Trike & Quad Modifications

GMR has a number of trikes and quads of various design and date of manufacture and a number have been modified over the years. In recent times a number of modifications have been completed or are under modification 

In our collection is a double pull trolley that has not been touched for many years but will be refurbished to become an exhibit in our museum section. Trikes were inherently unstable and prone to derailment of the back wheel.

By 1904, the railways was looking to obtain some motorised trikes and in 1909 proposed a standard  motor tricycle should be developed. The design included running boards and a foot brake operating on the front wheel, they were Initially powered by a J A Prestwich & Company (JAP) or Minerva petrol engine. These machines were started by pushing them along the track and quickly jumping on board once the engine started, otherwise they could get away. For obvious reasons, these motorised trikes were sometimes nicknamed :Chase-Me-Charlies". In 1926, these engines were replaced by 1.5 HP Villiers engine. Our trike is powered by one of these engines and in June 2016, Bob and Terry began restoring it to an operational status. The engine was re-started in July and at the same time the frame was refurbished, including a new paint job.  As these trikes were so unstable, a conversion kit was provided to transform them into quads. This kit was found nearby in the shed and the conversion to a quad was completed in August. 

GMR has a number of quads at Glenreagh West and also one at Lowanna.:

  • Volkswagen Track Car D21                Glenreagh West

  • Supervisors Inspection Car SIC44     Glenreagh West

  • Wickham Open Gang Trolley 660      Lowanna

  • Fairmont Medium Track Car 451        Lowanna

  • Fairmont M19 ST2 Series H               Glenreagh West

The Fairmont at Lowanna was restored by Syd Ramsay but has not yet been tested. The Wickham is operational and in use at Lowanna.

The Volkswagen and the Wickham powered SIC were certified mechanically sound after some cosmetic repairs to make them even safer. The Volkswagen has been used with our spray unit for weed control down to the mill. 

 

In the last 12 months work has been done on the cars at Glenreagh West as we are planning to operate limited passenger trips down to the mill crossing. The XXXX has been fitted with a new engine and work is continuing provide better control for them at slower speeds.

 

Other trikes and quads are stored in the trike shed at Glenreagh West but have not been reviewed for some time as they are not needed for operations.

Transitioning our trikes from the shed to the track has always been a back breaking activity using the original lifting handles so we have been investigating easier ways to perform the operation. A portable turntable has been designed and manufactured and is undergoing trials at the moment.

GMR has a number of Fairmont track machines in various states of repair. One at Glenreagh West was restored some time ago but the engine has never been started. Eric with Ray and John took up the challenge and spent a long time trying to understand why the engine would run but only for about 20 seconds. Eric created the breakthrough when he decided to measure the springs in the carburetor and realised that one was too strong for the job. As soon as they were swapped over the engine ran quite well and it was taken for a successful trial down to the mill and back. Eric has also fixed some other minor issues.

Although not a track machine, GMR has been offered the use of a Howard shunting tractor which would be very useful for shunting our rolling stock around the compound at Glenreagh West, particularly for the timber Festival in July.  The engine initially ran very poorly and it was thought that the magneto and timing may be the issue. Ray serviced the magneto and after re-installation and correcting the timing the engine now runs well. Other issues remain to be addressed but the machine was ready for its first run in March and is now available for work around the depot.

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