C17 No.824

Displayed at Injune


No.824 (numbered 809) is plinthed at Injune, as seen in this photo of 28 May 2001 kindly provided by David Rowe.

This locomotive has since received a cosmetic restoration to authentic black livery with red running boards and is now protected by a weather shelter.



Sir W G Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd,

Newcastle upon Tyne



Builder’s Number & Year

No.809: B/n 857 of 1927

No.824: B/n 872 of 1927



Wheel Arrangement




No. in class



The locomotive plinthed at Injune is one of Queensland Government Railways’ 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’ locomotive powerful enough for main line freight duties, yet with a low axle load which permitted wide deployment and accordingly the type could be found on everything from suburban and express passenger trains to main, secondary and branch line freight and mixed traffic work The final C17 class locos were retired at the very end of QGR revenue steam operations in August 1970.

For many years this locomotive was understood to be No.809 and apparently wore those numberplates but is now identified as No.824. Both Nos.809 and 824 were from a batch of 25 C17’s built in the UK by Sir W. G. Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd at Newcastle-upon-Tyne and placed into service in July 1927. This group followed the original C17 ‘1920 design’ with a straight-sided cutaway cab, tall steam dome, cast iron chimney and a low-sided bogie tender. It retains the original 1920 design of boiler with a tall steam dome.

No.824 was written off in May 1967 after a working life of nearly 40 years. Following retirement, it was placed in the rural community of Injune, north of Roma, displayed alongside the former Injune railway station - the branch line to Injune having recently been closed. (Grid reference approximately S25°50'27.81 E148°34'2.16). No.824 is paired with a larger C19 tender, and ownership of this locomotive now rests with Bungil Shire Council. Apparently, it was fitted with number plates from No.809 as those from No.824 had already been sold to a collector.

No.824 was the locomotive involved in the Camp Mountain railway disaster, the worst accident in Queensland’s rail history with 16 lives lost. This tragedy unfolded on Labour Day 1947 when a picnic train coming downhill took a curve too fast and derailed. The accident occurred on the former Dayboro branch north-west of Brisbane; today this line has been truncated back to Ferny Grove as the terminus of an electrified suburban line. The portion of the Dayboro branch over the range past Ferny Grove is now a popular cycling track; the section of trackbed where the accident occurred has been converted to a local road, alongside which a stone memorial marks the site of the disaster. A recent ABC News article provides further information and recollections about the tragedy: https://amp.abc.net.au/article/100719314

Photos taken in late 2021 show a pleasing change of fortune for No.824 as it has now been cosmetically restored to its correct identity and repainted with authentic black livery with red running boards. It is now protected by a suitable weather shelter. I don’t know if the information boards at Jandowae speak of No.824’s involvement in the Camp Mountain disaster, but certainly its recent restoration and conservation provides a more fitting memorial to this tragedy and the lives lost.

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



Oberg, L. ‘Locomotives of Australia’,

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.


Wikipedia page for Camp Mountain rail accident

Retrieved 28 January 2022



Information provided by Michael Gitsham,

Railway Preservation Society of Queensland Inc.

via email dated 26 July 2021.

Page updated: 30 January 2022

Government Railways:











Private & Industrial Railways: