NA Class 2-6-2T


This photo was kindly provided by Ashley Williams and shows 8A in steam on the Puffing Billy Railway during April 1988.

The loco displays its 1920’s configuration, notably a tapered stovepipe chimney and unlined black livery.


Victorian Railways,

Newport Workshops

Builder’s Number & Year


Wheel Arrangement



NA-class locomotive 8A was constructed at Newport Workshops in 1908 for use on the Victorian Railways narrow-gauge lines. It follows the design of the original two NA-class members 1A & 2A which were supplied by the Baldwin Locomotive Works. (For general information about the Victorian Railways narrow-gauge lines and the NA-class, refer to the page for NA3.)

8A began its Victorian Railways career at the Upper Ferntree Gully loco shed, for duties on the Gembrook line – today’s Puffing Billy Railway. It also saw service on the Colac to Crowes and Moe to Walhalla lines, but most of its career was spent at Upper Fern Tree Gully, where it was withdrawn from service in 1955.

After being written off by the Victorian Railways, 8A was obtained by the Beaumaris Progress Association and placed in Pasadena Park, Beaumaris. In 1970 the loco was obtained by the Puffing Billy Preservation Society, in exchange for playground equipment. 8A was initially taken to the VR Newport Workshops and later moved to Ballarat Workshops where it provided parts for the restoration of sister loco 12A.

8A returned to the Puffing Billy Railway in 1976 for restoration in the Belgrave workshop. It returned to service in 1982 after a complete rebuild to its late-1920s condition with extended bunker & modified front end, tapered ‘stovepipe’ chimney, steel cow-catcher and unlined black livery. 8A also received a thorough overhaul at the Puffing Billy Railway's Belgrave workshops from 2005, returning to operation in October 2006. It is normally shedded at Belgrave, together with sisters 6A, 7A, 12A & 14A.

Ownership of 8A (and 3A) remains with the Puffing Billy Preservation Society, whereas 6A, 7A, 12A and 14A are owned by the Emerald Tourist Railway Board, operators of the  Puffing Billy Railway - generally considered to be Australia's best heritage railway and well worth a visit!

8A and train on the Puffing Billy Railway.

My thanks to Gordon Ross for contributing this photo of 8A on its return to service in October 2006.

As per the caption, 8A is heading a short mixed train and arriving back at Emerald station.

A second view by Gordon Ross showing 8A watering at Gembrook on its return to service in October 2006.

The chalked smokebox message reads "Welcome back 8A. Oct 2006"



‘Steam Locomotives of the Victorian Railways,

Volume 1: The First Fifty Years’

by Norman Cave, John Buckland & David Beardsell.

Published in 2002 by the Australian Railway Historical Society

(Victorian Division), Melbourne.


‘Locomotives of Australia, Fifth Edition (1850's - 2010)’

by Leon Oberg, published in 2010

published by Rosenberg Publishing Pty Ltd, Dural NSW.


Information provided by Max Bracher via email,

20 October 2012.


Information provided by Peter Medlin via email,

23 May 2021. Peter’s references:

·        Preserved Railway and Tramway Rolling Stock In Australia –

Compiled by Peter L. Charrett

First Edition 1 July 1977. Page 65.

·        PBPS Narrow Gauge: Summer 1969 Page 11.

·        PBPS Narrow Gauge. June, 1982, Pages 4 to 11.


Puffing Billy Railway website, Locomotive Fleet page,

Retrieved 11 July 2021

Page updated: 11 July 2021

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