Tucked away in the unassuming brick annex between Bays 3 and 4 along the southern façade of the Locomotive Workshop is the powerhouse of Eveleigh’s hydraulic machinery—the Hydraulic Pump House.
Virtually untouched since the day in 1988 that workers in the Eveleigh Locomotive Workshops downed their tools for the last time, the pump house today still contains the complete hydraulic assemblage that once supplied the high pressure water (hydraulics) that powered the heavy presses and spring-making machinery in the Blacksmith and Spring shops.
Constructed in the 1880s, this hydraulic system is the oldest of its kind in Sydney and likely Australia, and remarkably, still remains in an operable condition. The main components of the Hydraulic System are the original steam hydraulic pump, the later addition of an electric pump (and motor), an overhead water reservoir, and two large hydraulic accumulators.
Put simply, the system worked by pumping water from the overhead water reservoir into the two towering hydraulic accumulators outside the pump house annex, both of which contained giant rams or pistons weighted with stone or scrap iron. The weight of the pistons in the accumulators then forced the water at high pressure into a series of high-pressure hydraulic lines that ran along the east and south facades of the Locomotive Workshop, connecting internally to the hydraulic-powered machines. The accumulators allowed the hydraulic systems in the workshop to cope with extreme demand, improving response to temporary demand and smoothly out the pulsations of the pump activity.
Steam pressure pump
Year Installed: c1886
Manufacturer: Fielding and Platt, Gloucester, England.
Operation: Twin cylinder steam engine integrated with a two-cylinder double acting hydraulic pump
SHI No.: 4745186
Year Installed: c1914
Manufacturer: Hawthorn Davey Company Ltd, Leeds, England
Material: Cast iron
Operation: Vertical triplex, single acting pressure pump driven by a 100 horsepower electric motor.
SHI No.: 4745185
Year Installed: c1914
Manufacturer: Hugh J Scott Company, Belfast, Ireland
Operation: 100 horsepower electric motor, powered the electric pump
SHI No.: 4745184
Futurepast Heritage Consulting (2009). ATP Section 170 Heritage & Conservation Register.
Godden Mackay (1996). Eveleigh Workshops Management Plan for Moveable Items and Social History- Volume 3 (Inventory).