There are a huge number of different ways in which you can help with our restoration efforts at Eveleigh, a number of which may not be immediately obvious. While donations and volunteering are readily apparent, many may not know that there are plenty of other ways to play a part in helping, and to leave a lasting mark in doing so. For instance, here we see two photographic contributions made by Gary Marshall and Paul Hogan, which are proudly displayed in the lounge of CAM502. These two fantastic shots from 1988 illustrate the CAM’s working history as a crew car supporting 3801 and Flying Scotsman during the Bicentennial celebrations, and give some fantastic historical context for passengers in addition to proving a great feature of the carriage interior. 3801 Limited would like to thank Gary and Paul for their generous contributions, and encourage anybody who think they may be able to help in any way, no matter how large or small, to get in touch – your creativity is the limit!
Well it has been an incredible journey. But we are delighted to say that our little pet project of 8 years was recently completed last December, just in time for Christmas!
Last November, the Assets Standards Authority within TransportNSW department granted permission for CAM502 to operate on the rail network for the purpose of trials. Locomotive 42101 was utilised for the first trial journey along with the support of two of our other carriages. The test journey occurred on Tuesday 24th November 2015 from Eveleigh to Waterfall and return.
Only a few minor bugs were found but otherwise it performed satisfactorily to our travelling maintenance team and passed successfully. This would be the green light for the carriage to start operating on mainline tours.
Up next, on Sunday 13th December 2015 we had our annual christmas volunteers party to Robertson on the Cockatoo Run tourist train. On this day we got to show case the car to our fellow volunteers, colleagues, family and friends, as well as to our friends at the Robertson Heritage Railway Station. This would prove to be a very joyous day for everyone involved, not only within the restoration team, but also for every volunteer, past and present who contributed to this fantastic project.
Since then, “the CAM” lounge car been used on several mainline tours and charters. One successful event soon after our christmas party trip was on Thursday 17th December 2015. The car being utilised within the consist for the new Hawkesbury River Express to Brooklyn, just north of Sydney.
Special guests were invited, included the Mayor of Hornsby Shire Hon. Mr. Steve Russell, as well as the family of one of our late founding directors, Mr Ken Butt.
Special mention must be made to the Butt family for their contributions to this restoration project. As a tribute to the late Mr. Butt, the carriage has been named after him as the Ken Butt lounge.
So there you have it. One complete 1920s vintage lounge car, ready for service in the 21st Century.
But keep watching this space, as we may have a few more tricks up our sleeves.. Thanks for reading!
Photo credits: Jane Bennett, Ian Wallace, Thomas Durber, Fred Sawyer.
TAM sleeping cars must be one of the most recognised carriage types used by the NSWGR but there is a lot more to them than most perhaps appreciate. Eveleigh, Meadowbank and Ritchie Bros all made this type of TAM, and each manufacturer had their own little nuances in the finer details.
All TAMs had berth number boards outside of each compartment, where as our old Ritchie Bros TAM has illuminated berth numbers:
Some TAMs, had elaborate curved cedar panels on the bunks, where as our TAM has flat finish panels:
All the TAM’s had berth lights, although there were several different light fitting castings and the location of the switches varied from builder to builder:
Our old girl, L516, was originally constructed by Ritchie Bros and classified as TAM502. It was released to the NSWGR for traffic in the July-August intake of 1937. When new, TAM502 had 10 compartments and could sleep 20 berths:
When it became a works car, it was re-classified to L516, where the L denotes that its a works vehicle and 516 was just simply a number allocated to it. In this part of its life, berths 1-10 were stripped out and that area was made into an amenities and workspace for the crew:
We’ve opted for a lounge setting in the former amenities area:
Carriage classification is a passionate topic for some and so it is important that we are sympathetic to the heritage of the carriage. It’s obviously no longer a TAM, nor an “L” works car, it’s become a composite sleeping and lounge car. The NSWGR actually had composite sleeping cars manufactured and used in service. Coded CAM, these cars combined sitting areas and sleeping areas in a couple of different configurations. Our old TAM has been re-classified to CAM502, and its nice to see that some of the CAM traits have been incorporated into the car including the traditional saloon seating against the wall in the lounge.
This old girl is a long way off from when it was recovered from storage in 2007. Looking at it now, it’s hard to believe we embarked on this ambitious project. However, some years down the track and we have another quality carriage restoration completed and looking forward to seeing people enjoy our labour of our love.
The next step is main line trials. Keep an eye out, as our recently completed CAM502 will be coming very soon to a station near you!
Well it has been a busy couple of months forging towards the end of the project. The lounge is feeling more homely with all the panels attached to the walls.
The style of the panelling at this end of the car differs a little from the original “compartment” end of the car. These cute little cover strips neatly mask the joint between the panel and the shutter runner, and are a legacy of the MANN carriages that this panelling was salvaged from.
Todd stripped each of these back to bare timber and polished like new, before Alan fitted each of them.
Husband and wife team Alan and Jan manufactured, varnished and fitted these neat cover strips along the sides of each table.
Garry’s handrails have been fitted also. Each of the brass fittings was machined from brass stock, and Rex has done an outstanding job. Fitting and machining is a great skill to have and we’re always looking for skilled volunteers.
Our teenage volunteer Cameron has completely stripped and re-built these super panels to make them match the window spacing in the traditional fashion. The quality of this workmanship is as good as the old car builder trade back in the day.
But young Cameron’s real passion lies with the shutters that he has been diligently fitting throughout the carriage. Over 500 hours of volunteer work has been poured into this part of the project alone, including repairs, rebuilding, painting and fitting. This has been a huge effort.
The compartments have finally received their ceder panels on each of the bunks.
Ross and his Tuesday team have fitted this carriage with a modified water service system, using an electric pump in place of the standard air service system. This means that the car is fully self contained and does not require an operational locomotive to provide air to run the water services. All the rusted steel water pipes have been replaced and a new tank installed also. We opted for a cistern flush system to ensure sufficient flush water flow.
Roy has also completed the sign writing here, to match the original before the shellac was stripped.
…while the “Berths 1-10” has been replaced with more appropriate signage in a fashion that is sympathetic to the heritage of the car. Great work Roy!
Keith’s kitchenette has come a long way also. This space can be used to serve light meals and morning/afternoon/high teas. A bar fridge is provided also to chill food or drinks.
The wall space has been used in the kitchenette necessitating the installation of blank windows, which have been painted to match the rest of the colour scheme across the windows.
Outside and below the frame, Fred spent a couple weekends crawling around the bogies and running gear. His main focus was blacking out any left over exposed primer and overlooked bits.
A cruisey job, considering the boy driver spent most of it while laying about on the job!
There are a couple of detail jobs to finish off with but we are now ready for main line trials.
With the seats and bunks now safely back in the car, the group gathers pace and the project is really starting to come together, feeling more homely and less like a building site.
Steve made a huge effort to fix up the panels that hold the dickie seats in the compartments, stripping the panels back to bare timber and doing numerous repairs to fix years of neglect and damage. It doesn’t look like much now but these little chaps were a look of work to fit. Its a shame the fine upholstery skills make them look too good to sit on!
Father and son duo Steve and Todd have finally gotten back to finishing off the side doors. Renown as being very heavy to carry, the majority of the weight in these large side doors comes from the steel plate on the outer face. Here is a naked door with steel plate re-fitted and drop light in place perched upon fresh rubber stoppers.
The inner door trim refitted improves the appearance no end in just a few hours. Each component had been stripped back to bare timber to produce this immense finish. Note the toilet space on the right.
The “new toilet” area near the centre car doors is progressing also. Brett has been busy repairing rotten timbers stemming from its shower days when L516 was used by railway crews both in service and on the Bicentennial Train in 1988. Having started life as the attendants compartment, converting this space to a toilet is now the third use of this part of the car.
Out of interest, sister Ritchie Bros TAM505 also spent many years as a departmental car as part of a breakdown train and was coded L1126. Now residing at the Junee Roundhouse Railway Museum, L1126 is another surviving example of how this same “Attendants Compartment” space was adapted as a kitchen preparation and servery. The Junee Roundhouse is a well-established museum with many exhibits to inspect. Its well worth a visit to those with a soft spot for old carriages and locomotives: http://www.roundhousemuseum.com.au/
Back at Eveleigh, a few days of painting sees a dramatic change, while the mirror and light fittings are a nice touch.
The toilet and associated plumbing now look like they belong here too.
One last panelled wall needed to be stripped back to bare timber as it’d had a hard life of high traffic near the main doorways but Todd works his magic making it look like new again.
The old “BERTHS 1-10” lettering disappeared in the process of stripping the wall. We’ve opted for something more appropriate for the re-configured car. Roy’s hand-painted sign writing is amazing, why bother with decals when you can have the real thing?
Daniel has been proudly re-assembling the refurbished MBE seat wall. We had this in place temporarily earlier on in the project to see how well it would work and if it would fit, but we disassembled it to build it properly and to a high standard of finish. Here is the wall stripped down.
Then the refurbished wall returns looking better than ever. We’re looking for 2 pictures to put either side of the mirror showing this car in her Bicentennial Days – L516 was the go-to crew car back then. Ideally, we’d have one photo of L516 behind 3801 and the other behind Flying Scotsman so drop us a line if you’d like to donate any of your own high res photos to go here: email@example.com
Standing back to peruse the space, it’s high time for the lounge to start appearing.
A few of the narrow timber panelling strips that go on the narrow window columns have disappeared over the years, necessitating new ones to be made from timber stock.
The new lounge tables are manufactured one at a time and painted using hard-wearing 2-pack clear varnish that also shows off our glorious Australian timber grains.
The area is swept out and masonite laid throughout to provide a smooth base.
Ten timber luggage cupboards are manufactured and sat in place. Polyflor kindly provided the vinyl flooring. This hard wearing, long life product will ensure that this is an easy area to clean and will keep this lounge looking fresh for years to come.
Qualified wood machinist and volunteer stalwart Chris shows Daniel the ropes constructing the frames for the bench seats.
Each frame is secured to the car body and also to the luggage cupboards while maintaining clear access to the steel tie bars for future maintenance inspections.
Todd then secures the cushion backs of the lounge bench seats, remarkably without uttering a single swear word or profanity. The trusty battery drill is indispensible for this type of work. You know the project is nearing completion when woollen socks replace work boots as the car builders footwear of choice.
With lower cushions sat in and tables slipped into place, the lads make it look all too easy trialling their new surroundings. It would be nice to have a few more girls involved in these projects though.
Cameron wastes no time starting installation of nearly 100 refurbished timber shutters. This first one has him a little puzzled.
But soon he’s fitting them two at a time and the colours of the car really start to make this look like something special.
This remarkable collection of volunteers (young and old) are doing all this work in their spare time during the weeknights and on the weekends for the love of trains and no pay cheques. To give some perspective of just how much time goes into this view, each timber shutter runner pair required 1 hour to manufacture the runner and fit all catches (these are brand new runners), each louvered shutter pair required 3-4 hours of preparation and repairs, followed by 1.5 hours fitting each shutter set. This is all excluding painting the individual components prior to assembly.
The Erskineville end of the car is gradually being turned into a modest kitchenette, using villa board to protect the framework from any spills in this wet area.
During this time, Brett has been quietly beavering away fitting up and painting out the old toilet at the Redfern end of the car. This won’t be plumed into the retention tank but it is being done up such that it could be converted in the future should the need arise. In the mean time it’ll make a handy lockable storeroom.
Brett only emerges from the gloom late in the evening to show off the MBE seat wall complete with newly fabricated frame for the lower cushions.
Boy oh boy. This project is progressing apace. Those interested in being among the first to ride in this freshly restored carriage better start making enquiries with the 3801 Limited office because it’s not far off finished!
Watch this space. More updates soon.
Now that Steve has completed the vinyl flooring in each of the sleeping compartments and secured the seat bases, it is time to re-install the seats and berths. We loaded them up at George’s workshop, here’s the first lot.
Ahead of the transfer though was dealing with a small gremlin that had kept George awake late at night. The original NSWGR method of fitting the seats tended to damage the leading corners of the seat frame, subsequently destroying the vinyl. A little more time spent now will improve the system and protect the vinyl.
The bearing surface is first routed down to accommodate a small metal plate.
…the angle plate is then drilled…
…and secured in place protecting the corner of the seat – a very ingenious solution.
It takes two trips to deliver the full set of seats and bunks to Eveleigh for installation, here’s the second lot.
This is an upper berth installed in the sleeping position with the safety ropes in place. The attention to detail of this 2-man volunteer team is nothing short of remarkable. The straps set it off a real treat.
Here is one folded away for day travel. We just need Todd to get a wriggle on with those red cedar panels to cover the underside. Note the compartment and car numbering chalked on the lower bunk face. Chalk and number stamps were used throughout these cars to identify every last fitting to the compartment and car to which it belongs.
And with the seat back folded forward to form the lower bunk… This is how a fully refurbished sleeping berth looks.
It’s just the dicky seats to be attached now when Steve has completed the lower wall.
Timber cars of the NSWGR had timber shutters fitted to each window, comprising an upper and lower pair. Originally, these were finished in polished timber but over the years, almost all of them ended up being painted brown, probably to help hide the numerous repairs they had accumulated. Some of these shutters have had a hard life – check out this poor old chap.
Every shutter will undergo a makeover, starting by plugging all the old holes to provide firm timber for when where the handles and other small nickel-plated brass fittings are re-attached.
But the worst of the repairs are where the latches are located. This is one of the good ones, with only 4 neat dowel plugs being required. To give some idea of the age and how much work these shutters have done, we counted one shutter with 3 timber plugs of varying sizes within each other each.
Some shutters needed to have the whole corner removed with new timber spliced in place.
Repairs come in all shapes and sizes, this one had part of the edge broken off somehow.
This joint needed to be rebuilt by routing out the crook timber, gluing new timber in place, clamping then machined to the correct profile. Note the dowel plug also. We threw everything we had at this one!
Glued and timber plugs put ready:
Double heading G-clamps:
Machined to the correct profile once glue set:
Where louvers were missing, some of the timber required replacement ahead of reinstalling new louvers. Not sure if the damaged timber was caused by the missing louvers or if the louvers went missing because of the broken timber.
With the glue dried, this repair was machined to the correct profile.
Replacing scores of missing louvers requires some specialty skills to fit them in without needing to disassemble the whole shutter frame. The trick is to steam the new louvers; a boiling stovetop does the job very well.
5 minutes or so on the boil is all that is required to have them nice and flexible, and a strong pair of hands flexes them into place no problem at all.
Don’t forget to set the louver straight before it dries out again, otherwise you’ll never get it straight again. A couple of the old broken louvers make greater spacers to hold the new louvers straight while it dries out.
The shutters were painted with two coats of gloss before being returned to the shed and allowed to cure for several weeks ahead of installation.