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Cobdogla Irrigation & Steam Museum

Aveling & Porter Nº12090 Steam Roller Restoration


Cobdogla Clarion September 2016

A lot of exciting things have been happening at the Cobdogla Irrigation & Steam Museum.

First both Fowler traction engines have been retubed. The B6 crane engine, which has been out of action for a number of years, was done first and is now back at the museum ready for the October 2nd open day, although the crane is still to be refitted.  The new tubes have enabled an increase in the boiler working pressure to 120 p.s.i.

Then, after 95 years since the engine was first commissioned, a couple of the original tubes developed some leaks, so the Z7 ploughing engine was also retubed. This enabled us to retain its full working pressure of 180 p.s.i.

Next, the Fowler shed is being extended to house both the Fowlers and the Aveling & Porter steam roller. This work is still under way.

The roller has been taken to Loveday and fully dismantled for restoration. As parts have been removed, they have been refurbished or have had replacement parts fabricated.

Some extensive boiler work will be required including the replacement or extensive repair of the front tube plate and longitudinal stays. The rest of the roller is generally in a good condition and this will be another valuable addition to the steam plant at Cobdogla when completed.

Finally, extensive upgrades to the Humphrey pump and surrounds have been made. These include the installation of additional ventilation systems, gas monitoring equipment, guard rails, fencing and general maintenance.

At this stage, these upgrades may not be completed in time for the 2nd October open day, partly due to the late delivery of the gas monitoring equipment. However, our volunteers are doing their best to complete the work load. Please check this web page or the Cobdogla Museum Facebook site for the latest news.


Cobdogla Clarion June 2016 Supplement.

After some rainy weather over the previous few days, the June open day was fine and relatively warm and both locals and visitors took the opportunity to visit the museum. Visitors enjoyed the train rides and many saw a mob of kangaroos crossing the line several times during the day. Some had the added excitement of a couple of minor derailments and watched with interest the method used to put the offending bogie back on track. The cause of the derailments was tracked down to a small section of track being over gauge, so some track work has been scheduled to remedy this.

Elsewhere in the museum, all the International tractors were out of their shed on display, two International W4 tractors, an International McCormick Deering Farmall A and two Farmall Super A models.

Visitors were also keen to inspect the progress on the Humphrey Pump upgrades towards the planned recommissioning in October.


 "The Cobdogla Clarion". June 2016

Work on reinstating the Humphrey Pump to operation is continuing apace. One of the new ventilation systems has been installed, and another upgraded. New safety fencing has also been installed around the gasometer, and the gas monitoring system has been ordered. This puts us on track for an October 2nd recommissioning.

Both Fowler engines are back in steam following the installation of new tubes.

See our Facebook page for some video of the B6 engine being road tested.

The shed extension to house both Fowlers and the steam roller is well under way with most of the roof now installed on the main shed. The floor of the entire shed is to be concreted at last with quotes being received at present.

Work has also commenced on the restoration of the Averling & Porter steam roller. Some parts have been removed for refurbishment and a new steering shaft made. The front rolls have been jacked up and were found to turn with little effort. The main effort at this stage is to get the roller ready for a tow to the Loveday workshops for a total strip down.

The locomotives have been fitted with dash cams as some misguided motorists persist in racing the trains to the level crossings, even though the lights and gong are operating.

The Bagnall's smokebox door has been straightened out and its hinge adjusted. This work has eliminated the air leak into the smokebox which was detrimental to good steaming.

In the IC engine shed, a gantry has been fabricated to enable the centre cylinder to be lifted from the Mirrlees engine. There is a water leak in the jacket which needs attending to.

Recent open days have had an extra working exhibit in the form of sheep shearing, and we intend to have this on most open days, providing we can keep up the supply of sheep from member Con from Orroroo. Unfortunately, the recent wet weather has meant the demonstration will not be happening in June.

The October open day is also the 30th anniversary of the museum and we are planning some special events to celebrate.

Keep checking the Facebook page for details.