Stored at Broadmeadow


1219 stored on a turntable road at Broadmeadow roundhouse on 15 December 2012.

My thanks to Jeff Mullier for contributing this photograph.


Dubs & Co, Glasgow

Builder’s Number & Year

1270 of 1880

Wheel Arrangement


No. in class



This locomotive entered traffic with the NSWGR in March 1880 as C 145, one of 68 members of the C(79) class deployed on passenger and mail train duties.  Although designed by Beyer Peacock & Co, Manchester, C 145 was one of 26 supplied by Dub & Co, Glasgow.  The C(79) class were the mainstay of the NSWGR passenger locomotive fleet for several years, being augmented in the mid-1880’s by inside cylinder 4-4-0 types and superseded by 4-6-0’s from the 1890’s, following which the class were relegated to country depots for rural & secondary services.

As originally built, the C(79) class featured round-top boilers with Salter safety valves, a sloping smokebox front, ornate copper-top chimneys and open cabs.  They were later rebuilt with Belpaire boilers (retaining saturated steam) and Ramsbottom safety valves, cast iron chimneys and enclosed steel cabs of the “Thow” port-hole style.  They were reclassified as (Z)12’s in the 1924 renumbering, with C 145 becoming 1219.  (For further general information about the C(79) / (Z)12 class, refer to the page for sister 1210.)

An operational problem experienced with the class was accumulation of ash in the smokebox, resulting in blockage of the lower fire tubes, reduced steaming and charring / deformation of the smokebox door.  (Ash burn can often be seen in photos of (Z)12 class locomotives in NSWGR service; perhaps this is why the original boiler design had a sloping smokebox that was wider at the base.)  1219 is unusual as the only class member modified (in general service) to overcome this problem, with a “drumhead” extended smokebox fitted at Eveleigh Workshops in February 1956.  (Sister 1243 later also received an extended smokebox, but by this time it was already well into its preservation career.)  Photos after this overhaul show 1219 paired with a 6-wheel tender of the type delivered by Beyer Peacock & Co with the original batch of 50 P(6) / (C)32 class engines, and 1219 seems to have retained this tender through to preservation.

The NSWGR withdrew most of its 4-4-0’s in the 1930’s following the arrival of the (C)30T class and early petrol railmotors, however a small number of (Z)12 class were retained for certain light lines / country duties.  An overview of 1219’s final years of NSWGR service provides an insight into the niche use of these surviving (Z)12 locomotives: following its 1956 overhaul, 1219 was sent to Werris Creek to work the school train to Tamworth & return.  It was replaced by sister 1235 in December 1956 and transferred to Moree for the Moree-Inverell tri-weekly passenger service.  1219 was transferred to Casino in September 1958 for use as a stationary boiler until requisitioned in January 1962 as a stand-by loco for 1243 on Vintage Train operations based in Sydney.  1219 was nursed through these duties until withdrawn in November 1963 owing to poor boiler and mechanical condition, being condemned two years later on 26 November 1965 with a final total distance of 2,116,559km recorded.

1219 remained in its “as withdrawn” livery and condition when initially earmarked for the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences (now known as the Powerhouse Museum), being stored with the NSWRTM collection at Enfield and transferred to Thirlmere in 1975.  Unfortunately it showed the effects of many years of open storage, with significant surface rust and the timber cab roof heavily decayed.  1219 was shunted away from public view onto the long term storage sidings at Thirlmere in 1983, ostensibly due to its poor appearance.  (Sister 1243 represented the class in the NSWRTM collection around this time as a regular traffic locomotive on Loop Line tourist services.)  1219 did receive some preventative care by volunteers while in storage; it was black-oiled in 1989 and some repainting applied in the mid 1990’s.  1219 finally moved into covered storage at Thirlmere in late 2004 before being rail hauled to Broadmeadow Loco in August 2008, where it is now in secure undercover storage on one of the roundhouse rounds.

While 1219 appears in a rather poor state, much of the deterioration appears superficial and, worldwide, many steam locomotives in much worse condition have been restored to operation.  Hopefully one day funds can be found for 1219 to be returned to its former glory and available for public viewing.  As a point of interest, a spare (Z)12 / (Z)13 boiler was also saved for the NSWRTM and stored at Thirlmere for many years; if I remember correctly it is boiler tab 1214.

An excellent resource for detailed information about this locomotive is the fact sheet for 1219 on the NSW Government Office of Environment & Heritage website.  Further general information and technical details for the C(79) / (Z)12-class locomotives can be found on Wikipedia.

1219 languished out of public view on the long term storage sidings at Thirlmere from 1983 to late 2004.

The drumhead smokebox extension is prominent in this view (dated 17 January 2004), together with the wooden buffer beam

Weathering of the old black paint seems to be revealing a very old green livery; if so, presumably it dates from the 1930’s or earlier.

Another view of 1219 languishing on the long-term storage sidings at Thirlmere.

This angle emphasises the graceful curve of the running plate over the wheel centres.

1219’s connecting rods can be seen stored in the cab, on the footplate.

Skylight is pouring through the rotten timber roof!  17 March 2003

1219 with P(6) class tender being prepared for rail transfer to Broadmeadow on 19 August 2008, together with other exhibits.

A mounting plate for the missing air compressor can be seen on smokebox side.

(The NSWRTM has significant spares and I imagine this compressor, or a suitable replacement, are held in store.)

My thanks to Anthony Snedden for contributing this photograph.



"Locomotives of Australia" by Leon Oberg, published by J. W. Books Pty Ltd, 1982 reprint.


"A Compendium of New South Wales Steam Locomotives" compiled by Alex Grunbach,

published by the Australian Railway Historical Society, New South Wales Division, 1989.


‘Steam Locomotive Data’ July 1974 edition, compiled by J. H. Forsyth for the

Public Transport Commission of NSW.


Wikipedia entry for the NSWGR (Z)12 class, retrieved 17 August 2015.


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