5910

Statically displayed at Trainworks, Thirlmere

 

5910 statically displayed in the main hall at ‘Trainworks’ on 1 March 2015.

It is nicely presented in lined black livery, with ‘American’ touches including white wall tyres.

 

Builder

Baldwin Lima Hamilton

 

 

Builder’s Number & Year

75573 of 1952

 

 

Wheel Arrangement

2-8-2

 

 

No. in class

20

 

5910 is one of twenty (D)59 class goods locomotives ordered by the New South Wales Government Railways (NSWGR) from Baldwin Lima Hamilton Corp, the famous American locomotive builders Baldwin having merged with Lima-Hamilton in December 1950.  The (D)59’s were ordered at a turbulent time in the history of Australian labour relations, with the 1949 coal strikes crippling the railways and hence the broader economy.  In response, the NSWGR specified the (D)59 class as oil-burners, while significant numbers of the earlier (D)55 class Standard Goods Engines were also converted to oil firing.  The NSWGR specified short ‘bobtail’ tenders so the (D)59’s could be turned on 50’ turntables, but the design and manufacture of these tenders delayed the normally speedy delivery by Baldwin.  The class was placed in service between 30 August 1952 and 31 March 1953, with most converted to coal firing during the 1960’s.  (For further general information about the (D)59 class, refer to the entry for 5908.)

The authorative ‘Steam Locomotive Data’ (July 1974 edition) provides the following milestones for preserved loco 5910:

In Service:

21 November 1952

Converted from Oil to Coal firing:

February 1966

Condemned:

11 August 1972

5910 contributed to the relocation of NSWRTM exhibits from the old Enfield Loco Depot site to Thirlmere when it hauled 3642, 5096 and several other exhibits to Thirlmere on 18 June 1975, following which it was available for traffic at Thirlmere until withdrawn in the late 1970’s owing to deteriorating boiler condition.  Fortunately the NSWRTM had the foresight to save a spare (D)59 boiler from the condemned locomotives at Enfield and hence boiler tab 5915 was swapped into 5910 in 1981 at the start of a comprehensive overhaul.  5910 returned to service during 1985, running her first few tours still wearing a livery of primer and undercoat!  Full repaint to lined black livery followed, including white tyres and other ‘American’ refinements.   5910 found extensive use as a NSWRTM rail tour locomotive after 1985, with the webmaster having fond memories of this loco on the regular ‘Thirlmere Flyer’ train from Sydney Central.

Unfortunately, deteriorating boiler condition again caught up with 5910 and it was withdrawn from traffic around 1998 and placed on static display within the main hall at the NSWRTM Thirlmere, now known as Trainworks.  Should a further overhaul ever be undertaken, the spare boiler remains available, and statically preserved 5908 & 5916 could perhaps swap any worn parts.

The definite history for the NSWGR (D)59 class can be found in the excellent book ‘The 59 Class’ by Harry Wright, published by the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum in 1996 and featuring many colour and B&W photographs.  Further information about 5908 can be found on the NSW Office on Environment and Heritage fact sheet for this locomotive.  Additional technical details can also be found on the Wikipedia entry for the NSWGR (D)59 class.

5910 and 5595 rest in their designated display positions at Trainworks, Thirlmere on 7 January 2012.

The Baldwin Lima Hamilton builder’s plate attached to 5910’s smokebox.  1 March 2015

A webmaster visit to the NSWRTM Thirlmere in March 1985 found 5910 undergoing steam trials in the workshop area.

5910 was coming to the end of a heavy overhaul by the NSWRTM including a boiler swap with the spare boiler ex-5915.

5910 was still painted in primer only at this stage, with various items such as the headlight yet to be fitted.

(Loco 1905 can be seen in the former ‘Restoration Road’ on the right at the beginning of its meticulous static restoration.)

My thanks to John Hurst for allowing use of this fine study of 5910 taking water at Moss Vale in 1973.

Also displayed at Trainworks is this much earlier Baldwin builder’s plate which belonged to (C)32 class 4-6-0 loco No.3282.

References

a

‘The 59 Class’ by Harry Wright,

Published by the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum, 1996.

b

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

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

c

‘Roundhouse’ magazine published by the NSWRTM,

Volume XIII No.2 of July 1976,

article ‘Museum on the Move, pp.16.

d

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

Public Transport Commission of NSW.

e

Wikipedia entry for the NSWGR (D)59 class, retrieved 9 February 2016

f

Webmaster's observation or comment

 

Page updated: 7 March 2016

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