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The story of Locomotive 3016

Locomotive 3016 was built, as 4459, by Beyer, Peacock and Company of Manchester, England, and Eveleigh Railway Workshops in Sydney, for the New South Wales Government Railways. It entered service on 28th October 1903 as Locomotive 651, one of the first 35 of 145 S636 class tank engines in use on the Sydney suburban rail network. These engines became the (C)30 class in the 1924 renumbering scheme.

Electrification of the Sydney metropolitan network commenced in 1926. 3016 was one of 77 30 class engines that was converted in 1930 for use on country branch lines. As a 4-6-0 tender engine, 3016 was further modified in 1941 with the addition of a superheated boiler and piston valves replacing the slide valves. Now known as 3016T, it serviced Narrandera, Cowra, Goulburn, Dubbo, Werris Creek and Temora. Records of the day state that it covered 3,253,120km in 69 years of faithful service, the highest amount of its class.

3016 was withdrawn from service in February 1972 and donated to the Parramatta Rotary Club for its Steam Train and Railway Preservation Society.

Locomotive 3016 comes to Canberra

3016 proved to be too heavy for the Parramatta line, and was facing the scrap yard until members of the then ARHS-ACT organisation, Alan Kent and Peter Reynell, discovered that the locomotive could be available. After lengthy negotiations, Locomotive 3016 was bought by ARHS in 1978. It was restored between 1986 and 1989 and ran regular trips for the Society. In 2003, it was fully dismantled and restored at NSWRTM Thirlmere. Following ite return to Canberra, 3016 operated there from 2006 to 2016, and was then leased back to Thirlmere for a further three years.

Given its age, Locomotive 3016 is in sound condition. A recent (2022) boiler ultrasound thickness test yielded no abnormalities or weakness. Three separate reports, the latest in 2022, have been prepared and all indicate that restoration to full steam is viable. This process has already commenced; the cladding has been replaced, the superheater elements have been removed, the grates and dead rods have been removed from the firebox and the boiler exterior has been needle-gunned and coated with corrosion and heat-resistant paint.

The ultimate goal is to run regular trips to Bungendore, Tarago and eventually Goulburn and beyond.