The Canberra Railway Museum is excited to have won an ACT Heritage Grant for the development of a conservation management plan for Locomotive 1210.
The centrepiece of our museum collection, 1210 has great significance in the history of Canberra. In May 1914 this locomotive pulled the first train into the city then under construction.
1210 was built by Beyer, Peacock and Company in Manchester in 1878, and arrived in Sydney 145 years ago this month. It was one of 68 locomotives of this class, built for NSW Railways at a time when rail was expanding across the state. 1210 operated across NSW, and was seen in the Goulburn, Canberra and Monaro regions as far south as Bombala.
Three times our historic engine was removed from service and was scheduled to be scrapped, but each time fortunes changed and the loco was brought back into service. How lucky we are to still have this important locomotive to be enjoyed at the Canberra Railway Museum. Of those 68 locomotives built for NSW in the late nineteenth century, only three of this class still survive.
In January 1962 1210 pulled a train into Canberra, where the locomotive was handed over to the National Capital Development Commission for preservation. The loco was placed on a plinth outside Canberra station where it remained until 1984, when it was transferred to the Canberra Railway Museum.
A conservation management plan will be developed to provide expert guidance on restoration of this asset. 1210 is listed on the ACT Heritage Register, and is the oldest item in the Museum.
Visit the Canberra Railway Museum any Sunday to step up on the footplate of 1210, and imagine its role in the early days of our nation’s capital bringing supplies and workers into the fledgling city.
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