Through projects such as the following the Office of Rail Heritage acknowledges and promotes rail heritage volunteering.
RailCorp Apprentice involvement in restoration projects
The Office of Rail Heritage continues to partner with RailCorp Training to support Heritage Restoration projects. Groups of RailCorp apprentices are engaged in restoring significant heritage items consistent with their learning objectives.
The first heritage project was the complete overhaul of a Double-Deck Trolley Bus, the second in 1992 was the restoration of a World War II tank and the third was the restoration of Railmotor CPH 18 in 2006. The restoration of Pay Bus FP1 <link> is the fourth heritage project to be undertaken with the assistance of railway apprentices since 1985.
Skilled volunteers from rail heritage groups are involved and contribute to the skills transfer.
RailCorp apprentice fitters, with guidance from an experienced volunteer, have commenced work on the Torque Converter project at the Annex.
They are capturing the process and are preparing a video record and a written/photographic step by step guide which should assist heritage operators to restore there own units when required.
The team have disassembled the converter and cleaned and assessed all the components. They have manufactured tools to remove bearings and begun replacing bearings, gaskets, seals and a chain drive. The oxy torch was used to cut a new set of legs as the original cast ones had to be cut off.
The converter units need to be bench tested before being installed in a 90 year old Rail Motor. The team have therefore built the first section of their test bench which is a welded seat (designed by the apprentices) to house a vintage air motor. They have tested the torque of the air motor which is very strong and should serve to turn the torque converter in test mode. Unfortunately, the first pressure test on the fluid part of the converter resulted in a number of leaks.
The team are learning a lot about torque converters. They are using the Twin Disc manual and have downloaded an Allison Torque Converter Animation to assist in understanding the fluid part of their operation. View here.
The mail barrow has been at the Annex for years and is a heritage item used on stations up until the 1970s. When not working on the torque converter the apprentices are restoring the barrow. The team have prepared the surface for repainting and sand blasted the axles and wheels and repainted them.
Two Heritage Restoration projects being planned - the Powder Van and the Section Car:
The team went to Broadmeadow in early September to check the Powder van axle boxes and handbrake were still operable. The van will be transported to the Annex by road. In the meantime, the Plan Room have provided some detailed plans of the Powder Van which will help in ordering timber and restoring the brakes.
The Section Car is a rail quadricycle vehicle. The car has a VW engine and will provide a good mechanical contrast to the body work on the Powder Van. The team has commenced mapping and tagging the cars components, and commenced planning its restoration. A trike/rail car restoration volunteer expert visited the team in October to guide the restoration planning.