Thomas the Tank Engine Blog

A Giant Takes Shape

Progress abounds down in the Belgrave workshop, as the storage racking gets lighter and the engine gets heavier! Work in progress or completed to date includes: Brake release spring and brackets manufactured and fitted. Reversing rods between intermediate and main reversing shafts have been fitted. In front can be seen the stub connection with accepts…

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Carriage Project Part II – From Detail to Delivery

With the final concept design approved, the engineering team settled down to the task of producing detailed drawings for every individual component, on top of the major sub-assemblies such as the bogies, underframe and steel body frame. Sadly, we didn’t have the advantage the railway had 20 years ago; we had no spare bogies, underframes…

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Would You Rather….?

The big question: How to grow traffic on the Lakeside-Gembrook section of the railway to keep up with demand and manage the capacity constraints.

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Garratt Update To August ’18

Many parts and assemblies are finding their way onto the something which now distinctly resembles an NG/G16 class Garratt!

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A New Chimney For ‘Real Puffing Billy’!

Signs of corrosion through the side of the chimney … and no spare parts …. then what ???

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The NG/G16 Countdown Begins!

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.…

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NG/G News For Febuary

Over the past few months, we have been progressing a lot of different tasks, in order to keep the project moving along at a good pace: Installation of the sanding gear on the engine units (above and below) has reached the stage where the engine needs to be assembled before it can progress further. Cowcatchers…

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Rising From The Mud

The more eagle-eyed reader of Puffing Billy’s in-house magazine, ‘Narrow Gauge’, might have noticed a dramatically photo-shopped representation of Belgrave yard plateau lurking in the centre spread of last September’s edition. The photo gave the impression of a clean, dry and level yard! Sadly, at the time, this didn’t reflect reality; the mud, the dirt,…

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It’s All backwards, What’s With That?

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.…

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Carriage Project Part I – Calculations & Concepts

I think it’s safe to say we can skip the why’s and wherefores’! Anyone familiar with Puffing Billy will know that passenger numbers are through the roof and our little trains are struggling to cope with the ever-increasing demand. At the same time, as much as we try and dissuade them, our marketing department insist…

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