Full payment of $225,000 has been made to Allco Finance (on behalf of The Silverton Tramway Company) for the purchase of electric locomotives 8507, 8601 and tri-bogie 8650. Preliminary movements of these loco’s have been undertaken.
All of these 1500V DC locomotives were built by Commonwealth Engineering at their former Granville plant. 8650 has the distinction of being the first tri-bogie electric locomotive in Australia and was also the last locomotive built by Comeng.
Together with our own Metropolitan-Vickers 46 class locomotive (4602), these locomotives create the most diverse collection of electric locomotives in Australia, and brings the total number of locos in the collection to 65.
Liquefied Petroleum Gas, or L.P.G., is a bulk commodity that was once carried regularly to many towns across New South Wales. Boral 'Speed-E-Gas' was the well known brand name that adorned the rail tank cars that delivered this product from the former facility at Cooks River, in Sydney, up until the mid 1990's. Recently Origin Energy, successor to Boral Gas, generously donated a former Speed-E-Gas tank car NTHF 6418 to the Museum, the only one preserved.
The former N.S.W.G.R. carried anything and everything – heavy loads were no exception. The Clyde Wagon Works constructed two 4-bogie flat wagons to carry special loads up to 120 tons individually. These two wagons, coded SL or NZLA, were also used in pairs, separated by match trucks, to carry very long and heavy loads such as boilers, catalytic converters and other industrial machinery and fabrications.
These two wagons had lain dormant at Auburn for many years until they were required to be moved immediately, to make way for a new development, or they were to be scrapped. The consortium of John Holland Constructions and Reliance Rail generously made these unique wagons available for preservation and the Museum was able to respond quickly and transport the wagons to Dorrigo using our prime mover and semi-trailer within the required timeframe. (Photo courtesy: Howard Armstrong)
One of the Museum’s long term aims for the site at Dorrigo has recently been achieved. We have always intended connecting the display site to the Dorrigo branch line by the installation of a turnout, or set of points, in the branchline. A 94 lb right hand turnout has now been installed in the branchline and will connect with the extensive sidings already on the Museum display site, allowing the vehicles in the station yard to be relocated onto the display site.
The construction of this turnout is an example of how the Museum has made long term preparations for the development of the site at Dorrigo. By being resourceful over many years, this turnout has cost the Museum almost nothing - a typical turnout found in any of the main lines around the State would cost well over $300,000 to purchase and install.
Museum members located and salvaged the buried rails from a redundant siding in Sydney, transported them to Dorrigo on our semi-trailer, and re-laid the turnout using new point timbers and fasteners, already held in stock. The turnout will also incorporate an interlocked catch-point, facing point lock and 2 lever frame, again utilising items sourced over many years and currently held in stock.