Qunaba Mill No.1 ‘Moreland’

Thought to have been scrapped



Photo required


John Fowler & Co, Leeds

Builder’s Number & Year

20284 of 1935

Wheel Arrangement



Locomotive history

‘Moreland’ is one of many Fowler steam locomotives supplied to the sugar cane tramways of Queensland. This particular example worked at the Qunaba Mill at Mon Repos, where it was No.1 on the loco roster. Qunaba Mill is situated to the east of Bundaberg and was one of several mills servicing cane growing in the Bundaberg area. The intriguing name ‘Qunaba Mill’ is derived from Queensland National Bank, who were the mortgagee and Mill’s owners at one stage. (Mon Repos is also known as the site of an important turtle hatchery at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, with an education centre providing guided tours to the beach where visitors can see turtles hatching and making their way down to the sea.)

I don’t know much about the history of this locomotive, but apparently it was acquired for private preservation at the end of its career hauling sugar cane. By the 1970’s it had been relocated to NSW by its new owner.

‘Light Railways’ magazine of July 1980 describes the Marsden Museum of Historic Engines (also known as the Goulburn Steam Museum) and the fleet of 2’ gauge steam locomotives that had assembled there in the 1970’s, including an entry for Qunaba Mill No.1 ‘Moreland’ (Fowler 20284/35) as privately owned and intended to be moved to Goulburn. In fact Moreland never arrived at Goulburn, instead being transferred to the Illawarra Light Railway & Museum Society at Albion Park. I believe Moreland subsequently departed Albion Park in the early 1980’s for a private site in Sydney.

According to the Light Railway Research Society of Australia 'Preserved Australian Sugar Cane Locomotives' list (referenced below), ‘Moreland’ is thought to have been scrapped at the Sydney suburb of St Mary's NSW in about 1991. (Perhaps by some miracle it survives in private ownership; it is hard to know the status of privately owned and housed 2’ gauge locomotives unless the owner is willing to share information.)

Marsden Museum of Historic Engines / Historic Goulburn Waterworks Museum

The Marsden Museum of Historic Engines (Goulburn Steam Museum) at Marsden Weir, Goulburn NSW, boasted a 2’ gauge running line alongside the entrance road and parallel to the Wollondilly River, terminating at the ornate park gates on the Crookwell Rd. This wonderful industrial heritage site is centred on a superb Appleby beam steam engine, pump house and Galloway boilers built in 1885 to supply potable water to the growing town of Goulburn. When the old beam engine was at risk of being scrapped in the early 1950’s, the well-known steam enthusiast Bruce Macdonald lobbied for its retention and subsequently restored it to operation in 1956, forming the nucleus of the Marsden Museum of Historic Engines. The 2’ gauge railway was later added, with a significant collection of small steam locomotives on site by the early 1970’s. Most of the locomotives had dispersed to other sites by 1980 and the railway was removed from the Marsden Steam Museum circa 1989 – there never was a railway there prior to preservation days, and hence it somewhat confused interpretation of this State Heritage and National Trust Registered waterworks. The site is now known as the Historic Goulburn Waterworks Museum and is well worth a visit, with the Appleby beam engine steamed on operating days together with pleasant picnic grounds alongside the Marsden Weir.

Further Information and Photos Wanted

The webmaster visited the Marsden Museum of Historic Engines several times as a young child in the early 1970’s and I have fond memories of these visits, including Bruce Macdonald starting the Appleby beam engine by giving the massive flywheel a push! In addition to the beam engine and steam railway, I was fascinated by the collection of unrestored 2’ gauge steam locomotives stored on sidings there circa 1974.

While Moreland may be lost, I would greatly appreciate the contribution of photographs for this locomotive, or information about its history and reported demise, together with images of the steam operations at Goulburn Steam Museum and the unrestored locos residing there in the early 1970’s.




Light Railway Research Society of Australia Inc. Web site

(retrieved 14 January 2021):

'Preserved Australian Sugar Cane Locomotives' list

by John Browning (www.lrrsa.org.au/LRR_SGRc.htm)


'Light Railways', Number 69, July 1980.

Published by Light Railway Research Society of Australia Inc.


Historic Goulburn Waterworks Museum website,

Retrieved 14 January 2021.


Page updated: 14 January 2020

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