3801: Protecting an Engineering Beauty

12 October 2021

3801: Protecting an Engineering Beauty

3801 is one of Australia’s most famous steam locomotive. It was built by Clyde Engineering and operated in all the mainland states and territories between 1943 and 1974.  Able to travel faster and haul more carriages, this 38 Class locomotive helped open up Australia.

The NSW government-funded the overhaul and restoration of 3801. 3801 was initially retired from service in 1974 but re-entered operations from Sydney’s central station in March of 2021.

Matthew Fallow from Asset Quality provides asset reliability services for 3801.  One of the main challenges was to protect the 80-year-old main wheel bearings. These imperial bearings are irreplaceable, but if looked after properly they will last practically forever.

With no electrical power on 3801, Orlando battery-powered vibration sensors were chosen. These sensors provide continuous monitoring of the main drive axle and bearings. 

Vibration data is acquired and stored while the train is in normal operation, and then uploaded to the cloud when the train returns to its yard or while it is in station.

Matthew and Transport Heritage NSW can access the data from anywhere on his mobile phone or computer.  If the Orlando sensor detects anything unusual while 3801 is operating, alerts are sent when the train returns to the yard or passing through stations ensuring potential issues do not go unnoticed.


Visit our website to learn more about Orlando Vibration & Temperature Sensors

Feel free to get in touch for more information.

Robert Burke at E: robert.burke@wmac.cloud  P: +64 21 441 032 or

Byron Kaufman at E: byron.kaufman@wmac.cloud   P: +1 415 757 5000 

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