We have made some solid progress since last update:
Smokebox - 520’s smokebox has been realigned and stitch welded in position. All rivet holes have now been drilled, and will be reamed shortly, then we can start riveting the smokebox in place.

Oil Burner Holes - The plates have now been drilled, reamed, tapped and stayed, they only require seal welding before this task is complete.

Thickness Testing - This testing is mostly complete, with only a few areas needing further scrutiny.
Firebox Inner Corners - As a result of closer inspection, three firebox inner corners will be replaced. Work has started on removing the rivets on these corners.

Boiler Tubes - 180 boiler tubes have now been ordered, which not only covers 520’s retube, but also 621’s next retube. This means we shouldn’t need to purchase this size of tube until the 2040’s. Thanks to Stuart Bowes for his assistance in placing this order.

Superheater Tubing - 550 linear metres of superheater tubing have been ordered, paid for be a generous donation. Thanks to Stuart Bowes for finding us a supplier with competitive pricing.

Boiler Barrel - The inside of the boiler barrel is being extensively needle gunned to remove scale.

Blast Pipe - Tru Shape engineering are manufacturing the blast pipe.

Thanks to everyone for their generous donations. We currently have two items requiring funding:

Flue swaging - The cost of transporting 12 flues and personnel to Steamrail in Melbourne for flue swaging. We have $1650 left to fund.

Main Internal Steam Pipe Machining - The two pieces of pipe we have purchased now need to be machined before final welding and fitout. 
The cost of this item is $2,400

We will be looking to add a few more fundraising items in the next couple of weeks, keep the donations coming! Stay tuned! 


A major milestone has been achieved with the project as 520’s smokebox was fitted and secured in early May. The smokebox liner has been placed inside, and the smokebox only needs a minor realignment before drilling and riveting can begin.

The steam chests have received an initial blast from Glen at Adelaide Hills Mobile Hydroblast for inspection purposes. So far the results of inspection have been positive, and at this stage it looks at though we won’t need to removed the steam chests from the chassis. More to come on this.

Main Internal Steam Pipe Material - The material has arrived, we will now obtain quotes to machine and weld the ends on the pipe.

Blast Pipe - Tru Shape engineering have begun manufacture of the blast pipe.

Thanks to everyone for their generous donations. We have received a substantial donation to fully fund the two current items. A massive thankyou to our donor.

Grit Blasting of Steam Chests - This will be organised for a suitable window.

Superheater Element Tubing - We are ready to place an order for new Superheater element tubing.

We will be looking to add a few more fundraising items in the next couple of weeks, keep the donations coming! Stay tuned! 

Also thankyou to those who attended our donor morning on Sunday 28th of May.
We really enjoyed meeting our donors and discussing the project, as well as some options to further the project in the near future. 



Main Internal Steam Pipe material - The material has been ordered and should be delivered within days

Tender swash plate inserts - We have received a generous donation of these insert pieces, they have weld preps already cut to save us time.

Blast pipe - A generous donation has fully funded the last $2,750 of this item. We will now place the order for a new blast pipe with Tru Shape Engineering.

Pattern for Valve Rings - These have been fully funded, and manufacture by Dolman Pattern Makers, along with two other crucial patterns.


Thanks to everyone for their generous donations. We have two new items in need of donations. They are:

Grit Blasting of steam chests - So that we can get a better picture of the condition of the steam chests, they will be grit blasted by Adelaide Hills Mobile Hydroblast. This will allow us to eliminate any rust, thickness test the steam chests and coat the exterior with a temperature resistant paint. There is $1,500 to fund on this item.

Superheater Element Tubing - purchase of 300 linear metres of 1 1/2 OD seamless tubing for the manufacture of superheater elements. 
There is $12,850 to fund on this item. 

We have some exciting surprises to reveal at our depot open day as part of SteamRanger’s RailFest on Sunday May 28th. Stay tuned! 


We have made some solid progress on the restoration in the last few weeks.

Oil Burner Holes - Our pressure vessel welder David has completed welding of the plates covering the old oil burner holes, these can now be drilled and stayed.

Smokebox Transfer Ring - David has also been busy welding in the replacement section of this ring, it is now complete. This means we can start preparing to fit the smokebox.

Grit Blasting and Painting of boiler clothing - Now that this item has been fully funded we have paid for and received our boiler clothing back.

Main Internal Steam Pipe material - A generous donation has totally funded this piece in one hit, we are in the process of ordering the material.

Tender Swash Plate Inserts - an order has been placed for these pieces, we are hoping to have them donated soon.

Thanks to everyone for their generous donations. There are currently two items in need of further donations. They are:

Blast Pipe - 520’s original Blast pipe was corroded and cracked beyond repair. Once funded, we will have a new blast pipe fabricated by Tru Shape Engineering.
There is $4,450 left to fund on this item.

Pattern for Valve Rings - With spun cast iron hollow billet no linger available we are in need of a pattern to cast material for valve rings.
There is $360 left to fund on this item. 



Thanks to some substantial donations over the last couple of months, we are excited to announce that $18,000 has been raised to purchase 120 boiler tubes for 520. We will now work out how best to structure our order, factoring in future retubes + retubes of 621. Keep an eye out for future updates. Thanks to everyone who donated, we are confident this is our largest fundraising amount ticked out.

We have started to get the ball rolling on the work for 2023. The smokebox tranfer ring section has been tack welded in place, ready for out pressure vessal welder to finish off. 

We have also begun cleaning up the steam chests for inspection. The outcome of these inspections will have a big impact of the scope of the project. More to come here.

We have one fundraising item live at the moment - Grit blasting and undercoating of the boiler clothing, we have under $2000 left to fund.

Thanks to those who’ve donated so far, keep the generosity going. 



The smokebox transfer ring has been rolled by MG Engineering, we can now move forward with the smokebox replacement.

Component Funded! Boiler Paint

The paint is Inorganic Zinc Silicate High Temperature and High Abrasion Resistant paint for the boiler. This has now been successfully funded.


Thanks to a generous donation for 25 tubes, we now only have 25 boiler tubes left to fund out of the 120. It has been a big effort so far by our donors. We are almost there keep it up! 



Gamma Ray testing indicates no cracking.

Gamma Ray testing has been performed by QMS NDT & NACE. Brad and Dan from QMS spent just over half a day testing the double lap seams on 520’s boiler barrel. All results came back showing nil cracking, so we are clear to proceed with the boiler work. 
A huge thankyou to QMS for their support of our project. Due to their professionalism and generosity, we are able to move 520’s restoration forward in other areas. 

Flue Safe Ending - 18 of 520’s flues have been safe ended by Tru Shape Engineering and returned to us. This leaves only 12 flues to transport to SteamRail in Melbourne for swaging. 

Oil Burner Holes - Our pressure vessal welder David has completed all root runs on the plates. With all root runs passing Magnetic Particle crack testing, David now has one plate fully welded. 

Smokebox - We should receive delivery a new section for 520’s smokebox transfer ring shortly.

Due to the savings made on Gamma Ray testing, we are able to put an extra $3,000 towards boiler tubes, this will pay for 20 tubes in one hit. Keep the generous donations coming. 


We have added the grit blasting and Inorganic Zinc Silicate coating of 520’s clothing and valances to the fundraising list. This process will allow us to preserve 520’s clothing for a longer time period due to the quality of the paint, as well as providing the best possible surface for painting top coats The price to have this blasting and painting completed is $2,850


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. 


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!


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.


 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  ‘’ 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


 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!


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.


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!


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. 


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. 


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