Plinthed at Burrinjuck Dam


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‘Archie’ (at that stage understood to be sister ‘Jack’) as found on 17 January 2004 in a dimly lit storage shed at Burrinjuck Dam.

The various components are loosely stored together, with the boiler sitting at a jaunty angle.

The cab front sheet can be seen resting up-side-down at the rear of the cab.

The loco has since been cosmetically restored and is now displayed under a weather roof at Burrinjuck Dam.


Lokomotivfabrik Krauss & Co,

Munich, Germany

Builder’s Number & Year

5945 of 1907

Wheel Arrangement


This locomotive began life as one of four German-built 0-4-0WT locomotives ‘Dulce’, ‘Robin’, ‘Archie’ & ‘Jack’ imported from the Munich works of Lokomotivfabrik Krauss & Co for construction work on the Burrinjuck Dam project as part of the creation of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. ‘Jack’ arrived in 1908 after its three sister locomotives of 1907 vintage, and the four Krauss locomotives featured prominent diamond-stack chimneys and carried handsome brass nameplates on their side tanks.

The Goondah - Burrinjuck Railway was a lengthy route with steep gradients, built to ferry construction supplies to the Burrinjuck Dam site on the Murrumbidgee River, and interfacing with the NSW Main Southern Railway at Goondah, south of Yass. The Goondah - Burrinjuck Railway operated for more than 20 years, reflecting the size and duration of the Burrinjuck Dam project, but had served its purpose at the project’s completion in 1928 and the line was lifted in 1929. ‘Archie’, ‘Dulce’ and ‘Jack’ were then sold to a Sydney machinery dealer. In 1929, ‘Archie’ was resold for sugar cane haulage at Fairymead Mill near Bundaberg, becoming their No.7.

A 1957 report by a visiting steam enthusiast and historian mistakenly transposed the names of the ex-Burrinjuck Dam locomotive ‘Archie’ at Fairymead Mill with that of its sister ‘Jack’ (Krauss b/n 6063 of 1908) at Farleigh Mill, near Mackay. ‘Archie’ was retired around 1964, but the misidentification persisted into preservation when ownership passed in 1965 to a well-known Sydney-based engineer and collector. By 1970 it was an operational exhibit at the Museum of Historic Engines at Goulburn, providing trips along the 1km demonstration line which ran to the Museum gates (as fondly remembered by the webmaster from several childhood visits). At Goulburn the little Krauss loco wore an attractive lined green livery and erroneous ‘Jack’ nameplates.

The steam locomotive collection at Museum of Historic Engines was significantly reduced from the mid 1970's, and by 1978 the loco was stored in Canberra. In 1985 it passed to the NSW Dept of Water Resources under a proposal for restoration as a working exhibit at Burrinjuck Dam, and accordingly ‘Archie’ was partially dismantled for assessment, but the boiler was found to be in poor condition and the overhaul did not proceed. Archie subsequently languished for several years in secure storage at Burrinjuck Dam.

The webmaster had an opportunity to visit Burrinjuck Dam on 17 January 2004, seeking to track down ‘Archie’. Making enquiries at the local Water Resources office, a team member kindly offered to show me the loco during his lunch break. The series of photos on this page show ‘Archie’ as I found her on that visit – partially dismantled and in safe, dry storage in a dimly-lit machinery storage shed – although the low light was a challenge with the basic digital camera I had at the time.

A change of fortunes can in 2007 when ‘Archie’ (still mis-identified as ‘Jack’) was cosmetically restored and placed on display in a picnic ground near the Dam. Here it is protected from the elements by a suitable weather roof, and the loco’s repair and display are certainly a credit to those involved. The loco’s true identity as ‘Archie’ rather than ‘Jack’ was realised in 2008 when its sister locomotive (b/n 6063 of 1908) at the NSW Rail Transport Museum, Thirlmere was being inspected prior to full restoration.

The final miles of the Goondah - Burrinjuck Railway can still be followed as it descends into the Murrumbidgee Valley, as this is now the main access road to Burrinjuck Dam and makes for an interesting and scenic drive.

An excellent reference for further reading on this railway and its locomotives is ‘The Goondah-Burrinjuck Railway’ by John R Newland, published by the Australian Railway Historical Society, New South Wales Division, 1994. A second edition was also published in 1999.

I would appreciate contribution of photos of this loco – running as ‘Jack’ – during its 1970’s period of working at the Museum of Historic Engines, Goulburn.

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This view highlights the lined green livery and red frames, as worn when the loco was running at the Museum of Historic Engines, Goulburn.

It can be seen where the (erroneous) ‘Jack’ nameplates where fixed to the side tanks.

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The boiler was sitting loosely placed on frame, supported by packing wood.

Similarly, the front of the cab roof can be seen temporarily propped up.

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Another view of ‘Archie’ (then thought to be ‘Jack’) in storage at Burrinjuck Dam on 17 January 2004.

The sandbox – normally mounted on top of the boiler – is sitting on the floor in the foreground.

The diamond stack is also clearly seen in this view.

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The boiler loosely sitting in the saddle, supported by packing wood.

A look inside the smokebox revealed a surprise – a rat’s nest, with rodents scampering in all directions!

Indeed, two rats can be seen in this flash shot.

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Burrinjuck Dam, the name apparently a softening of ‘Barren Jack’ – a prominent local hill with a name judged unsuitable for a major public work!

The sand tramway and its loco shed were on a lower level to the right of the valley, now fully submerged.

This photo was taken from the higher level of the main Goondah – Burrinjuck Railway.



'Light Railways - Australia's Magazine of Industrial & Narrow-Gauge Railways',

Number 153, June 2000. Article ‘Krauss Locomotives in Australia –

A close look at their characteristics and an overview of their migrations’

by Bruce Macdonald.

Published by Light Railway Research Society of Australia Inc.

(This article is also available online.)


Wikipedia page for Lokomotivfabrik Krauss & Co / George Krauss,

retrieved 10 September 2021.


Newland, J. R. ‘The Goondah-Burrinjuck Railway’,

published by the Australian Railway Historical Society,

New South Wales Division, 1994.

Page updated: 28 September 2021

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