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  1. athelney

    athelney Member

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    Victorian Railways R class No R766 is back in steam in Rothbury , Hunter Valley , New South Wales
     
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  2. buzby2

    buzby2 Well-Known Member

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    In case anyone didn't see it first time round - 2018 Restoration update: [additionally, it's been re-gauged to standard gauge from 5ft 3ins!!]
    Three years later, this week's trials at Hunter Valley Railway Trust Museum, Rothbury, NSW on 24th July:
    Oil firing appears to have been retained which should help in times of dry weather fire risk.
    I wonder how long it will be before a 3801 + R766 double header tour will be organised - that's assuming they have all the main line equipment fitted to R766.
    Incidentally, Rothbury is on the Newcastle to Muswellbrook line just over 170km (106M) from Sydney.
    The HVRT website seems a bit limited - https://huntervalleyrailway.tripod.com/index.html - unless I've missed something.
     
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  3. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Looks fantastic. Were later VR locos built with straightforward gauge conversion in mind? IIRC, some later 3'-6" gauge Garratts were designed to facilitate such a change, though that never happened.
     
  4. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    The 70 post war NBL built R Class Hudsons together with the 60 VF built J Class 2-8-0s were all built to be gauge convertable, but as R766 has shown this was a far from straightforward process, having taken the best part of 15 years to complete. Good to see that th job is now almost complete.

    I first came across R766 fifty years ago in Sept. '71 when it was plinthed outside Bendigo station 71-10-2 R766 Bendigo.jpg

    Subsequently it was privately purchased (and R711 - also now active - was put on display in its place) and restored to operation. It then passed through the hands of several different operators and carried a variety of liveries. I saw it in action over Easter '93 when it was in a dark green and red livery closely akin to its proper VR colours of black and red. Here it is shunting in its natural broad gauge environment at Wangaretta 93-4-13 17 R766 Wangaretta.jpg

    Wangaretta, like the loco, has undergone gauge conversion to standard gauge since then.

    @buzby2 dreams of R766 and 3801 doubleheading one day. Well it has not happened yet but the two locos ran parallel out of Melbourne to Seymour on Easter Sunday 1993 as seen here at Donnybrook. 93-4-11 8 Donnybrook Loop copy.jpg

    If you are wondering how I got this picture I was in the middle train (hauled by K183) of what was in fact a tripple parallel run and to my delight I found that the end vestibule door was not locked. I just had to take advantage of the opertunity offered - well wouldn't you?:)

    Peter
     
  5. 60017

    60017 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Damn right! Awesome opportunity and resulting capture, thanks for sharing it Peter!
     
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  6. athelney

    athelney Member

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    Wow , great information on R766 , didn't realise she was plinthed in Bendigo ...I was pulled by R711 back in 1999 when she was under Westcoast railway ownership ...Geelong to Warnambool ...great locos ....
     
  7. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    Here is R711 on display outside Bendigo station during the AusSteam'88 celebrations 88-10-26 13.10 R711 (3).jpg

    I agree - the R Class are fabulous locos. Pity they had such a short service career.

    Peter
     
  8. athelney

    athelney Member

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    Thanks for sharing that pic Peter , guess she was un modified by that time , as she had a Lempor exhaust when I was pulled by her under West Coast ownership .......
     
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  9. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    R711 was swapped for R766 at Bendigo in 1981 and was displayed there in original condition until 1995 when it was leased to West Coast Railway (which had nothing to do with Carnforth:)) for overhaul. They modified it with a twin Lempor exhaust, power reverser, diesel multiple unit control stand and oil firing. It ran for them from 1998 until 2002. WCR folded in 2004 and the lease of the loco was transferred to Steamrail Victoria who reversed most of the West Coast modifications. Today it runs in a fictious VR blue and gold livery based on the Spirit of Progress livery applied to the four long scrapped S class Pacifics. It has however remained an oil burner. Named Spirit of Bendigo, the loco is returning to Bendigo for a long weekend visit later this month.

    Peter
     
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  10. athelney

    athelney Member

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    Thanks for that info Peter , appreciated ...love the R class loco's ..wish I could make it back to Australia to see them again ...we wait for borders to open ..lol
     
  11. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    Me too....I was booked to go at the end of March last year, but Covid got there (and here) first:(.

    Peter
     
  12. athelney

    athelney Member

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    Yep , my last trip to Australia was in January 2019 when I did the Ghan train from Darwin to Adelaide , I have friends there, then went to Melbourne { relatives there } and also Sydney and the Hunter Valley .....can t wait to go back ....I'm not getting any younger -- lol
     
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  13. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    R766 finally ventured out on the main line on its first trial runs yesterday (Sat 30/10/21).

    Peter
     

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