Ransomes Simms & Jeffries
8 nhp Traction Engine

Current Status

Although this engine has not been fired since the middle 1970s, due to a blown boiler tube it is still in remarkably good condition. The action has been regularly turned over via a tractor PTO belt drive and all moving parts lubricated. Also, other sections of the engine susceptible to corrosion and deterioration have been oiled, greased or otherwise protected.

The running gear is in excellent condition as are all bearings and gearing, including final drive and differential gearing. When last in operation all aspects of the traction engine were functional including the injector, water lifter, waterpump, safety valve, steam regulator and governor.

A high tensile steel 3/4 inch wire rope (not the original referred to in the register entry) is still in good condition andin place on the winch drum.

Although it will require re-tubing there are no other known major boiler problems. Please e-mail for further information and detail regarding current condition.

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History and Provenance

Ransomes Sims and Jefferies traction engine number 34323 was shipped from the UK to Duncan Loane Pty Ltd of Devonport in Tasmania in 1923. Click here to view Sales Register entry. It has been confirmed that this engine was imported for and sold to Shorey Bros and Company where it was used primarily for agricultural contracting. As can be seen from the Sales Register entry this engine was manufactured with a colonial boiler. The photograph at right depicts the engine and Threshing machine circa late 1920s.

It is known that the firebox crown was replaced in 1949 by a Mr. Frank Bailey of Westbury. It can be assumed that this was when the engine was purchased by The Tasmanian Public Works Department as, in 1950, it was driven from Westbury to Wynyard, a two-day journey involving two drivers. It was then used to power a stone crushing plant at Doctors Rocks near Wynyard, Burnie and finally Leith, where it was eventually supplanted by a diesel powerplant. After a period of inactivity, where it was stored in the Ulverston, Shaw Street PWD yard, it again changed hands, being purchased and put to work driving a sawmill in the Forth / Melrose area from where it was acquired by the current owners.

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Restoration

The 1967 restoration consisted primarily of the following. The running gear was in good condition with the exception of the steam regulator which was leaking badly in the shut-off position due to excessive wear. The slide and valve seat were refaced and lapped.

The cast funnel base had been badly broken but was able to be successfully welded.

The canopy was completely rebuilt and reroofed. The boiler lagging, plating and banding was replaced or repaired where necessary. Other minor but time-consuming work, followed by a complete paint job, completed the restoration, as can be seen in the associated photographs. Further information regarding the restoration can be obtained by interested parties via the contact e-mail link on the homepage.

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