C17 No. 935

Stored at the Southern Downs Steam Railway


No. 935 is seen as recently delivered at the Southern Downs Steam Railway, Warwick.

This photo was kindly contributed by Stephen Shepherd and is dated 8 December 2018.



The Clyde Engineering Co Ltd,

Granville NSW



Builder’s Number & Year

503 of 1949



Wheel Arrangement




No. in class



No.935 was one of Queensland 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 class were a ‘maid of all work’ type that were powerful enough for main line 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 duties to main, secondary and branch line work, although the type are perhaps best associated with the long routes through Queensland Railways (QR) Northern and Central Divisions. The final C17 class members were retired from service at the very end of QR revenue steam operations in August 1970.

No.935 is one of the ‘1938’ C17 variants which were improved over the original 1920 design by use of piston valves, Laird crossheads, a wider, taller Sedan cab sporting sliding windows, and a slender stovepipe chimney with a capuchion lip. No.935 was one of an order for 20 C17’s supplied by Clyde Engineering, Sydney between 1948 & 1950 in response to post-war motive power demands.

According to ‘Locomotives in the Tropics’, No.935 was written off the Queensland Railways books in May 1968. Fortunately it was saved from scrapping, instead being plinthed in the Brisbane suburb of Virginia for the Nundah Rotary Club.

It seems that No.935 became derelict after many years of being plinthed at Virginia. In 1990 it was rescued from an uncertain fate by the Australian Railway Historical Society (Qld Division) and taken to their Rosewood Railway, where it remained in long-term storage together with several other rescued park locomotives. No.935 is stored without a tender; I suspect the tender tank platework was severely corroded and hence only the tender frame and bogies were retained and were separately stored at Rosewood. (Further information on this point is welcome.)

Although No.935 remained stored in a derelict condition, the Australian Railway Historical Society at least secured the locomotive against being scrapped and hence it remained as a future restoration project, or at least a source of spare parts.

No.935 has since been purchased by the Southern Downs Steam Railway and was delivered to their Warwick locomotive depot and restoration base in late 2018. It is intended that No.935 will eventually restored to working condition as a long term restoration project.

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

No.935 (sans tender) heads C17 No.763 and D17 No.855 on the storage siding at the Rosewood Railway in December 2002.

A second scanned photo view of No.935 stored at the Rosewood Railway in December 2002.



‘Locomotives of Australia’ by Leon Oberg,

published by J. W. Books Pty Ltd


Stark, R. J., 'The Return of Steam Locomotive C17, No. 45',

published 2000 by The Degener Timms Publications, Gympie, Qld


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

(Queensland Railways 1910 – 1958 and beyond)’,

published by the ARHS Queensland Division, 1994.

Page updated: 19 October 2019

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