For restoration at Noojee
This March 2004 photo was contributed by Gordon Ross and shows J 550 plinthed at Warragul, shortly after receiving a repaint.
J 550 was one of sixty 2-8-0 locomotives built for the Victorian Railways by Vulcan Foundry of Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire, as their builder's number 6146 of 1954. The first 30 locomotives (J 501 - J 529) were built as coal burners, and the second 30 (J 530-J 559) as oil burners with a distinctive circular oil tank mounted in the tender coal space.
J 550 became the last steam loco in revenue service for Victorian Railways when rostered on the 6:00am Bendigo pilot on May 25 1972; the following day it was placed in storage at Bendigo loco. A number of J-class locomotives remained in non-revenue workshop shunting for several further years, including J 538 which was withdrawn in May 1978 and J 549 in September 1979. b, c
J 550 had been displayed at the old Mirboo North station from 1974. In 1985 it was acquired by Steamrail Victoria as a future swap for A2 986, which had been plinthed at Warragul and was wanted for overhaul and restoration. After a period in storage at Newport, J 550 was moved to Warragul in 1986 and plinthed in replacement for A2 986. J 550 was displayed at Warragul with an oil-burner J-class tender, but with the cylindrical oil tank removed from the tender.
After many years plinthed at Warragul, J550 was acquired by a preservation group and transferred to Noojee on 27 March 2013 for intended restoration.
A front view of J550 at Warragul on 9 October 2002.
Side view of J550 at Warragul on 9 October 2002.
Rear view of J550 at Warragul on 9 October 2002.
|a||Banger, C. '50 Years of the J Class Locomotive', Newsrail, published by the Australian Railway Historical Society Victorian Division Inc., Volume 2, Number 3, March 2004.|
VR Motive power website, viewed 2 July 2012:
|c||Model Railways in Australia, Issue 16, "The 2-8-0 Consolidation J-Class, the Last Victorian Railways Steam Locomotive", pp30.|
|d||Webmaster's observation or comment.|
Page updated: 24 July 2014