Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A journey of discovery.

Railcar set 629/729 was purchased by Goodwin Alco Pty Ltd from RailCorp on November 14, 2008, nearly 45 years after it ran its first trial trip to Katoomba & return on 26/11/63.
During its years of service throughout NSW 629/729 has undergone several changes of configuration and colours. It is Goodwin Alco's intention to authenticly restore 629/729 to an appearance reflecting its early days of service.
When received from RailCorp both cars were painted in the Cityrail "Prong" livery which included safety yellow ends and window bars to limit limb movement outside the car windows.

Inside, the cars have also been heavily "Cityrailed" with a light grey colour throughout on the walls and the vinyl seats painted blue.

Fortunately the batteries fitted to 629 are in good order and have already supported the starting of both traction engines.
To minimise movement and potential damage, some timber packing has now been added to stabilise the batteries within the battery boxs.

Electricly the cars seem to be in good order too however one of the newer type jumper receptacles requires repairs having apparently been damaged in a shunting accident.

To make restoration works more comfortable, the metal brackets which had been screwed to the window frames to restrict movement have been removed. Air flow within the cars is now considerabley improved.

It was decided early on that the blue seats "must go"! Restoration works are beginning with the trailer car so the removal of the seats has been completed.

Without the seats fitted, the car interior suddenly becomes considerably more spacious however their absense also highlights a few issues that lurk below.

In readiness for ceiling cleaning and painting the remaining original fittings are being removed or masked ready for spraying.

On the edge of the saloon luggage racks the rubber trip has been damaged and in some places disappeared. The strip has all now been removed and we're on the lookout for a supplier of the original material.

Most internal fittings are in place although a few of the saloon cooling fans will need to be replaced or rebuilt.

Due to the ingress of water some areas of the floor have been found to be in poor condition.
To keep the cars in service and the seats securely fastened, ply wood patches have been used in some areas to hold the seats in place.

The worst areas for rot are along under the windows and near vestibule doors.

The seats bolt into base plates which are secured to the floor. Unfortunately once the water gets in the metal starts to rust!

The floor outside the toilet area has rotted particularly badly - we suspect from a leaking pipe.

Near the doors the vestibule walls are subject to regular exposure to rain water, the results of which can be seen.

The upper and lower panels of the interior saloons were bordered by a aluminium cover strip.

With this strip off some earlier colours can be identified and samples prepared.