STEAM LOCOMOTIVE 1919
This locomotive was built in Manchester, England in 1878 by the firm of Beyer Peacock and Co. It was shipped to Australia and entered service with the NSW Government Railways in December, 1878. In all there were 77 members of what became known as the “19” Class.
19 Class steam locomotives were used initially on main line goods trains all over NSW but as more modern engines were introduced they began to appear mainly on branch lines throughout the state. Their simple 0-6-0 wheel arrangement suited these tasks well. They also were widely used as shunters in goods yards. Despite their age they were amongst the last steam locos to work on the NSWGR.
1919 is one of the oldest operational steam locos in Australia. It is the only one of its class in working order in 2004. Its early history is not well known. It spent the second decade of the 20th century in the Newcastle district. Much of the following 20 years was spent on the NSW North Coast, based at either Taree or Lismore. During this period it is highly likely that it worked on the Glenreagh-Dorrigo line.
Bathurst was its base from 1949 to 1952. It then was allocated to South Grafton Loco Depot from 1953 to 1957.During this period it was used extensively on the Dorrigo line. A trip behind 1919 along the line in 1957 has been beautifully described in Ron Preston’s classic work, “Tender into Tank.”
1919 was withdrawn from service in Sydney in the early 1970’s and stored at Enfield. Soon after it was sold to the Lachlan Vintage Village. In 1986 it was bought at auction by the Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum. Several years ago ownership passed to the Glenreagh Mountain Railway and it was moved by road from Dorrigo to Glenreagh in 2001.
A huge amount of work by a dedicated team saw 1919 completely restored and back in operational condition by late 2003. Only minor restoration remains for 1919 to be returned to its original condition.
Notes prepared by Dr John Kramer for GMR in January, 2004.