Stored for the Dorrigo Steam Railway & Museum


1904 is seen stored in the Dorrigo Station yard on 24 January 2004.

It is paired with a rebuilt 6-wheel (Z)16-class tender with “slab-sides”.

Like other DSR&M locomotives, it is regularly coated in black oil for weatherproofing.

In addition, 1904 is protected by old paint tins placed over the safety valves, turbo generator etc!


Beyer Peacock & Co, Manchester

Builder’s Number & Year

1646 of 1877

Wheel Arrangement


No. in class



1904 was the fourth of an initial order for 6 heavy freight locomotives of the A(93) class and originally given the road number A 96.  The A(93) (later known as the (Z)19 class) represented the final NSWGR development of the "long boiler" 0-6-0 design, and went on to number 77 locomotives supplied by Beyer Peacock & Co, Manchester and local builder Henry Vale & Sons.

1904 was retired in 1972 after more than 90 years of service with the New South Wales Government Railways, during which time it had been progressively demoted from state-of-the-art heavy freight haulage to niche shunting roles.  In particular, the (Z)19-class were favoured on lightly-laid “pioneer” branch lines due to their sure-footedness on steep grades and sharp curves, together with shunting roles where poor track was often encountered.  In addition, the (Z)19 class found a special role in large locomotive depots, where a light but powerful loco was required to propel coal hoppers up the incline to the top of the coaling stage; 1904 survived in this role at Port Waratah depot, Newcastle until as late as August 1972.

1904 was purchased by the Hunter Valley Steam Railway & Museum (precursor to the Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum) in 1977 for $4,500, a considerable sum at that time.  It is paired with a rebuilt (Z)16 tender which features “slab sides” and equalisation springs on the rear axles.  1904 was initially stored at Rhondda Colliery near Newcastle before being rail hauled to Glenreagh in late 1983 and then to Dorrigo in 1986.  1904 is now stored with several other DSR&M steam locomotives on the former “potato siding” within the Dorrigo Station yard, where it regularly receives a coat of black oil to provide some protection against the torrential rain in this area.  Unfortunately the Dorrigo Steam Railway & Museum is not open to the general public and hence access to the exhibits is restricted.  Apparently 1904 was allocated to the Dorrigo line during the mid-1930’s, so its return to Dorrigo is perhaps fitting.

John Kramer provides a good history for 1904 in his book 'The Dorrigo Steam Railway & Museum - an Illustrated Guide’.  Ron Preston also provides wonderful accounts and great photographs of (Z)19-class operations on the NSWGR’s pioneer lines in his work “Tender Into Tank”.

For more general information about the A(93) / (Z)19-class locomotives, refer to the page for sister 1905.  Wikipedia also provides further information and technical details for the A(93) / (Z)19-class.




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

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


Kramer, J. 'The Dorrigo Steam Railway & Museum - an Illustrated Guide',

published by the Dorrigo Steam Railway & Museum, 1987.


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Page updated:  15 May 2015

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