Full steam ahead for Manchester-built Australian-based steam locomotive 6029

The New South Wales Government in Australia has obtained Beyer-Garratt 6029 and will be part of the Transport Heritage NSW fleet.

6029 was unveiled to members and volunteers by Wollondilly State Member Nathaniel Smith and Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business Lou Amato, who joined Transport Heritage NSW (THNSW) Chairman Rob Mason and CEO Andrew Moritz at the NSW Rail Museum

Nathaniel said the 6029 is an important heritage asset in the feet and is preparing for a return to service.

“This steam engine is an outstanding example of the railway engineering of yesteryear and illustrates the fabulous work of THNSW volunteers and former owners over the years to maintain it as a reliable and functioning asset,” said Mr. .Smith.

“The Beyer-Garratt 6029 entered service in 1954 and was a reliable workhorse in the NSW fleet flying over a million miles before being withdrawn from regular service in 1972.

“This kind of dedication and enthusiasm to restore and maintain pieces like the Beyer-Garratt 6029 ensures that they remain a part of our moving history that railroad heritage enthusiasts can enjoy for decades to come,” said Mr. Smith. .

6029 will return to the main line with a special weekend of train journeys to Bathurst from 11-13 June 2022. Tickets are available now on the Transport NSW website.

6029 was built in Manchester and imported to New South Wales to haul coal. The class of locomotives did not enter service until 1952 with a second batch joining the original order of 25. The second batch was partly canceled due to the introduction of 40 diesel locomotives. This resulted in 42 Garratts in service and 5 spares locomotives. Despite the previous cancellation, there were 60 Garratts still in service even after the 40 diesel locomotives were withdrawn from service.

Due to their length and lack of turntables, Garratt locomotives often ran in reverse, with a number running with a second set of controls from 1958. You can tell which locomotives have them by the DC indicated on the buffer beam.

6029 entered service in 1954 (receiving its dual control system in 1959) but was retired in 1972. It returned to steam in 2014 through work by the Australian Railway Historical Society (ACT Division).

Mr. Moritz said the acquisition of this steam engine was important to THNSW because it not only complemented and provided operational support to the historic and much-loved Locomotive 3801, but was also popular with the public and members of THNSW.

“Soon after it was first decommissioned, the steam engine was donated to the ACT Division of the Australian Railway Historical Society (ARHS) and transferred to the Canberra Railway Museum,” Mr Moritz said.

“Between 2007 and 2015, ARHS ACT volunteers spent hundreds of hours restoring the engine and as a result, 6029 was returned to service.

“In 2017 the locomotive was rescued by a private syndicate of rail fans who purchased 6029 and moved it to the NSW Rail Museum, Thirlmere, where THNSW operated the engine under an agreement with the previous owners ever since,” he said.

Mr Amato said it was fabulous to see the 68-year-old heritage steam engine being returned to the people of NSW as a tourist attraction and displayed at major historic railway events.

“THNSW has the knowledge and skills to maintain the locomotive for generations to come, it is a wonderful gift for all rail enthusiasts,” Mr. Amato said.

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