Return Of The Dangling Legs – Part 1

Perhaps one of the most iconic experiences one can have on a heritage railway world-wide is that which can be found at Puffing Billy. For over 100 years, tourists have ridden the little train through the rolling hills and fern gullies of the Dandenong ranges whilst sitting on the carriage sills with their legs hanging…

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Behind Closed Doors…

Whilst the restrictions around COVID-19 mean we aren’t currently able to open to the public, behind the scenes Puffing Billy’s workshops are a hive of activity, so an update seems timely. With a new cleaning regime and responsible social distancing measures in place, staff are progressing a number of projects to ensure the railway is…

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Testing An NG/G16!

For those that don’t subscribe to social media, you might have missed the multitude of excellent photos and videos over recent weeks, showing the Garratt undergoing testing by the railway’s Workshop team. Above, NG/G16 129 blasts off the horseshoe bridge on its way to Menzies Creek whilst below, a pause near Selby allows for a…

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A New Whistle In The Hills!

Testing continues on the NG/G16, with work currently focused on testing and proving of boiler fittings and pipework; injectors, pressure gauge and water gauges, blower, safety valves and whistle have all been tested. The functionality of the ashpan and slides, rocking grate and dump grate has all been checked. Once some final fettling of the…

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Fire In The Hole!

That’s right, your eyes don’t deceive you! A project which has been over 20 years in the making, with many challenges, and with so many hours of work behind the scenes by our dedicated staff and volunteers to keep it moving forward, has reached another huge milestone. At 7.30 am on Thursday 26th September, a…

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NG/G16 – A Quick Update

As the design and manufacture stage of the project is virtually complete, and the workshop staff complete the finishing touches, here’s what we’ve been up to since last time: The original steel dome cover has been straightened, filled, sanded, filled & sanded again, and finally primed and painted. It now awaits fitting. The covers for…

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Continental Puffing Billy?

No, sadly I’m not talking about a visiting engine from a quaint narrow gauge line in Europe! 8A recently came into the workshops for attention, including leaking lens rings on the main steam pipes. Lens rings are essentially doughnut-shaped metal gaskets, forming a seal between concave recesses machined into two adjoining pipe flanges, whilst allowing…

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861 – Back on Track

Following a noticeable drop-off in performance during last years final FETs (Footplate Experience Trains), 861 was transferred to the locomotive workshops at Belgrave to try and ascertain what was causing this decline. One of the main issues apparent from a detailed inspection was the poor state of the exhaust system (above), which hadn’t been designed…

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99.9% Garratt

The day creeps ever closer when we can strike a match and light the pile of oily rags for the first time. That’s not to say everything has gone exactly to plan; we have certainly had our fair share of snakes as well as ladders in getting to this stage! With the air brake system…

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Race to the Finish Line

It has been some time since we have had time to update you, and there has been a lot of action on our South African Garratt since last time, so without further ado, here’s the latest progress: Apart from a small amount of plumbing, the Westinghouse air brake system has been completed, tested, and is…

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