P 128

Yass Tramway veteran


This view shows the remains of P128 at Yass on 31 July 2010.  The boiler & smokebox from sister P129 is fitted. 

Missing is the stovepipe chimney, circular saddle-tank and rounded cab & roof.

No.128 was one of an order of three 0-6-0ST locomotives built for the NSWGR by Vulcan Foundry of Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire.  These locomotives were used for a variety of branch-line duties including the Richmond and Camden lines. These three locomotives were later grouped with some similar locomotives to form the P(127) class. a

P 128 was allocated to the Yass Tramway from 1892 to 1910 and would have made many return trips on the short branch from the main line at Yass Junction to Yass Township.  P 128 was then sold to the Commonwealth Government and used in the construction of the Jervis Bay breakwater. a, b

P 128  was later sold to Kalingo Colliery, Cessnock but was set aside by 1938. a  At some stage it attracted the attention of scrap metal collectors and the saddle-tank and boiler were cut apart (presumably to access the copper firebox and tubes) leaving the remaining frames, wheels and smokebox languishing at Kalingo. During the early preservation era these remnants were expected to be scrapped and thus various components such as the side rods & brake rigging were removed and are apparently now stored with the DSR&M collection at Dorrigo. d

The remnants of P 128 were retrieved from Kalingo Colliery in 1983 and initially displayed at the Richmond Vale Railway Museum. (When I first encountered this loco at Richmond Main around 1989, half of the heavily-rusted saddle-tank also remained; this had presumably been obtained from Kalingo Colliery as a pattern.  I'm not sure if this remnant still exists.) d

P 128 moved to the Yass Railway Museum in 1992.  As an unlikely coincidence, the boiler of sister loco P 129 was later discovered to survive at a sawmill. (The sawmill operator apparently purchased P129 from Mt Kiera Colliery in 1950's and, as only the boiler was needed, the rest of P 129 was left for scrap). This boiler was purchased and transported to Yass in April 2000 and subsequently fitted to P 128. c

Hopefully in the future a replacement saddle-tank and cab roof could be manufactured, and the various smaller components in the DSR&M collection refitted, at which point P 128 could be presented as a reasonably complete exhibit and interesting and historic survivor of early NSWGR branch-line power. d



This rear view of P128 at Yass is dated 31 July 2010.

The Yass Junction station sign in the background is a museum exhibit, salvaged from the mainline junction at the other end of the Yass Tramway!



This view shows the original P128 smokebox, stored amongst various bric-a-brac at the Yass Museum on 31 July 2010. The remains of several copper fire tubes can be seen, together with crude oxy-cut marks where the boiler shell was cut open.  This Smokebox was still attached to the frames when the remains of P128 were first preserved, but was replaced by the more complete P129 boiler & smokebox.





a "A Compendium of New South Wales Steam Locomotives" compiled by Alex Grunbach, published by the Australian Railway Historical Society, New South Wales Division, 1989, P.59
b Visitor's Guide provided by the Yass Railway Museum, from my visit of 2 October 2002.
c Information provided 27/10/02 by Gordon Ross, via aus.rail newsgroup.
d Webmaster's observation or comment.



Page updated:  6 November 2014

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