Push gathers steam to restore a historic loco
Fraser Coast Chronicle Wrote:Push gathers steam to restore a historic loco

ONE of Maryborough's iconic first steam trains could be restored to its former glory if the Maryborough Model Engineers and Live Steamers Association has its way.

During its long lifetime the No. 299 steam train did everything from star in a movie, tug coal and cattle and transport passengers.

MELSA is now on a worthy mission to raise more than $1 million needed to restore Maryborough's first locomotive made for Queensland Rail.

Foundation member Owen Bell said the No. 299 steam train was built by Walkers Maryborough in 1897 and spent its working life carrying freight and passengers throughout Queensland. It was decommissioned in 1966.

Mr Bell quashed rumours the train would be relocated.

"In 1985 the train was given to the citizens of Maryborough under the care of MELSA," he said.

Mr Bell said an expert MELSA had consulted was confident the train could be restored.

"The biggest thing is the boiler needs to be lifted off, so inspection can be done on the crown plate," he said.

"Our dream is to get it going back at full steam and run it on a section of track."

Mr Bell said MELSA would be over the moon if it could get the iconic steam locomotive running again.

"It would just be unreal," he said.

"It's something for the people of Maryborough, Queensland, the world."

The No. 299 featured in the Kylie Minogue film The Delinquents.

Mr Bell said all donations to the restoration would be appreciated.


Graham R - Dalby Qld
Any opinions expressed here are my own and not those of any group or organisation I am associated with.
Member Southern Downs Steam Railway | ARHS Qld
It would be nice to see her cosmetically restored and at Ipswich Workshops museum - she is a significant piece or QR history.
299 was restored and then fell into disuse. She was kept at the old station until being vandalised.
When visiting Maryborough a couple of years back, the people I spoke to at that time didn't seem interested in repairs or publicity. I wonder what has changed in the interim.
I can understand that the boiler might have to be lifted off the frame for inspection but definitely such a lift would not be required to inspect the crown sheet, more likely the outer side walls of the firebox, throat plate and back plate. But I guess newspaper reporters aren't expected to know that!

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