Mistaken Identity - Krauss 5945 of 1907



This photo of 17 January 2004 shows Archie in storage in a shed at Burrinjuck Dam.

This locomotive began life as one of four similar German-built 0-4-0T locomotives "Archie", "Robin", "Dulce" & "Jack" imported from the Munich-Sendling Works of Lokomotivfabrik Krauss & Co for construction work on the Burrinjuck Dam project as part of the creation of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area.  "Archie" was Krauss builder's number 5945 of 1907.

The Goondah - Burrinjuck Railway was a lengthy route with steep gradients built to ferry construction supplies to the Burrinjuck Dam on the Murrumbidgee River, and departed 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 by 1929 and was closed.  Archie was then sold for further use hauling sugar cane in at the Fairymead Mill near Bundaberg as their No.7.

I understand this locomotive's identity was mistakenly transposed in 1957 for sister "Jack" (Krauss B/N 6063 of 1908) by a visiting steam enthusiast and historian.  Following retirement from Fairymead Mill in about 1964 , Archie (as "Jack") became an operational exhibit at the Marsden Steam Museum, Goulburn, providing trips along the 1km demonstration line which ran to the Museum gates (as fondly remembered by your webmaster from several visits as a young boy).

The steam locomotive collection at Marsden Steam Museum was significantly reduced during the late 1970's and 1980's, and Archie was sold in approximately 1984. It was proposed as a working exhibit at Burrinjuck Dam and partially dismantled for assessment, but the boiler was found to be in poor condition and the overhaul did not proceed. Archie subsequently languished in storage at Burrinjuck Dam, where your webmaster tracked the loco down on 17 January 2004 as seen in the rather poor photograph above.

During 2007 Archie was cosmetically restored and placed on display under a weather roof in a picnic ground near the Dam. (I hope to visit Burrinjuck Dam during 2009 to get some more up-to-date photos of this interesting locomotive.)

The final miles of the Goondah - Burrinjuck Railway as it descends into the Murrumbidgee Valley can still be followed, 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.


Page updated:  22 May 2011

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