SEPTEMBER 2022 UPDATE

Things have been moving forward with the project after last update.

Fire Grates - Our 12 brand new fire grates have arrived from Callington Cast Iron. They have been drilled and are ready for fitting.

Oil Burner holes - Our pressure vessel welder David has begun welding the plates into these holes. See photos.

Flue Safe Ending - This has now been fully funded thanks to a very generous large donation. These flues have been bundled and will be sent to Tru Shape Engineering early next week. 

Smokebox - All cracks in the transfer ring have been welded up. We have decided to replace the lower section of the ring with new material instead of pad welding, this new piece is currently being rolled. 

Gamma Ray Testing - There have been some exciting developments in this area, we will have more info for you shortly.

Have currently only have one fundable item on the list, which is Boiler Tubing. Keep the generous donations coming, we will be releasing more items very soon. 

AUGUST 2022 UPDATE

Due to an unexpectedly busy 6 months working on restoring 844 and Rx 207, our team have not had too many opportunities to attack 520. With the afore mentioned projects nearing completion we are able to ramp up on 520 again. Here are the updates since February. 

Fire Grates - Have been fully funded, SteamRanger has taken the opportunity to have a new rear grate pattern made, giving us the full compliment of fire grate patterns. 12 grates will be cast in the next two weeks. 
Thankyou to our donors who helped tick off this item. 

Gamma Ray testing - Has also been fully funded thanks to some generous donations. We are currently in discussion with two businesses to get the best deal possible. 
Flue Swaging - We have visited SteamRail Victoria in Melbourne and found that their swaging machine is capable of swaging our flues. We are able to use this machine at no cost, we just need to find time to take 12 flues to Melbourne to complete the process. 
Thanks to Steamrail for their assistance.

Smokebox - We have found some wastage in the transition ring between 520’s boiler and the smokebox. We have removed gusseting and cleaned the surface ready for some pad welding. Once this is complete we will be ready to fit the smokebox. 

We still have two items left to fund in the current round:
Tubes - We are down to 100 Tubes left to fund, thanks to those who have already donated. Keep up the support! 

Flue Safe ending - Donations have started coming in for the safe ending of flues, we have $3,700 left to fund. 

We will be releasing more items soon. 

As always thankyou to all for the ongoing support!

RAILFEST DONOR MORNING 

If you have donated towards this project you would of received and invitation via  email. Donors have been invited to an exclusive donor morning at the SteamRanger Mount Barker Depot, South Australia for a tour of the progress on locomotive 520. 

This donor morning will be held on the same day as SteamRanger: RailFest (Open Day/Festival) on Sunday the 22nd of May 2022, being donors you get to have a look inside the depot before the general public and get a special close up look at 520s progress. You get to see the components paid for by your donations and future components that still need funding.

Meet at the gates 9:00AM 2 Dutton Road, Mount Barker. The tour should be finished by 10:00AM, coffee and cake will be supplied. 

Any questions please feel free to contact us via the contact page. We appreciate all your support with this project.

FEBRUARY UPDATE 

 After a busy January we have kicked off restoration work on 520 for 2022.

Thanks to those who continue to donate, we are chipping away at a number of goals.

Activity so far in Feb 22 Includes:

  • Removal of regulator valve and 'J' pipe, a very intricate process as the mounting points for the regulator body are wider than the dome opening. The regulator will now be cleaned and inspected.

  • Removal of main steam pipe, this has been done for inspection. The pipe has been sent away for grit blasting.

  • Delivery of conduit, fittings, cable and dies for tender electrical system. These can now be fitted by our volunteers.

  • Delivery of new blast nozzle from foundry. This can now be machined.

  • Testing of superheater elements for 520. These are a 2nd hand set for 520. There are seven of the thirty elements to be worked on.

  • Setting off measurement equipment for new smokebox on smokebox tubeplate. Laser alignment and measurement tools will help to align the new smokebox.

  • Cutting out of 64 rivets and removal of original smokebox. This was done over three days. The rivet heads having to be cut off with the oxy torch, ground flat, drilled out to 3/8", two sides blown out with the oxy torch and finally knocked out. The smokebox then had to be slit in three locations before removal.

Remember there is a limited edition 520 number plate key ring for any donation over $50.

The donatable items are as follows:

  1. Gamma Ray testing - we are nearly half funded here and only have $1,900 to go.

  2. Boiler Tubes - We have 112 tubes left to fund at $150 each.

  3. Fire Grates - We are well over halfway to casting 12 new grates with $1,500 to go.

  4. Flue Safe ending - We have $3,960 left to fund.

  5. Smokebox fitting - We have $5,000 left to fund

Keep up the generous donations! 

2021 WRAP & 2022 PLANS

As we move into 2022, it is a good time to reflect back on what we have achieved in 2021, as well as what we are planning to achieve in 2022.

After receiving 520’s tender back in 2020, the second phase of the restoration kicked off in Feb 2021. Tasks completed since then include, but are not limited to:
- Removal of all boiler clothing and valances
- Removal of all boiler insulation
- Removal of smokebox doors
- Removal of funnel, blast nozzle and blast nozzle
- Removal of all smokebox baffles
- Removal of all boiler mountings
- Removal of major appliances
- Removal of all cab fittings
- Removal of 30 flues and 120 tubes
- Removal of oil burner tubing in firebox backplate
- Disconnection of smokebox to steam chest
- Disconnection of boiler at saddles and firebox mounts
- Disconnection of ash pan and cab
- Lifting of boiler from chassis
- Thickness testing of smokebox
- Removal of smokebox crinolines
- Removal of superheater header
- Servicing of many components both major and minor

In late August 2021 we launched  ‘FireUp520.org’ Giving regular updates on the restoration, as well as offering the public an opportunity to accelerate the progress of the work through donations. To date we have received over $30,000 worth of donations, some in monetary form, some in the form of work donated towards 520. We thank every donor for their generosity.
Some of the tasks funded from donations so far include:
- Profile cutting of plates to cover oil burner holes in backplate
- Adjustment to pattern and casting of Blast nozzle
- Complete rebuild of the tender electrical system
- Manufacture of rivets for smokebox
- Grit blasting of 30 original flues
- Purchase of material and rolling of new smokebox
- Hire of cranes for lifting off boiler and placing on stands 

Our plans for 2022 focus on 520’s boiler restoration work. With the aim of having all boiler work complete by the end of 2022. Tasks to be performed this year include, but are not limited to: 
- Removal of original smokebox
- Fitting and riveting of new smokebox
- Welding of oil burner plates- Extensive boiler thickness and Gamma Ray testing
- Crack testing of tubeplates and measurement of tube holes
- Safe ending of flues
- Swaging of flues
- Ordering, annealing and swaging of tubes
- Removal and inspection of internal steam pipe and throttle valve
- Inspection of Firebox inner corners
- Retubing and flueing
- Replacement of appliance feed piping
- Hydro testing- Grit blasting and painting 

Of course this work will only be possible with the generous support of our donors and volunteers. We look forward making some strong progress in 2022, we encourage everyone to be a part of the restoration in whatever form possible. 

520 Restoration team

FUNDRAISING ROUND 2

 After a fantastic response to our round 1 donation drive, we have received over $30,000 in donations, both material and monetary.

Therefore it is time to release round 2 of our fundraising drive, this round applies mainly to the boiler, which will be our focus moving into 2022.

We will be posting a 2021 wrap and an outline of our 2022 plans shortly.

Remember there is a limited edition 520 nameplate key ring for any donation over $50.
The donatable items are as follows:

1) Boiler Tubes

Reason for action: Original tubes are at the end of service life
Drawings/Specs: 2 1/4" x 6M long seamless boiler tubing.
Material: High quality pressure vessel grade steel manufactured in Germany
Skills required: -
Purchase cost: $150 per tube x 120 = $18,000

2) Flue Safe ending

Reason for action: Grit blasted second hand flues and existing swaged flues need re ending
Drawings/specs: Lengths extended to 6M by welding on one piece to pressure vessel spec.
Material: Existing seamless flue tubing
Skills required: Pressure Vessel welding and radiographing
Fabrication/testing cost: $220 per flue X18 = $3,960

3) Tender electrical system complete refit

Reason for action: Original electrical system corroded beyond use.
Drawings/Specs: 520 class tender electrical system drawings
Material: New rigid steel conduit, classic style flexible steel conduit, LED light conversions.
Skills required: Electrical fittings skills
Consumables cost: $800

4) Smokebox fitting cost

Reason for action: Fitting of new smokebox to boiler barrell
Drawings/Specs: 520 smokebox arrangement drawing
Material: Previously manufactured smokebox and forged rivets
Skills required: Boiler making, fitting, riveting.
Contractor cost: $5,000

Keep up the generous donations, wishing all our supporters a safe and relaxing festive break, from the 520 Restoration team!

REWARDS!

Starting from today, every donation over $50 will receive a free replica 520 number plate keyring.
These are made of brass and come in four colour combinations (Black & Brass, Black & Silver, Green & Brass & Aqua & Brass) and there is only a limited number of these available!
Once you have donated please send us a message through our CONTACT page with your postage details and we will send your reward out to you! 
Dimensions: 70mm x 30mm x 2.5mm. 
Thanks to Christopher Mackintosh for donating his CAD file to make these.

RIVETS 

This week we received 85 fresh 20mm by 3 1/2” rivets for 520’s smokebox. The purchase of these rivets was only made possible through generous donations. Thanks to EJ Hadaway 

  for the manufacture. 


Stay tuned for our Round 2 donation drive and special merchandise release in the coming days. Keep the donations coming!

MAJOR MILESTONE

4/11/2021 was a significant day in the restoration of steam locomotive 520. 

For the first time since the mid 1950's 520's boiler was lifted from its chassis. It was then moved inside and placed on stands, ready for work to begin on the smokebox and various other parts of the boiler. 

A big thanks to our generous donors, who helped fund the cost of the craneage. 
Thanks also to our volunteers who helped on the day, as well as Load 28 for the crane work. 

Keep the donations coming, contributions of any amount are vital to the continuity of this project. Stay tuned for the release of more donatable items soon. 

OCTOBER 2021 UPDATE

520 Smokebox - A brand new smokebox has been rolled from 10mm steel plate, with a liner plate of 16mm steel for the floor. This smokebox is just under 3m long and 2m in diameter. It will be delivered to Mt Barker in the next few days. 

Thanks to Stuart Bowes for his work to make this part of the project a reality, we are very impressed with the outcome so far. Thanks to Broons Group, Ferrocut and MG Engineering for the work.

Servicing of components has continued, one example of this is 520’s main steam manifold, a complex casting with six valves and seats. It has been crack tested, all valve glands have been re packed, all threads, sealing rings and faces have been inspected. 

Work has also begun to fit new electrical conduit and wiring to the tender. 

We are now less than two weeks away from lifting off 520’s boiler, as preparations have now been finalised for this lift as well as others on the day.  

We will be releasing two more facets of the project to donors shortly, tender electrical fitout, as well as smokebox install and riveting. 

Keep the donations coming, exciting news to come over the next fortnight.

World record holder Jordan "BIGGIE" Steffens!

A "BIG" achievement! 

Photograph by Dean Kyritsis

september 2021 Update

Thank you to all our generous donors who’ve contributed over the past few weeks, because of you we have been able to move forward with some of our major tasks, each task complete is a step closer to having 520 operational again.

All completely funded tasks have been followed up.
Tasks completed since last update include:

- Four oil burner holes have been fully weld prepped
- Four oil burner plates have been profile cut, slash ground and delivered to us (Funded by donations)
- Blast nozzle pattern has been cross checked for correct sizings and sent away for alteration and subsequent casting of blast nozzle (Funded by donations)
- Thirty boiler flues have been sent away for grit blasting, they will be inspected for condition upon return (Funded by donations)
- Preliminary discussions around quotes for round two of our fundraising drive are ongoing.
- Boiler lift has been planned and quoted, keep an eye out for this significant step in the near future.

We still have a few items left to fund from Round 1 of our fundraising drive, any donations are valued, no matter how small.

AUGUST 2021 Update

Work completed since June update includes: 

 

- Disconnecting boiler barrel from frame saddles 

- Total stripping of the backhead boiler fittings complete 

- Total removal of cab fittings complete 

- Hole cut in cab floor for access to rear firebox saddle 

- Removal of all fire grates and damper doors 

- Disconnection of front and rear firebox saddles 

- Disconnection of the cab from the boiler and rear running boards 

- Disconnection of ashpan from boiler 

- Removal of old oil burner tubing and dressing up of the holes in readiness for plate replacement 

- Removal of Ashpan door cylinder 

 

The boiler is now ready to be lifted from the frames, this will be the first time the boiler has been removed in preservation. 

 

Keep the donations coming for even faster progress. 

June 2021 Update

- Removal of steam pipes between header and steam chests.
- Removal of blast nozzle and blast pipe.
- Total removal of all injector pipes, air piping and electrical conduit under running boards.
- Removal of 30 boiler flues and over 100 boiler tubes.
- Drilling and oxy cutting out all bolts retaining smokebox to steam chests.
- Removal of some running board sections
- Sending of clothing and valance sections for blasting and painting. 
- Servicing of air compressor lubricator, steam turbine generator, air compressor governor, release cocks, firehole doors, power reversing gear and many more items. 

march 2021 update

Work on 520 has centred around removing boiler fittings and smokebox details. All backhead fittings have been removed, along with steam manifolds, safety valves, sand box, whistle box, and whistle assembly, clack valve manifold, turbo exhaust, sanders and lots of smaller pieces. 

The smokebox doors, funnel, and blast nozzle have been removed, all smokebox baffles have been taken out pieces by piece. 

Work will now begin thickness testing the entire boiler including smokebox, to determine the scope of work required, along with removing the last of the boiler fittings. 

JUNE 2020 UPDATE

Hi All,
Firstly, a big thank you to all of our generous donors!

Secondly, it's been a long time coming, but 520's brand new tender has arrived back at Mt Barker Depot, and is back on it's refurbished bogies.

Mechanical Services Manager, Craig Dunstan, had the following to say:

"A fantastic day today as we welcome 520’s tender back home to Mt Barker. Nestling back inside for the first time in over 20 years and back on its bogies. The rear draft gear was installed upon arrival allowing a first shunt movement into the depot workshop. Soon to take its place back behind the engine.

Thanks to Huntington Engineering at Mt Compass for the build, Avocet Consulting for bringing the design ideas to CAD, Traeger’s of Goolwa for the classic “MACK” transport (love the sound of air start) and Load 28 for the crane work.

We are all very fortunate enough to have had Dean Harvey donate the funds and offer to fund the outsourcing of the new build. It’s just a shame he didn’t get the opportunity to see his donation towards his beloved 520 reach its completion. He was thankful to have been part of the project. In Dean’s honour we will all enjoy travelling behind the loco for decades to come with his legacy to remain."

Lots of work to go, to get the loco back up and running, but this is a major step forward.

Keep those donations flowing!

520 Restoration Team