28 Hyacinth Street, Asquith New South Wales 2077 Australia
In addition to the pictures shown on this month's back cover, I have sent a few others that you may find of interest.
Photo #1 is of a 10-ton steam roller I found near Datong, China, in 1988. It was being used in a field when I went past in a bus in the morning, but when I returned in the afternoon the fire had been dropped. I took a number of photos including one of the builder's plate which I had a friend translate when I returned home. The most surprising thing was that it had been built in February 1966, which must make it one of the last steam rollers ever built in the world. It was built by the First Mechanical Industries Department, Suizhou Engineering Machinery Factory. It had a fast moving speed of 3.7 km per hour, and a slow moving speed of 2.5 km per hour, at 200 rpm. Roller width was 1980 mm, front wheel linear pressure 28 kg/cm, rear wheel linear pressure 75 kg/cm. The unit is 5740 mm long, 1984 mm wide, and 2990 mm high. Boiler pressure was 11 kg/cm2, evaporation rate 0.2 tons per hour, heating surface 8 m2 cylinder diameter 200 mm.
Photo 2 is an Australian built 8 HP compound roller, built at Cowley's Eureka Iron Works, Ballarat, Victoria, in 1928, builders number 1217, for the Ballarat City Council, which used the engine until 1950. It is now owned by Andrew Reynolds. The photo was taken at a rally at Wantirna, Melbourne.
Photo 3 was taken at Lake Goldsmith Rally in 1992, and shows a Foden traction engine built in 1905, builders number 1138, 7 HP compound. Originally used for road haul age, it later drove a stone crushing plant. It's now owned by John Smyth.
I took photo 4 at Mildura, on the border between New South Wales and Victoria. It shows McClaren traction engine #438. The engine is preserved in a park next to a large steam pump built by Tangye.
Photo 5 was taken at Echuca, also on the New South Wales/Victoria border, where they have a very good rally each year. The town is located next to the Murray River, and about seven paddle steamers have been restored. The photo shows two Ran-some steam wagons, both built in 1923. At left in the photo is #34036, cross compound, 7' LP, 4' MP x 7' stroke, boiler pressure 225 psi. At right is #35138, one of 35 built. It was used by Glenelg Shire, Victoria, and later at a sawmill at Carpolal, Victoria.
I've been a member of Hornsby Model Engineers, which restored the portable engine on the back cover, for 23 years. The portable was owned by one of our members coming from Inverell in northwest New South Wales. He sold it to Hornsby Council to be displayed at Fagin Park, Galston, not far from our live steam club. I helped drill rivet holes for the new smokebox. It was built in 1908, builders number 35342 and is single cylinder 8 HP.
I wonder if anyone can help me by providing some information on ice locomotives built by Phoenix and Lombards. There was an excellent series of articles in Live Steam September 1975 to February 1976, and also some articles in Locomotives International. Ice locomotives were steam powered vehicles using caterpillar tracks and a front steering ski used to haul logs out of forests during the winter over tracks made in the snow. I know a few have been preserved but I have not been able to find out about them, especially about any that are in operating condition. There is a Lombard at Clarks Trading Post, Lincoln, New Hampshire, one or more at the Lumberman's Museum, Patten, Maine, and a Phoenix at Wabeno, Wisconsin. Could anyone give me more details of these or other owners of ice locos that are preserved? Some of the photos in the Live Steam article were taken from a 16 mm movie. Are there any videos available of them in service taken from the original movie or maybe later video of preserved ice locos?
Anyone visiting Australia on holidays is quite welcome to contact me if they want information on traction engines, etc., in Australia.
Ray Gardiner, of 28 Hyacinth Street, Asquith, New South Wales 2077, Australia, sent these photos from 'Down Under' for the enjoyment of our readers.
A Ruston Proctor portable 8 HP built in 1908, builder's number 35342. The engine was used at Inverell, New South Wales. A non-operational restoration was completed by members of Hornsby Model Engineers for the Hornsby Council, and the engine is on display at Fagin Park, Galston.
A No. 4 face shovel built by Ruston Hornsby, Lincoln, England, in 1925, number 923. It was used at Australian Portland Cement Company Ltd. quarry at Fyansford, Victoria, until 1958, with occasional use afterwards. A new boiler was built for it in 1960. It has been purchased by Lake Goldsmith Steam Preservation Society and is still operational.