4D9 No.131

Displayed at the Don River Railway

 

4D9 class loco No.131 seen at the Don River Railway on 8 May 2003.

An extension to the original stovepipe chimney has been welded on at some stage.

The bent handrail alongside the boiler suggests this little loco led a hard life after being sold off by QGR.

Builder

Dübs and Company, Glasgow

Builder’s Number & Year

1415 of 1880

Wheel Arrangement

2-4-2T

 

This quaint little engine was built by Dubs & Co of Polmadie, Glasgow in 1880 as the second of two ‘4D9’ class 2-4-2T locomotives for the Queensland Government Railways. Historical photos show these locomotives originally featured a tall cab, a large acetylene headlight and ornate steam & sand domes. The two 4D9 locomotives were allocated to Bundaberg for light traffic duties but were found in service to be underpowered and ineffective.

No.131 was sold by the QGR to Childers Sugar Mill in 1894. It was later resold to the Tasmanian Public Works Department for breakwater construction duties on Tasmania's wild and remote West Coast at Macquarie Harbour, near Strahan. At completion of these works a further two changes of ownership followed, however No.131 remained unused and in store for many years in Hobart station yard. It was eventually plinthed in a Tasmanian park.

No.131 was later acquired by the Don River Railway and transferred to their museum and workshop facility at Don, near Devonport. Here it is statically displayed on a turntable road near the museum entrance. My visit of 8 May 2003 found No.131 cosmetically repainted in ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ blue livery. The surviving locomotive is somewhat incomplete, with missing connecting & side rods, cab, pipework and non-ferrous fittings, yet it is an interesting relic and reminder of the early days of the Queensland Railways.

Here is an earlier view of No.131 dating from May 1993, showing her in ‘as received’ condition & livery following many years in a park.

References

a

Armstrong, J. 'Locomotives in the Tropics - Volume 1

(Queensland Railways 1864 - 1910)’,

published by the ARHS Queensland Division, 1985.

 

 

Page updated: 12 October 2021

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