C17 No. 761

Formerly plinthed at Mitchell, now at QPSR Swanbank


No.761 is plinthed in a park at Mitchell, as seen in this 28 May 2001 view provided by David Rowe.



Walkers Limited, Maryborough



Builder’s Number & Year

422 of 1927



Wheel Arrangement




No. in class



No.761 is one of Queensland Government Railways’ (QGR) highly successful C17 class 4-8-0 locomotives of which 227 units were constructed by a variety of builders between 1920 and 1953. The C17’s were a ‘maid of all work’ type that were powerful enough for main line freight duties, yet with a low axle load which permitted wide deployment and accordingly they could be found on everything from suburban and express passenger trains to main, secondary and branch line freight and mixed traffic work, although the type are perhaps best associated with the long rural routes through QGR’s Northern and Central Divisions. The final C17 class locos were retired at the very end of QGR revenue steam operations in August 1970.

No 761 is of the original C17 ‘1920 design’ which are identifiable by a straight-sided cutaway cab, tall steam dome, cast iron chimney and a low-sided bogie tender. At some stage it has received the ‘1938 design’ boiler which has a low steam dome and a slender stovepipe chimney with capuchion lip.

No.761 was placed in Queensland Government Railways service in April 1927 and written off 42 years later in October 1969. Following retirement it was placed in a park in the town of Mitchell, west of Roma. Photos show that the boiler and cylinder clothing and lagging has been removed, together with the steam dome cover, presumably due to rusting of this sheet metal. Ownership of the locomotive had been transferred to Booringa Shire Council.

UPDATE: In March 2019 it was announced that C17 No.761 will leave Mitchell Memorial Park for a new home at the Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway (QPSR) at Swanbank, near Ipswich. The intention is for No.761 to eventually be returned to steam for use on the QPSR Swanbank line, and the loco will be named ‘Booringa’ in recognition of its links to the town of Mitchell. ‘Light Railways’ magazine for February 2020 included a ‘Letters’ article stating that No.761 had now arrived at the QPSR Swanbank, together with an explanation that No.761 was in better condition that No.966 ex-Southport (presumably a reflection of the drier climate at Mitchell) and hence had been acquired for restoration in place of No.966.

For further information about the Queensland Railways’ C17 class locomotives, refer to the page for C17 No.2.



‘Locomotives of Australia’ by Leon Oberg,

published by J. W. Books Pty Ltd


Armstrong, J. 'Locomotives in the Tropics - Volume 2

(Queensland Railways 1910 – 1958 and beyond)’,

published by the ARHS Queensland Division, 1994.


Information table provided by Graham Wilson

(Operations Manager, Heritage Rollingstock & Component Services, QR)

at our meeting of 8 October 2004.


'Light Railways - Australia's Magazine of Industrial &

Narrow Gauge Railways', Number 271, February 2020.

Published by Light Railway Research Society of Australia Inc.

(Letters item & photograph on page 36)

Page updated: 10 April 2020

Government Railways:











Private & Industrial Railways: