The Hutt Valley Model Engineering Society Inc

Marine Parade, Petone, Wellington, New Zealand

2017 Steaming Bay Replacement

The steaming bays have been in use for a number of years and as the club is very near the coast the ravages of sat air and time had taken their toll.



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The HVMES track layout

The steaming bays are in the lower left corner adjacent to the club house.

The state of the  steaming bays

As its name implies the "Beach Railway" is very close to Wellington harbour. in fact the sea is just beyond the hedgerow at the far side of the track. The salt laden atmosphere isn't the best for a steel structure, even though it is had been fully galvanized when originally constructed.

- Another view of the state of decay.

And the worst of it with support columns fully rusted through


The plan was to replace all the defective items, like the rusted through columns and reuse the existing rail sections. We had approached Steam and Sand, based in Seaview, for a quote for sandblasting all the sections to be reused. They offered to do the work free of charge, for which we were extremely grateful. It helped immensely with the project budget. Once sand blasted we used Perrys to galvanize all the components before we installed them. Logistics were very easy as the Steam and Sand and Perry's premises in Seaview are next door to each other

In order to minimise any possible disruption in track running all the new components were fabricated off site in club members workshops. All the new steel was purchased from Asmus, just around the corner from the club. They cut all the sections to size for us so it was really only a case of drilling holes and welding the various parts together. Work on site was limited to cutting the support columns to their final length and welding the top plates. securing the columns to the ground with ground anchors and installing the rail sections onto the columns.

We had decided to remove  bay 7 completely, it was very difficult to line a vehicle up in the limited space between it and the boundary posts near the road. The rail section from bay 7 was used to extend bay 2 alongside the already extended bay 1.

The down ramp linking the bays to the tracks was also in a sorry state. It was completely disassembled, sand blasted by Steam a Sand and re-galvanized by Perry's and then reassembled on site.
One other problem we had was the distorted track for the swing arm. There was a risk that the rollers could come off the track. It had never happened, but there was a risk of it happening in the future.


                                     The swing arm rail was replaced with a double rail

Nearing completion

You will notice the red rails. One of the problems with the original steaming bays was the inner rails for 5" and 3.5" gauges. They obstructed dropping of fires for  the larger gauges so we removed the inner rails in one section. These are replaced by drop in rails when a 5"or 3.5" gauge loco is using the bay.

Work completed

You will notice that the rail for the wing arm extends beyond bay 6 and  even beyond where bay 7 had been located. The intention being that given the extra space a vehicle could back up to the swing arm and unload a loco directly onto the swing arm. It also provided vehicle access to the clubhouse door. Something that hadn't been possible in the past.



John points to the "Golden Nut" signifying the completion of the project.



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Last updated: Sept 2022
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