The Eveleigh Locomotive Workshops

The largest and most technologically advanced workshop in the southern hemisphere, Eveleigh was opened in 1887 by the NSW government for the maintenance and manufacture of steam locomotives. The two blacksmithing bays inhabited by Be a Blacksmith are the only intact operating bays remaining.

 

The class 36 steam boilers supplied steam power to the workshops. Image from Railways, Relics and Romance. Photographed by Henry Moore. 

The class 36 steam boilers supplied steam power to the workshops. Image from Railways, Relics and Romance. Photographed by Henry Moore. 

We use a large portion of the blacksmithing equipment at Eveleigh, which is considered "the largest and most integral collection of Victorian blacksmithing equipment, in terms of integrity and extent known in the western world," according to the Smithsonian Institute.

 

Ain't nothing wrong with steam

Eveleigh was powered by steam right up until its closure in 1988. 36 class boilers generated power for the blacksmithing machinery, with the pump room providing water at 800lbs/sq for the presses, spring-making equipment and the hydraulic elevator which hoisted materials to the deck of the cupolas in the foundry.

 

An industrial jewel

The Davy was installed by the Navy in 1929 who allowed the Department of Transport to operate the press as part of the Australian Self Sufficiency Drive, after the U-Boat scare of WWI. It was capable of working ingots 3 feet thick. The Davy Press is considered the jewel of the crown of Australian industrial archaeology; it was the largest forging press of it's day in the southern hemisphere, operating with a seven-man crew. Some of the porter bars for manipulating the steel weigh close to two tonnes–a testament to the toil of 19th century industrialism.

 
The Davy Press, a 1500 ton steam press, forged crankshafts and connecting rods for locomotives and heavy forging work. Image taken from Railways, Relics and Romance. Photograph by Henry Moore.  

The Davy Press, a 1500 ton steam press, forged crankshafts and connecting rods for locomotives and heavy forging work. Image taken from Railways, Relics and Romance. Photograph by Henry Moore.  

Grandfather of the steam hammers'

The 40cwt double arch hammer is two tonnes of moving parts, situated in Bay 1 south. The hammer is believed to come from the first government railway workshop and is dated to around 1865, making it one of the oldest steam hammers in the world. The steam hammer was invented by Sir James Nasmyth, who also invented the vertically acting steam engine as seen on the Roots blowers, which provided high volume, low pressure air to the furnaces and forges throughout the workshop via an underground network of cast iron pipes.

 

The Woodbury Type Press

The Woodburytype Press, appears to be the only press of its kind to survive in the world and was originally made for the NSW Government Printing Office. Its discovery sparked great interest for researches in the field of early photographic printing.

 

Realm of the third-class machinist

In Bay 2 south automation and mass production ruled the day, experienced laborers who had worked their way up to operating a machine on their own worked here. Two upset forging machines on the western side remain complete with dies for boiler rivets, cotter pins, crown stays for boilers, and all manner of bolts and shackels. Other associated equipment here are frazing machines–a combination of a rotary rasp to trim flash from forgings and a hot saw to split bars prior to forging clevises–and jib cranes to change dies.

 
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