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Moving Wb 299 to the workshop

Wb 299 frame on driving wheels in workshop
Wb 299 frame now resident in the workshop, along with cab, bunker, roof sheets and cab front for Wb 292.

On Saturday 21 March 2020 we rolled the main frame of steam locomotive Wb 299 into the workshop - just a few days before the Covid-19 level-3 and level-4 lock-down.

Shifting the frame into the workshop frees up space for another carriage in the main shed, one of the main reasons for the move. It should also be easier to carry out restoration work, access with lifting equipment etc.

The photos below illustrate progress made since December 2019 and steps taken to prepare the frame to move it into the workshop.

Peter Milburn drilling holes to fasten bunker back to sides

In December 2019 an order was placed with Real Steel, Upper Hutt, for a replacement coal bunker back sheet. On 14 December we assembled the back sheet and two side sheets, fastened to steel angles. In the photo Peter is drilling a pilot hole through the back sheet on the fireman's side.

Rear headlight bracket fitted to 299's coal bunker

Work continued through December, fabricating and fitting steel angles to support the bunker back. The original rear headlight bracket was fitted, referring back to measurements taken off the original bunker in 1989. The number "299" was stenciled on for effect.

Coal bunker supporting frame, fitted to the back of the cab.

By 4 January 2020 most of the supporting frame had been completed and fitted to the back of the cab. Additional steel angles were cut and fitted to secure the cab back to bunker front. These angles also support the coal chute cut-out.

Roof sheets rolled ready for fitting to Wb 292 and 299

Two roof sheets were rolled by Seaview Engineering of Lower Hutt from 6mm plate, one for each Wb locomotive. The cab front, sides and bunker of Wb 299 have been carefully lined up on the supporting plywood cab board and made square in preparation for fitting the roof. We plan to fit the roof sheet during the winter months of 2020.

Bunker side beading

Original half-round steel beading repaired and refitted to the coal bunker side.

Bunker back beading

Fitting the original half-round steel beading to the coal bunker back sheet.

Driving wheel delivered by wagon en route to Greytown

One of two driving wheel sets being lifted into the main shed, for refitting to the main frame of Wb 299.

Cleaning up Wb 299 axleboxes

Leading and trailing driving wheel axleboxes were brought out from storage and cleaned up for refitting to the wheel sets. A cursory clean-up for the move. 

Lead and trailing driving wheels under the main frame

Lead and trailing driving wheels under the main frame of Wb 299. Journals were cleaned and polished ahead of refitting the axleboxes.

Lowering main frames onto driving wheel axleboxes

Lauren and Ray lower the main frames of Wb 299 down onto the trailing driving wheel set on 14 March 2020.

Tr189 shunts Wb 299 frame into the workshop, a rake of ballast wagons used as runners.

The main frame of Wb 299 was shunted into the workshop by Tr 189 on 21 March 2020.

Frame rolling dwon road 4, past the Ab and two Wb boilers

The main frame of Wb 299 rolling slowly down road 4, with the two Wb boilers in the background. 

Main frames of Wb 299 relocated to the workshop

Main frames of Wb 299 relocated to the workshop, seen here on 22 March 2020.