and, whilst the engine units may have to come out for short periods to manufacture and fit certain parts, it is intended that the locomotive will stay in this state as the build progresses to completion.