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There were 35 35 Class and 280 of these 2-8-0s!! The T-524 class (in the pre-1924 numbering scheme) were built to replace earlier 2-6-0 designs, and were so successful that they not only became the largest single class of steam locomotives in Australia, but also their design was used as the basis for no less than 4 other classes of locomotive, and they were also used on the Western Front in WWI. THe other classes were the 53 class , 55 class, Commonwealth Railways K class, and SMR 10 class .
Originally designed by Beyer Peacock, the 50 class had Belpaire fireboxes, and inside Allan straight link valve gear. The second and third driving wheels were flangeless. Members of the class were built by various builders, including Beyer Peacock, Dubs, Neilsen Reid, North British and Clyde Engineering (NSW).
Beyer Peacock built 151, the most of any one builder, and North British were in second place with 84 plus the 10 that went to the War Department's Railways Operating Division in France. To commmemorate that effort, a model of the 50 class can be seen in the Glasgow Museum of Transport
They were gradually rebuilt from the original saturated design to a superheated version, but not all were so treated, and the last one in active service was in fact a saturated loco, 5069, seen here in these pages.
Ian Larcher <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes (on 20 Oct 1999):
G'day John, I've just finished looking through your web site, and in particular at the photos of 5112. Just thought that I'd drop you a note to let you know the current state of play with this Locomotive.
As you would no doubt be aware, 5112's restoration stalled some years ago with the engine approximately 80% finished, and has remained in limbo ever since. Earlier on this year a group of former CWRPS members negotiated with Bathurst City Council to recommence the restoration, which was agreed to, however Bathurst Council has since done a complete back flip and demanded the engine's return.
As well as presenting those members with a claim for costs incurred in removing the engine back to the State Mine Museum at Lithgow for restoration to be supposedly completed by them. (Not bad as those persons never had anything to do with the fiasco, and were trying to keep faith with Bathurst Council.) I don't really want to comment on this as I have links with both groups- suffice to say that in my own personal opinion, based on over twenty years active restoration on several projects including being heavily involved with both 5112, and 5367's successful restoration & operation, it is doomed to further failure.
Anyway the state of play is this Bathurst Council is planing to (somehow) remove the engine by rail on Tuesday 26 October. Apparently Silverton will be hauling the engine from Orange East Fork down to Orange Station for craning onto a low Loader for transport to Lithgow. The carriages at this stage will not be going to Valley Heights as stated on your web site, but in the interim will stay at Orange (even if the engine goes) and continue to be restored for joint use between the Central West Railway & the Lachlan Valley Railway, both groups are working closely together & will be running some joint trips in the future.
Hope you may find this of interest
Thanks for the update, Ian. We await with interest further developments.
Greg Standen writes (6 Sep 2010):
Here is the Western Advocate article
PLANS to return the Chifley Engine to its spiritual home at the Bathurst Railway Station are picking up steam. Bathurst Regional Council has awarded the tender for the construction of the shed that will house the historic locomotive. Local company Webber Concrete Construction will build the display shed on land adjacent to the Railway Station.
Deputy mayor Ian North says he is very happy the engine will very soon be back where it belonged. "I'm rapped it is coming back, without a doubt," Cr North said. "It has taken a long time but thankfully the last council decided enough is enough. We finally got an agreement to get it [the engine] fixed and get it done. It will cost a few more dollars to put it in the heritage precinct. Chifley was a unique gentleman to the Bathurst community. It has come out a bit dearer than we would have liked but I am pleased with the result and happy we are carrying it to fruition." Cr North said he had initially hoped the engine would be on display in the shed by Christmas but realistically, it looks more like early next year. "We have to build a nice heritage structure and a lot of infrastructure work is involved," he said.
Bathurst Regional Council general manager David Sherley said the construction of the Chifley Engine Shed would cost $186,445, including GST.
Thanks for that heads-up, Greg!
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