ATP Heritage Open Day – Saturday May 23 2015

Following on from last year’s ATP Community Heritage Open Day Event, 3801 Limited has been invited yet again to open up its doors to the Large Erecting Shop for the general public.

The open day event will be organised in conjunction with the Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh. Guided tours will commence from 10am and go thru til 4pm. Accompanied by ATP volunteers, you will have the opportunity to see and relive the history of the old Eveleigh Locomotive Workshops. This also includes a peak of our facilities and projects that we have currently going at the Large Erecting Shop.

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Please visit the ATP website for more details. We hope to see you there!

January Update

Eveleigh has been a multi-user facility since 1987. In that time, many items of rollingstock have called Eveleigh home, including world-renowned steam locomotive #4472 Flying Scotsman during Bicentennial celebrations in 1988. We can see that this culture of sharing the Eveleigh LES site continues even now, with items of rollingstock shown including:

  • Lachlan Valley Railway FS car undergoing repairs
  • Goodwin Alco 4501
  • Lachlan Alco 4464
  • Government owned 4401 undergoing reactivation works
  • 3237 having mechanical work performed
  • Lachlan Valley Railway 47 class undergoing restoration
  • Government owned dining car AB91 in under-cover storage for Transport Heritage NSW
  • Privately owned MFA carriage
  • 3801 Limited’s L516

Many of the Sydney Trains and NSW Trains Explorer and Endeavour railcars have used the LES for various maintenance, repair and replacement works over the years. JanuaryUpdate01

But the spot light this week is on The Heritage Locomotive Company’s recently repainted 42101 locomotive.

Repainted in its original Indian Red livery, also affectionately known as “cats whiskers”, The Heritage Locomotive Company have invested thousands of dollars of private money to provide the heritage railway community with a fully restored, immaculately presented 421 class locomotive that looks as good if not better than the day it was first delivered to the NSWGR for railway traffic.

No matter which angle you look at it from, this is a stunning example of how the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well at our Eveleigh workshop, with 42101 setting an amazing benchmark to compare other restoration projects. Much praise goes to the team of dedicated volunteers that have seen out this long awaited restoration project. 42101 is now available for hire on heritage traffic, which can be arranged by contacting the 3801 Limited office on 1300 65 3801 or by visiting the website

Further down the shed, L516 continues on its journey, with the all the shutter fittings being sorted and arranged ready for polishing or replating where necessary.


Cameron is continuing to refurbish the former Zig Zag panels to fit to the lounge end of L516. Each panel has to be completely disassembled to strip the panels back to bare wood.


Cameron is continuing to refurbish the former Zig Zag panels to fit to the lounge end of L516. Each panel has to be completely disassembled to strip the panels back to bare wood.


This is where we are heading though, each super panel needs to be test fitted to see where it fits and check that the fielded panels match the window spacing. This sometimes requires re-working and re-machining the panels, which is a lot of work but the results will be worth it.


Elsewhere in the car, panels are appearing also. A wide-angle lens warps space (and time?) to show Steve’s recently completed panels in the small corridor leading up to the lounge.


A bit later on in the day, the little doors were fitted, providing access to the low voltage DC switching circuits and sub circuits. This is where the carriage attendants operate the light, fans and other electrical services.


The timberwork at the end of the corridor is complete. This space was originally a small cupboard – not sure what they would have put in there – but it has been turned into a bin and it just needs 2 holes drilled out to provide access to the bin ahead of final painting.


The Masonite has been laid in all the compartments now ahead of vinyl flooring.


We’ve opted to keep with tradition by laying vinyl flooring throughout the car and have attracted the kind support of Polyflor. POLYFLOR Logo (JPEG)

They claim they cover the world and now they cover TAM sleeping carriages too. This commercial grade vinyl flooring has been selected for its resistance to wear and long life. It is high performance and heavy duty using a polyurethane reinforcement to facilitate a low-cost, lifetime polish-free maintenance regime. We have gone the extra mile here and lifted each seating frame clear of the floor so we can use a single vinyl sheet. This will further reduce the effort required to keep this car clean when it is back in service. Polyflor are kind sponsors of the L516 restoration project and it is great that they are supportive of such a worthwhile community oriented cause.


Contrary to common belief, the 3801 Limited’s carriage restoration team is well represented by the younger generation, with more than half of the group under the age of 30. This diverse team includes engineers and qualified wood machinists. While many hands make light work, a successful restoration project actually only needs a small number of the right people underpinned by a culture of strong governance.

JanuaryUpdate14 Judging by the beaming smiles on their faces, this young and ambitious team of volunteers are proud to represent the best of NSW rail heritage in taking Eveleigh forward with 3801 Limited.

ATP Heritage Community Days [May 2014]

On Friday 16th and Saturday 17th, 3801 Limited participated in the Australian Technology Park Heritage Community Days weekend.

We opened the doors of our Large Erecting Railway Workshop for the enjoyment of the general public, providing the chance to explore the restoration works as well as inspect the collection of locomotive, and carriage rollingstock that was on display.

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The volunteers talked to the visitors, answering questions about the history of railways in NSW, as well as explaining the valuable role of heritage trains in today’s modern society. The open display within the Large Erecting Shop was a part of a grand tour of the whole ATP complex. This coordinated by the Australian Technology Park.

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Aside from the heritage exhibits in both the Large Erecting Workshop, Blacksmiths Workshop, Pumping House and around the ATP facility, an assortment of Jane Bennett’s artwork was on display also.

There really was something for everyone at the ATP Heritage Community Days event – keep an eye out for the next one!

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More photos from the weekends event can be found on the ATP Flickr page.

New batteries for ABN2194 [2012]

The old lead acid batteries on crew car ABN2194 had failed, and a set of replacement cells were sourced for this car. With the battery box cleared out, timber crates were manufactured, new cells were fitted, and the water was topped up too.


Before the lights were tested in the workshop.


Then they were tested out on the mainline on a return trip to Goulburn.

ABN_BatteryReplacement03   ABN_BatteryReplacement04

Battery voltage and charging current were measured during the trip to evaluate its performance.

Autumn Progress

With four reconditioned fans bearing down on us, Brian and Daniel have been busy manufacturing and preparing the new timber mounting discs to replace the old ones that had fallen apart. When the paint is dry next week, we will look at installing the fans using these discs.

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In the mean time, fitting new felts to one side of each window becomes the bread and butter for the boys. The other side of each window will have felts fitted too when the windows are being installed, as each window it fitted individually – they are all a little different.

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The half-sized TAM windows have a polished nickel plated handle fitted on the left hand side, so young Cameron gets busy fitting those using his keen carpentry skills.

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But the focus has been to resolve the troublesome problem on the lower edge of the sub letter board. Over their long operational life, the crisp lines of timber cars invariably succumb to the elements and end up looking rather ordinary. So we’ve taken the time to rout out a section of timber the full length of the car on both sides and replace it with brand new timber like this.

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This is no small task, but at least big jobs make the days go quicker.

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When it is sanded and the screw holes are filled with wood filler, the satisfying crisp lines return to our old TAM once again.

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This same problem has been approached on other cars using an alternate approach of installing timber fillets immediately below the letter board with successful results. 3801 Limited are supplying funds and resources to reactivate HFA703 in the near future.

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Currently, the mechanical work is the main priority. Each bogie is receiving a full overhaul, compliments of our skilled mechanical team.

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There are normally several projects on the boil at Eveleigh at any given time. The Lachlan Valley Railway are using the workshops for their original purpose by carrying out mechanical works on both 5917 and 3237.

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In fact, quite a few groups call Eveleigh home. 42101 is finally nearing the completion of its restoration, which has been long and extensive.

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Lachlan Alco’s 4464 and her 2 siblings 4473 and 4486 all enjoy shelter in between operating trains out of Eveleigh.

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As do 4501 and 4833, which are both having ICE radios installed to meet modern radio requirements. Running heritage trains is not as laid back as it might have once been.

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4918 also has ICE radio installed so that we can continue bringing the train to the people of NSW.

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We look forward to riding behind the old 49’r aboard L516. But not until all the restoration works have been completed on L516 – more updates soon.