Built in 1951 to a gauge of 3', this Ruston diesel locomotive or rail tractor operated on the State Electricity Commission of Victoria’s Kiewa scheme. Some years later, it was regauged to 2'6" and was operated by the Melbourne & Metropolitan Board of Works. In 1977, it was taken to the P.B.P.S. Steam Museum and stored until 1978 when it was taken to the Emerald Carriage Workshops. Later in 1983 it was returned to service as NRT1 following the V.R. classification procedure as a narrow-gauge rail tractor, but it had number plates installed and was painted Hawthorn green. It will eventually be painted the red of V.R. rail tractors with the number & class painted on in black.
Built to 3'6" gauge in 1968 by the Tasmanian Government Railways and numbered V12, ownership of this Diesel Mechanical locomotive was transferred to Australian National Railways (Tas.) in 1978. It was withdrawn and sold to the E.T.R.B. in 1983, regauged to 2'6" in 1984 and arrived at Emerald Carriage Workshops where it was rebuilt. It was returned to service in 1987 and was renumbered D21 to follow traditional V.R. numbering & classification procedure and given traditional V.R. number plates, but was given an inauthentic livery of Hawthorn green. It has since been repainted the traditional Blue & Gold of V.R. diesel locomotives.
Built to 3'6" gauge in 1970 this Diesel Hydraulic locomotive entered service for the Queensland Railways where it remained until withdrawn in 1994. Purchased by the E.T.R.B. in 1995, it was converted to 2'6" gauge in Queensland and transported to Belgrave in 1996 for overhaul. It re-entered service later in 1996, although instead of receiving a V.R. type classification & number and V.R. style livery, it retained its Q.R. number of DH59 and its Q.R. livery minus the Q.R. logo, but has since been repainted the traditional Blue & Gold of V.R. diesel locomotives and reclassified DH31.
Built in 1926 for the West Melbourne site of the Metropolitan Gas Company, and issued to traffic the same year this saddle tank locomotive was named “Sir John Grice” in 1928. It was withdrawn from traffic in 1941 and stored until sold privately in 1962. In 1965 it was sold again and went to the Whistle Stop Amusement Park in Frankston and again stored until bought at auction by the P.B.P.S. in 1974 and put on static display in the Steam Museum. Restoration started in 1978 and it was returned to service in 1981 painted light green with yellow lining. It is temporarily renamed “Thomas the Tank Engine” with a fibreglass “Thomas” body cover each time it appears in the “Thomas the Tank Engine” shows at Emerald station.
Built in 1886 for the West Melbourne site of the Metropolitan Gas Company, as a four-wheel tank locomotive similar to 986 (see below) and named “John Benn”. It was withdrawn from service in the 1930s and stored until sold privately in 1962. It was rebuilt by its new owners in the style of an American locomotive of the 1880s and was used for some years at Walhalla. It currently has the name “J.C. Rees” and is used for the 861 Footplate Experience.
Built in 1889 for the West Melbourne site of the Metropolitan Gas Company, it is a four-wheel tank locomotive and was named “Carbon”. It was withdrawn from service in the 1930s and stored until sold privately in 1962. For a few years in the 1960s it was used on a circle of track at Walhalla, before going to the Whistle Stop Amusement Park in Frankston.
Built in 1928 for the Forests Commission of Victoria and painted all-over black with the name CLIMAX painted on the sides of the cab in white block letters, this locomotive was issued to the Tyers Valley tramway which branched off the Moe to Walhalla line at Collins Siding. This locomotive was withdrawn from service in 1949 following the closure of the tramway and in 1950 it travelled from Tyers Junction to Collins Siding to Erica where it remained stored until 1965. Loaned to the Puffing Billy Preservation Society for its Steam Museum, it was taken to Menzies Creek in 1965 where it remained until 1982 when the Emerald Tourist Railway Board bought it and transferred it to Belgrave for restoration. It was returned to service for special use on the Belgrave to Gembrook line in 1988 painted in its original all-over black livery, except that the word “Climax” on the sides of the cab was now painted in the style of the Climax Manufacturing Co., a style that this locomotive had never carried.
Built in 1928 for the Forests Commission of Victoria, this petrol rail tractor was issued to the Tyers Valley tramway that branched off the Moe to Walhalla line at Collins Siding. Following the closure of this tramway in 1949, it travelled from Tyers Junction to Collins Siding to the Forest Commission’s sawmill at Erica. From here it was taken to Walhalla in 1971 for the Walhalla & Thomson River Steam Tramway, but was never used. In 1974, it was sold to the Puffing Billy Preservation Society and stored at Emerald until restoration to original condition commenced in 1987 and was completed in 2000.
Sources— Steam On The Two Foot Six Vol. 1, Locomotives—by Peter Medlin.
Heritage Standards Manual—Puffing Billy Railway.