Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum

News: 5711 returns to the Mountains

5711's Cab at Valley heights
5711's partly restored cab soon after arrival
at Valley Heights. Photo: Col Burne.

DECEMBER 2006: Before all you steam enthusiasts get too excited by this headline, we should point out that it is not to the unique beat of its 3 cylinders.

During the 1980's a strong group of RTM members dedicated one day a month to travel to Thirlmere and carry out restoration work to this locomotive. Unfortunately, due to a culmination of reasons, work stopped part way through the restoration program and for many years the 5711 project has been stalled. We and the RTM are pleased to announce that a large proportion of the group that started the restoration of this locomotive back in the 1980's have reformed and work on the locomotive is to recommence.

Some time ago the RTM's Exhibit Management Group were presented with a proposal to transfer this locomotive to Valley Heights so that work on the restoration and reassembly of the locomotive could recommence. This proposal was subsequently submitted to the RTM's Board and the proposal was approved. Subsequently, a Conservation Management Plan and a Restoration Project Plan were drafted to guide the restoration team through the work.

Funding to support this project will primarily be supported by the RTM, from funds already held within the 5711 Fund, however an extensive ongoing budget has been planned to maintain work on this locomotive into the future.

The primary aim of the team is to restore the locomotive to static condition however all work that is carried out is not to prevent the possibility of the locomotive's potential return to service.

Initial work will start on the tender with the engine to be transferred at a later date once the tender restoration program in nearing completion and there is more storage space available.

The tender bogies and frame together with the locomotive's cab, main air reservoir, running board components, main steam pipe and many other essential parts have arrived at Valley Heights and that the group has already commenced work.

FEBRUARY 2007: Work has commenced on the first bogie where the bogie frame has been lifted so that both wheel sets and axle boxes can be removed. All axle sets have been cleaned, painted and axle journals greased. Cleaning and Painting of the bogie frame has also commenced. All work on this bogie has been undertaken in Bay 7 of the Roundhouse so that work can continue during all weather conditions. The photos below show some of the work in progress to date.

Bogies for 5711's tender
The bogie frame lifted and wheel sets free to allow
work to commence. Photo: Andrew Tester.
Frames from 5711's tender under restoration at Valley Heights
Tender bogies and Tender frame (sitting on temporary
bogies) just after arrival at Valley Heights . Photo: Col Burne.

APRIL 2007: Work continues on the restoration of the first tender bogie. After lifting the bogie frame to remove both wheel sets, the axle boxes were removed and disassembled for cleaning, greasing and painting. Work has now commenced on the reassembly of the axle boxes to the first wheel set with the same treatment about to be applied to the second wheel set.

JUNE 2007: Work on this exhibit is progressing at a slow but steady pace. Work on the restoration of the first Tender bogie is now complete. Some needle gunning work has commenced on the Tender Frame to remove blistering paint and rust. Work on the restoration on the second tender bogie has commenced.