15th December 2015
On Tuesday 15th December, the whole of the HVR Running Lines were given their 8 monthly inspection by the ex WAGR 1960's Matisa Recorder Car, thanks to Brookfield Rail and MRX Technologies. This inspection, which takes roundly 6 hours, is coordinated with every second 4 monthly inspection run over the Brookfield Rail South West Mainline by MRX.
The information gathered allows recourses to be directed to areas of need on a priority basis as well as helping to bring the railway to higher standards more uniformly along its entirety. Information on Location, Twist, Gauge, Cant, Top and Line is recorded on a continuous paper roll which is then folded into a book form for reference. During the inspection, measurements outside of acceptable ranges are manually marked up and separately recorded for attention.
Below, following arrival at Etmilyn, the Matisa is being prepared for track-travel by removal of the geometry outriggers and raising of the gauge measuring trolley.
8th December 2015
Work has started on progressing the CP Steam Tram to operating order along with a number of modifications to make it suitable for accredited use. In the photo below, the boiler is receiving a very thorough wash-out in readiness for its pressure vessel certification inspection.
21st November 2015
A small but significant milestone in W945;s return to service was achieved on Saturday 21st November when the boiler was successfully hydrostatically leak tested following completion of fitting approximately 20 new 2" tubes and 22 of the 5" super-heater flues. A few showed slight leakage, but these were quickly and easily rolled just a little more with the tube expanders and the leakage stopped. All of the replacements can now be seal welded at the firebox end. Work can also commence on the smoke box end with re-fitting of the super-heater elements etc.
23rd July 2015
HVR will soon become the proud owner of Diesel Mechanical loco MA 1862 following acceptance of our Tender submission earlier this year. The loco comes with a quantity of spare parts which were collected and taken to Pinjarra recently. Unfortunately, the main transmission gearbox suffered a failure roundly 18 months ago whilst working ballast trains so there is quite a lot of work and cost involved yet to bring the loco back into service.
Ex WAGR MA 1862 (Walkers DH type loco) sits quietly at the Public Transport Authority rail car depot at Claisebrook awaiting its transfer to Hotham Valley Railway.
Once operational again, MA 1862 is planned to be utilised on the HVR Etmilyn line.
19th July 2015
During the July school holidays our patronage was exceptionally good requiring several of the Steam Ranger services to be strengthened to 5 cars and double headed with DE loco F40 & W920. July has once again been a record revenue and passenger month for HVR but as always this places a significant load on the administration and operational people & roles.
28th June 2015
On Sunday 28th June work continued on loco W945 with flaring of the 22 super-heater flues out to the size of the smoke box tube plate holes ready for expanding. The left photo is a view of the hydraulic flaring tool at work and the right photo shows the first flue being expanded into the tube-plate by roller expander powered by an air torque drive tool.
25th June 2015
Further progress at the Wallace Road level crossing lights project with concreting of the location box bases and apron.
17th June 2015
Early on the morning of Wednesday 17th June two ex WAGR vehicles were collected from the Cannington Greyhound Racecourse who donated them to HVR on referral from the ARHS (Rail Heritage WA) who thought they may be of interest and use to us, which they certainly are & will be! The ZA is proposed to be used as part of a representative branch line train to be hauled by Driver Experience locos. The Z body is totally termite destroyed however the chassis may be used to build a Saloon Dining Car as an addition to the Etmilyn Restaurant Train.
The vehicles were loaded to trucks by cranes then once at Pinjarra, lifted by jacks, the trailers driven out from beneath, then lowered to the ground.
By 4pm, Z 145 (rearmost) and ZA 191 were resting peacefully in the East Yard at Pinjarra
15th June 2015
The Wallace Rd crossing lights installation is progressing slowly with most of the civil works almost complete.
28th May 2015
Early on Thursday 28th May, below left, the last two passenger carriages being disposed of by HVR over the last few years were loaded for delivery. Later in the day, below right, they arrived at their new home in Middlesex, just south of Manjimup in WA.
These carriages were sold without wheels or any other undercarriage equipment and are to be developed into an environmental living, learning and activity centre at Stellar Violets Inc.
11th May 2015
On Monday 11th May, the last of the sleeper replacements for the 2015 track maintenance project were completed. As part of this work, 3 lengths of very deteriorated rail were replaced in front of the old rail gang sheds at Dwellingup. Here, the last of some 1350 sleepers replaced over six weeks is being screwed to the rails by Gavin, eagerly watched by Dave, Steve & Doug.
9th May 2015
On Saturday 9th May, all of the sleeper replacements between Dwellingup and Isandra were tamped using the two Pemberton Tramway Co tamping machines seen here approaching Isandra.
6th May 2015
On Wednesday 6th May, two days of major civil works were commenced at the Wallace Road level crossing at the Eastern end of Dwellingup station. The crossing is to have automatic flashlight protection installed. Roadway upgrades and widening required the roadway rails to be lengthened to move a rail-joint away from the new road surface area. Given this work was necessary, the opportunity was taken to trench the cabling conduit across the road diagonally beneath the rail alignment which could be done at this time at considerably less cost than conventional thrust under-boring straight under the road.
Lunchtime on the line as sleeper replacements have progressed almost to Etmilyn.
The Team, Left to Right below -
Doug Bowen from Mandurah, Steve Cochrane, Gavin Clark and Dave Conlan from Victoria.
4th May 2015
Following completion of roundly 400 sleeper replacements on the Dwellingup - Isandra section, the Track Team continue eastward from Dwellingup to Etmilyn which will receive over 900 sleeper replacements in this year's program ending on 11th May. In the photos below, work is continuing in the 31km to 31.75km area.
26th April 2015
New Spark Arrester plate-work and vacuum ejector exhaust pie fitted to steam loco W920 as it is prepared for the 2015 steam season.
3rd April 2015
In late April, HVR's annual Track Maintenance Project commenced for 2015. Once again the key track team members are Enginemen from Victoria's Puffing Billy Railway keen for a bit of alternative outdoor activities and giving a helping hand to a very appreciative HVR.
12th February 2015
No matter how much new technology is developed, it seems you can't beat old technology when it comes to really putting the new stuff through its paces and testing its limits.
Recently, MRX Technologies were in need of a quiet stretch of NG line to trial some of their new rail flaw detection equipment technology to iron out any little bugs etc and asked HVR if they could utilise a section of our line. The testing was carried out over most of a day between Alumina Junction and Napier Rd.
8th February 2015
On Sunday 8 Feb, the 22 large flue tubes were fitted into the boiler of W945 with crane assistance.
Once again, the smaller fire box ends were then expanded into the rear tube plate. As can be seen, there is not a great deal of room to work in which was made more uncomfortable being a 40 degree day! Member Will Howard, assisted by fellow member Trevor Hamilton, were the lucky ones who got to learn all about such things of wonder and skills of a past era that were usually reserved for apprentices.
7th February 2015
On Saturday 7 February, serious work re-commenced on W945 with the fitting of some 17 replacement small tubes.
Once fitted and positioned, the smaller diameter fire box ends of all the new tubes were expanded into place using an air powered torque controllable rotational driver for the tube expanding tool.