long wait is almost over at the Dunedin Gasworks Museum and a
replacement boiler is about to get the machinery moving again
after more than a year without steam.
Museum engineering team co-ordinator Tom Galletly is feeling
much happier these days, after the replacement boiler arrived
by truck from Christchurch last month, and installation has
been largely completed.
The previous boiler, fired with waste lubricating oil, had to
be replaced after a survey showed the boiler shell was
thinning and had become unsafe.
Mr Galletly, who has been a volunteer at the museum for the
past five years, said it was hoped steam would be restored to
the museum this week.
''I'm a little bit more relaxed now. I was getting a bit
stressed for a while,'' he said.
It had originally been hoped to acquire the new boiler in six
months but delays had crept in at Christchurch, adding to the
The new boiler, with the old boiler's smokebox added at the
front, was closely modelled on its predecessor, but was
stronger and met upgraded modern requirements.
The new boiler and related costs are expected to amount to
about $40,000, which is covered by a loan from the Dunedin
City Council, to be repaid by the Dunedin Gasworks Museum
Trust through fundraising and other sources, museum
Steam was a ''marvellous'' power source.
''It just seems to live and breathe,'' Mr Galletly said.
Steam enabled gasworks machinery in the museum's Engine House
to run again, bringing it back to life, and the boiler's heat
also warmed the facility, he said.
While the steam had been off, the machinery had been getting
damper, requiring more drying and maintenance, and public
attendance had also fallen somewhat.
But better times were ahead.
''It's going to be brilliant.''