RM 121 Restoration Status

How RM121 looked when discovered in Kerikeri.
Doug Johnston - December 2002

December 2009

A lot of effort has been put into the restoration of the cab front of the No. 2 end of RM121 over the past few months and this is evidenced by the great photo taken by Doug Johnston earlier this month.

photo: Doug Johnston December 2009

June 2009

Over the intervening period since the last report, there has been great progress with the front end of the No. 2 end of RM121 as can be seen in the photos below. A completely new cowcatcher has been fabricated along with the majority of the framing and skin of the cab front.

No. 2 end cow-catcher being welded together
Doug Johnston January 2009

No. 2 end of RM121 with cow-catcher in place to check fit.
Doug Johnston January 2009

March 2008

Much work has been done on RM121 over the past twelve months now that the two halves have been joined. Work around the cab front has been racing ahead and now the complete framing has been made and the skin around the windows is ready to be fitted in place.

Half of RM121 after being welded back together and with the cab framing sitting in place to check fit.
Doug Johnston March 2008

RM121 cab window skin being temporarily placed in position to check fit.
Doug Johnston March 2008

While all this work on the body has been taking place, Selwyn Roberts has been beavering away overhauling a vast number of smaller components such as these seen in the photo below.

RM121 drivers control equipment following extensive overhaul.
Doug Johnston March 2008

January 2008

The headlight shroud on RM121 was severely corroded so the shroud from RM119, which was in much better condition, was cut from 119 remains and welded into place on RM121 as can be seen in the photo below.

RM121 outside the goods shed with its new headlight shroud in place.
Graeme Moffatt January 2008

Work on the cab under-floor of the cab has seen some pad welding done to thicken up places that have corroded away and the whole area has now been corrosion proofed.

RM121 inside the workshop undergoing pad welding of its under-floor.
Graeme Moffatt January 2008

November 2007

Since our last report the No 2 End of RM 121 has seen a major transformation from a car that was in two pieces and had suffered severe corrosion around the cab front and vestibule walls.

Back in June 2006 the complicated process of carefully aligning and joining the two halves was completed with four new sections of longitudinal channel welded into place connecting the sole bars and inner channels together.
In October last year the joining of the two halves was completed with the fitting and welding of new steel body panels over new longitudinal roof and wall framing sections which had been fabricated and welded in place in the gap between the two body sections.

Over the Christmas period a start was made erecting the new steel wall framing for the drivers cab. This was followed by removing the corroded partition wall sections between the cab and vestibule on both sides of the cab and replacing them with new steel wall framing sections. The detailing and fitting of the new wall framing has required considerable effort to maintain the alignment of the complex curved profile to the front end of this Railcar. In May of 2007 our certified welder welded up the cab frame structure to new floor plates which are temporarily bolted to the headstock and underframe.

Recently new steel panels for the replacement cab front and side window surrounds arrived on site. Some quite detailed panel work is required to construct the surrounds which will be built up from many separate pieces to form the overall frames with radiused corners and sloping reveals and returns. The fabrication and erection of the window surrounds and other body panels will involve a trial fitting process before final fitting in place.

Another initiative under way is the construction of a cowcatcher which is being built to the original blue print drawing details. This interesting exercise involves tailoring the cowcatcher to fit the underframe and headstock structure as dimensions did vary slightly from car to car. The construction of the cowcatcher is being carried out at this stage to help confirm correct alignment of the bottom edge of the cab body panels.

Good progress continues to be made on overhauling the various components we have acquired since the start of the project. Selwyn Roberts has used his years of industry experience and knowledge to bring these parts back to a new and mainline service condition, the latest being the pneumatic sand ejectors and the compressor governors.

June 2006

Half RM121 in the workshop for the first time since arriving at Pahiatua in 2003 while being readied for welding together.
Graeme Moffatt June 2006

A major milestone occured during the weekend of 17/18 June 2006 with the welding together of the two sections of RM121 that have been undergoing restoration at Pahiatua since August 2003 (see below). The underfloor frame was welded together on the Sunday after a careful alignment of the two sections by Lee Hall and Doug Johnston the day before. The welds were checked by a welding inspector who was present and passed with flying colours. The roof and sides are the next to be joined and this will be done over the coming weeks.

Our contract welder joining the two sections together.
Graeme Moffatt June 2006

April 2006

Half RM121 being worked on by Lee Hall & Doug Johnston-
Graeme Moffatt January 2006

The dedicated team of Lee Hall, Jim Sheath, Spud Langley, Doug Johnston, Briuce Hermann, Matt Hermann and Selwyn Roberts continue the conservation work on the RM121 half body and in Selwyn’s case a component overhaul programme.

RM121 has received further painting in recent months which has greatly enhanced its appearance as well as forming a very important part of the rust inhibiting programme. They are working towards the objective of rejoining the two halves of this body by a welding process. To this end on site discussions were held with a certified welder and a welding inspector who has agreed to make up a plan and supervise the job. Meantime the ends of the underfloor channels and other structural members are being cleaned up and prepared for this exercise.

The Drivers Control Unit obtained ex Westport has now arrivedand we now have four of them in stock. Selwyn has recently completed overhaul work on two of the drivers brake valves and two throttle control valves.

After concerns that the seats of ex Otahuhu stored in the container were getting wet because of leaks in the container roof, we decided to move them and tese were shifted on 4th March 2006.

Colin Perfect has made considerable progress with the Conservation Plan and has made several visits to Pahiatua for discussions and to obtain relevant information. The Rail Heritage trust has made a very substantial contribution by way of a grant to assist the funding of this exercise.

September 2003
Members of the RM133 Trust have begun stripping the inside of the No 2 end of RM121. The body is in very good condition considering the number of years since it was last in regular service. There is some rust around the cab area and this will need replacing but most of the remainder of the outside skin will just require stripping and painting with small patches in some places.

Half RM121 - photo:
Graeme Moffatt September 2003

Twinset restoration team - photo: Graeme Moffatt October 2003

August 2003

We have now recovered one end of RM121 from North Auckland. This is the same end as the severely fire damaged end of RM133 and will aid in a quicker restoration than originally envisaged. This unit was never converted to "Grass Grub" status and is still in its original red scheme with white srtipes (see photo below).


Half RM121 - photo: Graeme Moffatt 4 August 2003

January 2003

The interior and floor of the end with the luggage compartment is now being stripped and the chassis is being prepared for corrosion protection. The other end that has become deformed owing to the fire at Auckland is to be replaced with the same end from RM121 which has recently been located. This end is to be shifted to Pahiatua once sufficient finance has been found to cover the transport and cranes charges.

March 2002

The ballast blocks which were placed to replace the weight of the engines when it was run as an Ac car have been removed and both ends of RM133 have been cleaned of debris following the fire at Auckland. The interior lining from each end has also been stripped out. Various items including seats and cab control equipment are currently being collected from various parts of the country.