DIVISIONAL COMMITTEE REPORT SUBMITTED BY
Inspection of West Coast Rail Steam Locomotive R 711
The contents of this report is compiled from information given by West
Coast Rail Staff, along with my observations on the day of inspection.
The locomotive has been stripped down and reassembled. In the process, the
major alteration over other "R" class locomotives has been conversion to
oil firing equipment obtained from South Africa. All boiler tubes have been
renewed along with all flexible stays and approx. 40% renewal of rigid
stays. The regulator has been renewed fully from the cab through to the
dome and a new set of super heater elements fitted. A steam operated power
reverser is fitted along with a diesel controller (hostlers controller from
"S" class) and the necessary M.U. equipment for controlling an assisting
A 2,500 gallon rectangular oil tank has been fitted along the top of what
was the coal space, the lower part of this space has been refigured for
water, increasing the water capacity to 9,400 gallons. To keep tender
weight even on both bogies, a void has been created in the rear of the
tender. The tender water filler hatch has been turned 90 deg. to be
parallel to top of tender. At the front of the tender accessed from the cab
is a new tool locker built into what was the top front of the coal space. A
main oil stop valve is fitted similar to previous V.R. oil fired
locomotives, along with a sand box and funnel for flue sanding.
The brake pedestal has been moved forward by about l00mm. The reverser
wheel is smaller diameter and is in approx. same position, the diesel
controller will be to the right of the reverser. A three feed hydrostatic
lubricator has been fitted, one feed for each of the two single stage air
compressors and one for the power reverser.
All boiler back head mountings are the same as other "R" class locomotives,
however some valves now have other uses, turret valves - the spares from
stoker engine etc., will now be for the second air compressor and the
second turbo generator.
What was the stoker booster and stoker control valves are now to be used
for oil atomization. The triangular shaped manifold containing the stoker
jet valves remains and are now used for - tank heat - pipe heat etc.
required for oil firing. A ratchet type lever operated oil control valve is
located in front of the fireman's seat. Oil reservoir for power reverser
use will be located between the fireman's seat and the cab side wall. A
"Hasler" type speed recorder will be fitted - final location is yet to be
decided. Both seats are bremshey type the same as W.C.R. diesel
Radios will be mounted above the Drivers head while the radio equipment
will be housed where the stoker engine was mounted. Batteries for radio use
will be below the cab floor on the fireman's side. Two turbo generators
will be fitted, both have been converted to 24 volt to supply the
locomotives electrical system which has similarly been converted to 24
volt. It is proposed the headlight will be quartz halogen type and
consideration is being given to fitting ditch lights.
The firebox remains basically the Same above floor level, i.e. thermic
siphons, brick arch, combustion chamber etc. The ash pan has been removed
along with the fire grates and a solid concrete and steel floor provided. A
fire brick wall is provided around the perimeter of the inside of the
firebox about 400mm high. The oil burner is mounted in the middle of the
floor and is arranged to spray oil in a circular motion (like an upside
down whirlpool) into the fire box. A series of air holes about 160mm
diameter are arranged through the floor and are angled to assist in the
swirling type motion of air circulation.
A firebox door, similar to V.R. lift up type is used with usual inspection
hole and a secondary air supply arrangement not unlike that in a Webber BBQ
The baffle plate, table and spark arrestor are removed, and twin funnel's
extend down to about 500mm above the floor where a modified blast cap pipe
extends into each of the funnel extensions. Around these are 4 blower
tubes, extending into each funnel. The door is. secured with the usual
dart arrangement and lugs as in other oil burner type locomotives.
Valves and Pistons
New valve liners are provided and the usual valves have been modified to
provide 8 valve rings on each end of the valve.
Pistons have been rebored and new rings to be fitted.
Motion gear is the same, however, instead of cane corks a brass plug with
seal and fine breather hole is to be trailed, with a socket or ring spanner
provided for removal during oiling up process.
All wheels have been turned to normal standard profiles and new springs
fitted throughout. New roller bearings have been fined to all axles on the
engine and several on the tender.
A second sand pipe is to be fined to the center driving wheel while a sand
blower arrangement is proposed to be fined for rail cleaning behind the
On the Drivers side cat walk is the power reverser and the usual mechanical
On the Fireman's side will be the second turbo and a larger mechanical
lubricator with extra feeds.
The second air compressor is fitted opposite the existing one a "mirror
image" on the Drivers side.
3 & 4 control pipes and M.R. pipes to be fitted, all will be bifircated on
the tender. While on the front, because of the dual coupler arrangement
bifurcation may be difficult.
As this locomotive is to be used on regular services, the finished product
needs to reflect improved standards over the existing historically
registered Steam Locomotives.
I have requested steps to be fitted on all corners to permit ease of
climbing out onto platforms, similar to those on N470. I have also asked
that consideration be given to boxes in lieu of dummy couplings. There is
also a need for a illuminated Train Order clip.
for the R.T. & B. I. Union
27 August, 1998
and just maybe......they [West Coast] might be earning a little
but then again, some idiot from West Coast was just on the ABC telling
everyone that "when we take over V/Line Pass, the Bairnsdale and Mildura
Lines will be opened ......etc etc.......oh well!