Railcar woes worse than first thought

NATASHA THYNE
Last updated 05:00 01/02/2014

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The Pleasant Point Ford Model T railcar will be off the rails for two months because damage from a crash was found to be more serious than first thought.

The Pleasant Point Railway and Historical Society has cancelled all holiday runnings a month early to focus on fixing the railcar.

To assess damage as a result of the collision with a sports utility vehicle two weeks ago, the motor and gearbox had to be removed.

President Bryan Blanchard said when society members were trying to reinstall the original motor and gearbox, the sump pump was found to be warped and a replacement sump in good usable condition needed to be found.

While trying to install the spare overhauled gearbox-engine unit, it was found to be different to the unit that had been removed, Mr Blanchard said.

"After a lot of fiddling around trying to install this unit, it was found mounting bolt holes in the chassis were out of line."

Earlier in the week, Pleasant Point Panel Repairs' Ron O'Connell repaired the engine mounting chassis rails and straightened them.

It was found that the twisted chassis rails had problems further back, which were having negative flow-on effects.

To fix the railcar, Mr Blanchard said it had been decided to take the passenger cabin off, which meant it would be off the rails for two months.

Yesterday was the last day the society ran train and carriage operations, originally scheduled to finish on February 23.

The two other steam trains are currently out for servicing, and the replacement diesel locomotive will no longer be running.

Last year, the society earned about $1500 from its holiday season runs.

Mr Blanchard said the volunteer organisation now faced a huge loss of revenue.

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- The Timaru Herald

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