Z19 Class Steam Locomotive 1919 Return to Service

The 1919 Locomotive was successfully restored around 2006 and was operated by GMR until early 2008 when GMR's accreditation expired and it was required by the NSW Rail Safety Regulator (ITSR) to reapply for accreditation under the NSW Rail Safety Act (2006) and the corresponding Regulations.  Until such time as GMR received accreditation as a Rolling Stock Operator it was not allowed to touch the locomotive.  Fortunately it was stored under cover and was protected from the elements.  The relevant conditional accreditation was finally received in July 2014 when were were allowed to resume examination and repairs to the locomotive.  We are still not allowed to move the locomotive under its own power.


Of major concern was the condition of the boiler which was last formally inspected in January 2008.  At that time, the condition of some of the rivets around the foundation ring was a concern and remedial action was recommended. No action was taken over coming years as we did not have the necessary accreditation. It was not until any work re-commenced on the locomotive. In 2015, our rolling stock was re-arranged in the Wynne Cranston shed and the locomotive and tender were separated.

From March 2016 onward, the washout plugs were removed, cleaned and individually numbered ready for reinsertion.The safety valves and turbo generator were also moved at this time. The fusible plugs were also reviewed and problems were encountered with the removal of one of them. In December the second plug was removed and two reconditioned plugs refitted. Two washout lances were located and will be ready for when we are ready for a boiler clean out. In November 2015, the grate bars were removed from the firebox to allow for a closer inspection of the foundation ring. In March of 2016, Greg Shipman, the boiler inspector from 2008, made an informal visit to Glenreagh West and made a visual inspection of the boiler. He reviewed the patch that had previously been applied to the top of the firebox enclosure and found no obvious erosion or deterioration.  He also reviewed the foundation ring in some detail and recommended the build up of one of the rivet heads which was was completed shortly afterwards.

In April 2016, a detailed inspection of the regulator shaft was made and it was decided that it needed to be repaired and would therefore need to be removed from the boiler. Considerable time was spent removing the stuffing box from the boiler front and when it was removed it was found that two of the six studs locating it were broken and it was decided to replace all six. Attempts to remove the studs resulted in the remains of all six studs embedded in the boiler face. After consultation with the boiler inspector a process to remove the studs was agreed and successful. New studs were manufactured to the required material grade and reinstalled in the boiler.  The regulator shaft, stuffing box, packing and gland were subsequently reinstalled in late December 2016.

In early 2017, a number of problems were highlighted including the condition of the side rod bearings, wadding in the axle boxes and the appearance of movement in the cross head slide bars and while a preliminary hydrostatic test was contemplated, it would still be necessary to remove the regulator shaft for reconditioning. It was decided to temporarily suspend work on the 1919 Locomotive to shift to higher priority activities. As of November 2017, no further work has been carried out.

On a lighter note, all the work on the 1919 has been carried our under the watchful eye of our resident possum who did not seem interested in leaving.