Reconstruction of Rail Motor CPH11

When GMR took delivery of the rail motor, it was in very poor condition due to exposure to the weather over an extended period. The exterior panelling was severely rotted and the coach frame was severely compromised.

Work began on stripping the body almost immediately and it was obvious that the original timber frame would need to be replaced. It was decided that instead of replicating the timber frame, galvanised steel rolled hollow section would be used. In place of 2" square Queensland yellow wood, 50 x 50 x 2.5 mm galvanised steel rolled hollow section was used following the original framing dimensions.

The rail motor in its final form was cased with masonite panels but it was decided to reconstruct the exterior using the original tongue and grooved timber boards above and below the window line.  

Work ceased in early 2008 as the Rail Safety Regulator required GMR to re-apply for accreditation. It was not until 2014 that accreditation as a Rolling Stock Operator allowed GMR to re-commence work.

While work on the rail motor could not be resumed, work began in 2013 off-site restoring the seat components (frames, arm rests and foot rests) and also restoring and re-upholstering the seat cushions and backs. Old paint was removed from the timber work which was then sanded and re-painted and stored until the seats could be refitted. 

With the work on the seats completed, work moved on in mid 2014 to reconstructing the ends of the roof that suffered significant deterioration. This involved inserting newly constructed roof cross support beams and shaping 3 mm ply into shapes that would be used to form the curved ends of the roof. This proved to be quite complex and was not completed until May 2015.

Having completed the structural and cladding of the roof, the next phase was the waterproofing. First the severely deteriorated malthoid was removed and the roof thoroughly prepared for the application of the roof sealant. Before sealing the roof the gutter had to be fabricated and applied as the original gutter had completely disintegrated. This was a labour intensive operation requiring the routing of the required profile including the fabrication of the four corners and the fabrication of the downpipes for the sides and ends.

Once the gutter had been installed roof and gutter sealing could be completed. Instead of using the previous method used to seal CPH roofs, a quote was obtained from Duram Industries for a modern application which would provide a suitable seal with a much less labour intensive process. This process involved the application of a primer followed by 2 coats of  the waterproofing membrane and a final top coat. Duram very generously offered GMR a significant discount on the cost of these products. Once sealing was completed, the guttering was painted with all being completed in March 2016.

Work recommenced on applying the exterior cladding to the remaining side and end in September 2015 and refurbishing the cowcatchers and buffers. At the same time, the crown lights, which had been fabricated before 2008, were also fitted as were some of the side doors. In keeping with its 1927 colour scheme, the sides and ends below the window line would be painted in Venetian Red, with Khaki along the window line and piping in Buff.  The headlight brackets and head lights were refurbished and painted and fitted. to.the coach.

Some of the fixed windows (lights) were also fitted and their exteriors painted at this time and on the number 1 end, the awning over the driver's window was located, painted and fitted.

The side windows (lift lights) were also fitted with their lifting guides and installed at this time.

The original internal lining of CPH rail motors was colonial pine boards and GMR has decided to line CPH11 in the same material. Hoop pine tongue and grooved boards were ordered in early 2017 and installation began in May.and continues to the present time. The seat supports along the sides of the two cabins have also been fitted and architraves are being installed around the windows.

The ceiling was originally lined with narrow tongue and grooved boards and most of the ceiling is in good condition.  The majority of damage is at each end of the rail motor. While waiting for new boards, the ceiling has been completely sanded back in preparation for the completion of the timberwork and painting.

In 2016, GMR was successful in receiving a grant from Transport Heritage NSW for specific activities associated with the reconstruction of CPH11. One of these was for the professional finishing of the seat covers applied by GMR.  Paul Kennedy from Coffs Harbour was contracted to provide his upholstery skills and the job was completed in February 2017. The supply of the hoop pine panelling was another activity and this has also been completed. The final activity is the supply and fitting of a vinyl floor covering for the two passenger compartment floors which is due for completion by early November.

Work has now begun on the mechanical section of the rail motor underneath the sub frame. The compressor which was previously overhauled has been installed behind the engine and the radiator, cowling and drive shaft fitted.

Meanwhile work continues on the interior and by June, the drivers cab at the No 1 end was well advanced, the ceiling completed and undercoating of the ceiling begun.

We're now into July 2018 and we're trying to complete as much of the internal of the first class compartment. All the walls are installed, the ceiling has been completed and undercoated and the drivers cab is finished for the Glenreagh Timber Festival. The windows are all installed, including the crown lights and latches have been fitted.

While the original tracks for the guard's compartment could not be located, similar tracks were identified in our U boats and will be modified to suit the different lengths.  The  frame work to support the instrument panel and transmission control has been fabricated and fitted to one of the drivers cabs as shown in the photo below.

Work resumed in March 2019 in a number of areas.  Painting of the ceiling and application of clear lacquer to the walls was completed and work has now moved to the completion of the cabs at both ends with the transmission control and the brake stand and piping  fitted to the No 1 end. 

Investigation of the air brake piping began with a search to find all the missing components.  The important elements including the Triple Valve and the Slide Valve Feed Valve with most of the piping and the examination of the piping under CPH18 allowed us to trial assemble all the components. 

Once we are satisfied with the assembly, the piping and components will be removed and serviced before re-installation.  The Triple Valve will likely be sent away for a professional overhaul.

Electrical work has begun with the wiring of the instrument panels being inspected and replaced where necessary.  Some of the components had been previously tested found to be in working order.

Work has also begun on the overhead radiators at the No 21 end.  The support brackets have been fitted on one side and one of the radiators has been trial assembled.  Some bolts had been broken off inside the headers and had to be drilled out while gaskets will be made and fitted before the complete assembly is lifted onto the roof and bolted in place.

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