Loco Roster

Loco Roster

Our Fleet of Locomotives

The Bellarine Railway boasts an operational fleet of three steam locomotives and three mainline diesels under our care. Any of these locomotives can be called on to operate trains at any time, though every effort will be made to operate our services with a steam locomotive.

For technical information on our entire fleet, including stored vehicles, click here. 

T251

Arguably one of the most recognisable sights of the Bellarine Railway for the 70s, late 80s, and 2010s – T251 entered our care in the 1970s at the Belmont Common Railway depot, and has provided many thousands of train rides to our passengers in the time since. T251 spent a few years undergoing a brief restoration out in the open air of the Belmont yard, where it would later enter service on the short section of BCR track hauling a suitable consist of the railways South Australian passenger carriages.1979 saw the relocation of the railway and all its assets to the new site in Queenscliff, where the T class would operate in a striking dark blue livery until the early 90s – by which point it was basically purple.

It wasn’t until 2009 before this loco returned to service on the Bellarine Railway, this time in a classy black livery. Although the excitement was short-lived, as cracks in the inner firebox saw the loco stripped down once again in 2011, before being rushed back together for the filming of ‘Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries’ in 2013. Regrettably, this tight deadline forced us to forgo some of the preventative maintenance tasks that would ensure the longevity of the locomotive in the years to come – and sure enough, by 2015 the loco was once again stripped down to the bare frames, though this time for its most thorough overhaul to date.

Seven years went by before T251 emerged from the shadows of the Lakers Siding shed. On the 7th of January, 2022 the loco once again graced the rails for its return to service, and has been the backbone of our Swan Bay Express heritage train rides ever since, and we are confident that this loco will not require an immense amount of work for at least ten years.

In their service life with the South Australian Railways, the T class went through a plethora of overhauls and modifications, and the locomotive you see today depicts a 3rd series T class – distinguishable by its high sided tender and long smokebox. Some examples of the T class, including 251, were converted to burn waste oil instead of coal. Though this modification was removed toward the end of service in South Australia, some evidence of this system can still be seen on our example – if you know where to look! In addition, lead weights were also fitted to the locomotives running boards, to assist with adhesion – but these were sold off to fund the move from Belmont to Queenscliff. A few examples of the T class were also sold to the Tasmanian Government Railways for use on their narrow gauge system, and while none of them survive, the Bellarine Railway owns the only remaining tender in existence for a Tasmanian T class loco – this can be seen behind the back platform at Lakers Siding.

T251 is a rugged and dependable unit, albeit slightly overpowered on a shorter train. Adhesion can be an issue at times, making the loco somewhat ‘light on its feet’ when climbing Mannerim Bank on heavier trains during the wet seasons. Provided it can grip the rails, this loco will pull anything we need it to, making it a very versatile, yet manageable all-rounder, and a treasure of the Bellarine Railway fleet.

Pozieres

This little 0-6-0 industrial tank engine is a familiar face of the 2010s era Bellarine fleet, holding the railway steady from the departure of T251 in 2015, throughout the pandemic, and right up until November 2021. Pozieres was one of five similar locomotives built by Andrew Barclay Sons & Co. of Kilmarnock, Scotland for the Broken Hill Associated Smelters industrial railway, alongside Perrone, Passchendaele, Polygon, and Port Pirie. Four of the five locos were named after French battlefields of the First World War.

Pozieres is one of the more recent acquisitions of the Geelong Steam Preservation Society, arriving at Lakers Siding in 2010, courtesy of the Puffing Billy Railways’ Menzies Creek Museum. Pozieres, along with a large collection of locomotives, was donated to the Menzies Creek museum after being withdrawn from its active service, and spent many years on static display. In 2010, Puffing Billy was looking to redevelop their Menzies Creek facility, and as part of these works, all of the 3ft 6in locomotives and rollingstock had to go. The Bellarine Railway was fortunate enough to acquire Pozieres, as well as Fyansford Cement Works locomotives No2 and No11, and a Fyansford tipper wagon, and were delivered by road to the shed at Lakers Siding.

Upon initial examination, Pozieres was found to be in remarkably good condition, and a suitable candidate for overhaul as early as possible. Due to the damp conditions that Pozieres endured at the Menzies Creek museum, some servere wastage occurred around the bottom of the dome, where water would have pooled. Fortunately though, this was found to not be a show-stopper, and Pozieres returned to service at the Bellarine Railway in 2011. The engine now sports a dark green livery, as well as a host of modifications to make it compatible with our railway, including; air brakes, electric lighting, buffers, hook and chain couplings, and a Detroit hydrostatic lubricator.

Pozieres is a dependable engine, and can comfortably haul our heaviest trains as far as Suma Park station, and four cars through the hills to Drysdale. In late 2021 it was found that some areas in the inner corners of the firebox required replacement, and thus Pozieres was withdrawn from service for an overhaul. During the lockdowns of the 2020 pandemic, the running gear and brake rigging was overhauled, and has since seen very few kilometres of service, making the 2021 overhaul an ‘above the frames’ job. With T251 in service in the meantime, Pozieres is being treated to a lot more work than would usually be done for a quick return to service – this in the hopes that we will not have to return to the boiler for many years to come.

As of August 2023, all the patches have been welded into the firebox, and the boiler has passed its crack testing procedures. Once the crown stay nuts are renewed, the boiler can be filled with water and a hydrostatic test can be booked in. Once this is passed, the locomotive should come back together rather quickly, as all of the work to the side tanks and air compressor has been completed in the meantime.

Klondyke

Another familiar name on the Bellarine Railway is Klondyke, our little oil burning sugar mill loco. Built in 1927 as part of a batch of 12 identical 0-4-0s for the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission of Victoria, these locos were designed for tough Aussie conditions. In the beginning, ‘ground zero’ for these locos was the Hume Weir construction project, along the banks of the Murray River. But interestingly, not for Klondyke…

Though details of Klondykes’ time at the Hume Weir are a little hazy, we can confirm that it was actually built as a one-of-one 3ft gauge loco (not 3ft 6in, as all the others were), built for the construction of the Bethanga Bridge. On paper, this locomotive was owned and operated by the New South Wales ‘side’ of the project, and upon completion of the bridge, Klondyke was regauged to 3ft 6in and transferred to the Hume Weir project to work alongside the rest of the Perry fleet – hence why details of this period get a little messy.

Later in life, this engine would jump between many small industrial establishments, before being purchased by the Pioneer Sugar Mill in Brandon, Queensland, along with two other Perrys – this is where the name “Klondyke” was bestowed upon this locomotive. As delivered, the Perrys were a very rudimentary coal burning 0-4-0, and it was at the Pioneer Sugar mill that some of the major advancements to the design came to be. A small oil tank and steam preheating system were added to the back of the locomotives cab, a ‘rotary’ style oil burner to the firebox, and a trailing truck under the cab to support all the extra weight. Pyle National electric lighting was also fitted to Klondyke, and it was out-shopped in a unique green and red livery.

When the Pioneer Mill closed, Klondyke was again headed on another road trip, this time to the Belmont Common Railway. Klondyke was never finished in time to haul passengers at Belmont Common, though was steamed around the yard during the transition period, when the Geelong Steam Preservation Society was in the process of slowly moving to Queenscliff. Klondyke would float around Queenscliff for a few years, before another road trip saw it land at Spotswood – where UGL is today. A steam enthusiasts hub of sorts was developing here, but only proved painful to the Bellarine Railway, as many of both Klondyke, and No5’s parts were stolen while at Spotswood.

Eventually the loco returned to Queenscliff, was thrown back together, and in the late 90s returned to service in West Coast Railways blue, the same paint as that used on R711 and R766. Speaking of R711, it was around this time that the original rectangular buffers were removed from the headstocks, and the VR tender buffers from R711 were fitted to the front of Klondyke – thats why they have a little cutout!

Yet another interstate journey would occur around the year 2000, this time to Strahan, Tasmania, for the construction of the West Coast Wilderness Railway, where Klondyke would aid in the reconstruction of the 3ft 6in line that now runs through to Queenstown. This is where the forest green livery came from – an homage to the Abt locos of the West Coast. A derailment would also occur at this time, causing one of the driving axles to break and resulting in an early trip back to Queenscliff to be repaired.

The final chapter of the Klondyke story begins in 2009, when the green paint was sanded back, and a familiar blue painted over the top – finally, we had a Thomas. It is unquestionable that this unsuspecting sugar cane loco is the most valuable locomotive in the fleet, and has bought in the most amount of revenue of any engine, in its time painted up as Thomas the Tank Engine.

X3 and X20

X3 and X20 are ex-Tasmanian Government Railways 660 horsepower mainline diesel-electric locomotives. They were designed by English Electric Company, with X3 being built in house by EE in 1950, and X20 contracted out to the Vulcan Foundry.

The X classes were the first exciting diesel locomotives procured by the Geelong Steam Preservation Society, arriving in the 1980s, and eclipsing the power output of the railways Drewry V/VA class shunters. X20 arrived in a green and yellow Australian National (AN), livery, while X3 wore a black and yellow ANR livery. At one point X20 was painted in a blue and silver livery, before both locomotives were repainted into the matching TGR red and cream livery they wear today.

These locomotives have provided many valuable years of service to The Bellarine Railway, hauling many of our heritage services on days of total fire ban.

In recent years both locomotives have been converted to dual braking, by adding a No.4 brake valve to the short end control stand of both locomotives. The X classes originally had a vacuum train brake, with an air operated locomotive brake, into which the air train brake system has been installed. Due to the demand of charging an entire train brake system, the capacity of the factory air compressor is somewhat stretched, therefore the X classes can only run in Multiple Unit Configuration while running an air braked train (as both locos share main reservoir pressure).

At present, the general public can catch a glimpse of these mainline locomotives running when the steam locomotive is unavailable for the Swan Bay Express.

1604

1604 was delivered to The Bellarine Railway in relatively recent years, and is the most powerful Diesel Electric locomotive in the fleet. The 1600 class was designed and built by the English Electric Company at their factory in Rocklea, Queensland, to enter service in the 1960s for Queensland Rail. 1604 entered service in 1962, and ran various passenger and freight trains until its withdrawal from mainline service in 1991. From then it was stored at Rosewood Railway Museum, before being transferred south to the Bellarine.

1604 produces 928 horsepower, and is an air braked locomotive. Before the arrival of diesel hydraulic locomotive 1107 (ex-Emu Bay Railway), 1604 was the sole operator of ‘The Q Train’ for a few years.

At present 1604 is sparingly used when other motive power is unavailable for our larger trains. The general public may catch a glimpse of this locomotive if the TGR X class locomotives are unavailable.

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