Last of the NN(1027) class “Nannies”


3526 at Thirlmere station during the NSWRTM Festival of Steam, 6 March 2005.


New South Wales Government Railways (Eveleigh Workshops)

Builder’s Number & Year

118 of 1917

Wheel Arrangement


No. in class



When the need arose for more powerful locomotives to reduce double-heading of P(6) / (C)32 type engines on heavy express passenger duties, the NSWGR initially developed the N(928) / (C)34 class in 1909; these were essentially an enlarged P(6) /(C)32 design and retained saturated boilers.  Alas the N(928) / (C)34 type proved very rough riding and unsuited to steep, curvaceous track and hence only 5 were built. The true successor to the P(6) / C(32) class emerged from the NSWGR Eveleigh Workshops in 1914 with the first of the NN(1027) class which were of a substantially new design, featuring superheated boilers and other modernisations. 35 engines of this type were subsequently built at Eveleigh and the NN(1027) engines became known as ‘Nannies’ by NSW railwaymen.

The NN(1027) class suffered teething troubles as first constructed, however they proved useful engines following rebuilding during the1940. They were reclassified as (C)35 in 1924, receiving the numbers 3501 to 3535. The (C)35’s cascaded to secondary passenger duties following the introduction of the larger (C)36 4-6-0’s and later (C)38 Pacifics and could also be found on freight turns during the demise of steam.

Preserved loco 3526 was first issued to traffic 29 March 1917 as NN 1314, being renumbered in 1924. It was rebuilt in July 1940 and listed as condemned on 7 October 1966, although in practice it seems to have been set aside for preservation in the NSWRTM collection at this time as it remained active on rail tours. 3526 was ostensibly chosen for preservation as one that wore lined blue livery during the 1930’s for ‘Caves Express’ duties from Sydney to the Blue Mountains. The remainder of the class were withdrawn and scrapped during the 1960’s, with the last three (3501, 3531 & 3532) withdrawn on 30 August 1968 and all had been scrapped by October 1968, leaving 3526 at the formative NSWRTM in Enfield No.1 Roundhouse as the sole survivor. It is paired with a 4,000 gallon tender (Tab 1309, removed from locomotive 3519 in 1967) of the original type built with these engines, although 3526 and certain others had been paired with 5,000 gallon Standard Turret Tenders at the end of their service lives.

3526 was transferred in steam to the NSWRTM’s new Thirlmere site in 1975 but subsequently relegated to static display, retaining its attractive lined blue livery. In 1983 the boiler clothing was removed for boiler assessment, and in 1990 full overhaul began in earnest. Completion was achieved in early 2004 after a government grant to fund new boiler tubes. Some changes to conform to modern engineering standards occurred during this overhaul; a notable example was the replacement of the old dish-ended, riveted compressed air receivers (mounted on the footplate on both sides of the boiler) with new welded spherical-end air receivers. 3526 has been active on main line tour trains and NSWRTM ‘Loop Line’ duties since its return to operation in 2004.

As at 2015, 3526 was nearing the end of a further heavy overhaul in the Trainworks workshops, Thirlmere. This major work includes the total rebuild of the original tender with a new frame and tank, as the old tender was found to be life expired.

A spare 35-class boiler (tab 3514) was retrieved from static use at Eveleigh Workshops in approximately 2000 and remains in store, should a replacement ever be required.

An excellent resource for detailed information about this locomotive is the fact sheet for 3526 on the NSW Government Office of Environment & Heritage website.  Further general information and technical details for the NN(1027) / (C)35-class locomotives can also be found on Wikipedia.

My thanks to John Hurst for permitting use of the following slide images of 3526 early in her preservation career; these and other views of 3526 can be found in John’s railway photograph collection.

UPDATE: After 5 years of extensive rebuilding & overhaul in the Thirlmere workshops, 3526 was relaunched at Thirlmere on Saturday 3 March during the Festival of Seam 2018. 3526 now wears handsome dark green livery with lining, as seen below.

3526 shows off her new lined green livery while displayed in steam at the NSW Rail Museum, Thirlmere on 4 March 2018.

Alas the temporary fencing distracts from photography but was necessary due to the Festival of Steam crowds.

A fine portrait of 3526 in Bungendore yard during the 1970’s; she is wearing sparkling “Caves Express” blue livery with gold braid.

A notable feature of the 35 class is the decorative valance running under the footplate, which hid the air receiver and some pipe runs.

3526 and 1709 head home for Sydney after a day out visiting Wollongong in November 1973.

(One of the old riveted air receivers can be seen protruding above the footplate, ahead of the cab.)

3526 on the “Short North” main line from Sydney to Newcastle, July 1973.

3526 and 3801 on an enthusiast train circa 2007, photo courtesy of Rod Chacana.

3526 runs around its train at Buxton while on “Loop Line” duties, 22 July 2012.

Detail of 3526’s cab, showing the squarish window.  22 July 2012.

The (C) 35 class originally featured cutaway cab sides, but these were replaced during the 1940 rebuilds.

A view of 3526’s 4,000 gallon tender of the type originally supplied with this class.

The Eveleigh Workshop builder’s plate can be seen on the tank side.  22 July 2012.



"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.


Fact sheet for 3526 on the NSW Government Office of Environment & Heritage website, retrieved 10 August 2015.


Wikipedia entry for the NSWGR (C)35 class, retrieved 29 July 2015


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