Eltham South Electric Tramway

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
23,339
4,467
74
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Country flag
There was a period of about 5 weeks right at the start of winter this year when there was no traffic at all on the tramway, and a major backlog of rollingstock maintenance.

View attachment 301271

This had some consequences for the state of the right of way.


View attachment 301272

Normally the vegetation slashing train requires motive power in the "heavy" rollingstock category. Usually that means the diesel electric loco, but it has been out of service with battery failure for a while now. Next preference is one of the Swiss motor cars, but 34M was out with a loose traction motor wire, and 51M was waiting on new electrical pickups.

The only other rollingstock in the heavy category is the steam railcar, so it was fired up and off we went. Video of this operation can be seen below.

As ever super to see your Bush Line, Steam to the rescue. Think I would have been tempted to lift the Strimmer off and put it the other end to do a double job on the way back.
 

Melbournesparks

Registered
30 Sep 2015
314
412
City of Eltham
Country flag
Not a snow plow, but a weed plow!

Have you ever shown this intriguing steam railcar?

I was too disorganized to actually do a build thread for it unfortunately. It was a bit of a learning curve for me so it had a very long construction period. I think I first posted about it in this post here in december 2020, but the construction actually started way back in 2019. After ironing out the bugs it has been a reliable and useful member of the rollingstock fleet though, and the preferred rollingstock to take when visiting other lines away from the wires. Here's some pictures from the construction phase!



IMG_20190729_201151 (Large).jpg

Precision accurate concept drawings


IMG_20190627_154123 (Large).jpg

The finished bogies in undercoat. Thanks Jake for drawing and printing the roller bearing axle boxes, the first application of 3D printing to any rollingstock in the fleet. A lot of attention was paid to making sure this very long and heavy car would run well on my bad track, the axles can twist relative to each other and there's plenty of travel in the secondary suspension springs.

IMG_20190831_131949 (Large).jpg
The boiler, water tank and engine unit mounted to the frame, work starts on fitting up the plumbing. The plumbing went through a number of revisions so the final layout ended up quite different from what is shown here.

IMG_20190917_151818 (Large).jpg

The wooden car body under construction.


IMG_20191115_190406(1) (Large).jpg

It finally steamed for the first time in late 2019, though testing and commissioning would still take nearly two more years. We got there in the end though, it has since been a reliable unit clocking up the kilometers here and on other lines it has visited.

PXL_20211024_055648124(1) (Large).jpg

A 4 car set with just one motor car was successfully managed on the 1:30 grades of the NEVR

PXL_20220326_033514961(1) (Large).jpg

And seen here along side some more conventional steam power at another local line.
 

Melbournesparks

Registered
30 Sep 2015
314
412
City of Eltham
Country flag
What a fantastic build!! Thanks for sharing the pictures!
Your line and fleet are one of the few I'd love to see in real, but probably never will ...
No worries! It was a fun build and very educational about how steam works. :) let me know if you ever do make it to this part of the world.
 

DafyddElvy

1:22.5 & 15mm Scale Trams, , NG Steam Railways
10 Feb 2021
674
61
West Lothian
Country
Scotland
Country flag
No worries! It was a fun build and very educational about how steam works. :) let me know if you ever do make it to this part of the world.
Please, please could the invite be extended to me, normally I travel with boots and overalls, much to my wife's displeasure, not sure I'd get away with taking a tram to Brisbane in March/April but you never know what I might get away with, and I know my wife has been looking at a diving trip for me down on the south coast somewhere.
 

Melbournesparks

Registered
30 Sep 2015
314
412
City of Eltham
Country flag
Please, please could the invite be extended to me, normally I travel with boots and overalls, much to my wife's displeasure, not sure I'd get away with taking a tram to Brisbane in March/April but you never know what I might get away with, and I know my wife has been looking at a diving trip for me down on the south coast somewhere.

Sure thing! Send us a message closer to the date if you work something out :) Note I'm in Melbourne though, a pretty long way away from Brisbane.
 

DafyddElvy

1:22.5 & 15mm Scale Trams, , NG Steam Railways
10 Feb 2021
674
61
West Lothian
Country
Scotland
Country flag
Sure thing! Send us a message closer to the date if you work something out :) Note I'm in Melbourne though, a pretty long way away from Brisbane.
I checked before I hit reply and your forum name gave me a wee clue.

We'll be down in Aus for 3 weeks, the boy stays in Brisbane and a cousin in Wollongong.
Melbourne is only 8 hours from Wollongong and I am known for my escape trips ;-)
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
23,339
4,467
74
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Country flag
I checked before I hit reply and your forum name gave me a wee clue.

We'll be down in Aus for 3 weeks, the boy stays in Brisbane and a cousin in Wollongong.
Melbourne is only 8 hours from Wollongong and I am known for my escape trips ;-)
Lucky you, would love to visit MelS line. But flight just not in my radar these days.
 

DafyddElvy

1:22.5 & 15mm Scale Trams, , NG Steam Railways
10 Feb 2021
674
61
West Lothian
Country
Scotland
Country flag
Lucky you, would love to visit MelS line. But flight just not in my radar these days.
It's mainly because number 1 son emigrated in April this year and mum needs to check things out, and check out anyone on his arm.
 

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
31,109
3,229
Tamworth, Staffs.
Country flag
By the time you have got from Blighty, to Oz.. The hop from Brisbane to Melbourne, is nothing, I would suggest?
Hell, if I was ever to get that far, I would want to visit Mr Sowry, as well!
:blush::D:D:D

Being in my seventh decade, and not having left the UK for40+ years..
I doubt it would happen though.
:wondering:

PhilP
 

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
9,721
1,382
59
Royston
Country flag
I know a family who were going to drive and sail to back home to Australia. You could probably take a train, but I think you might have to go through Russia. I think they intended to sail from Korea ( I may well be wrong though). Unfortunately Corvid happened, so they are still stuck here, 2 adults and 7 year old twins, in a small camper van.
 

Melbournesparks

Registered
30 Sep 2015
314
412
City of Eltham
Country flag
I checked before I hit reply and your forum name gave me a wee clue.

We'll be down in Aus for 3 weeks, the boy stays in Brisbane and a cousin in Wollongong.
Melbourne is only 8 hours from Wollongong and I am known for my escape trips ;-)

Maybe 8 hours... at night when there's no traffic, and if you don't stop. Realistically I'd allow more like 11. The train is serviceable however, and might be a last chance to ride NSW's HST derived XPT train! Still runs both over night and during the day too, so can be a way to save on accommodation.

IMG_8456small.jpg
In this era it definitely feels like the world is getting bigger again, international travel is expensive and fraught with difficulty. Best of luck!