Thomas the Tank Engine Blog

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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.

Read More

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!

Read More

A New Chimney For ‘Real Puffing Billy’!

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

Read More

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.…

Read More

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…

Read More