Heavy Maintenance on New Locomotives

The phrase ‘rail restaurant’ isn’t a common one – that’s because there isn’t a lot of them. In fact, in the whole Southern Hemisphere, we think The Q Train might be the only train that’s single purpose is housing a restaurant.

Being a ‘rail restaurant’ means that the maintenance work required is more than you’d expect at a ‘normal’ restaurant (or even a normal train!). The Q Train’s maintenance team works on the dining rooms and the kitchen facilities, but also the carriages themselves and even the locomotives. This means that we have a very skilled and versatile team who can do both the light and the heavy maintenance.

The Q Train recently acquired two 2000hp diesel electric locomotives from Tasmania. These had been in open storage for 8 years and unloved by their former owners. As part of getting them going and giving the long overdue love they needed, one of the locomotives, former Tasmanian Government Railways loco Z1, developed a water leak on one of its 12 cylinders. This put water into the sump turning the lubricating oil into cappuccino!

former Tasmanian Government Railways loco Z1

Former Tasmanian Government Railways locomotive Z1 in it’s heyday.

To rectify this fault is a fairly heavy bit of work for your average restaurant. It resulted in the removal of the cylinder head, water, fuel and exhaust piping; and then the pulling of the cylinder/piston liner. A special tool was purchased from the UK, and this made the removal task simple, easy, safe and without causing any further damage.

Young man fixing diesel locomotive engine

Here we see our fitter, Aidyn, popping the liner on Z1.

Close up photo of the special tool to remove the liner from a locomotive cylinder

The specialised ‘liner removal tool’ all lined up ready to use.

Two maintenance men removing the liner from a diesel locomotive cylinder.

Here we see Aidyn and Dale Tribe, a Bellarine Railway volunteer, removing the liner. Thanks Dale.


A cylinder removed from locomotive z1 ready for refurbishment.

Finally, the unit is out and ready for refurbishment.

Now that this leak on the locomotive is fixed, the next job on our maintenance team’s to do list is to fix an oven! It never ends!