Lake Macquarie Light Railway


‘Jack’ (erroneously bearing reproduction ‘Archie’ nameplates) was displayed in the NSWRTM forecourt at Thirlmere for 33 years, as seen in this view of 17 March 2003.

In this location it was a very popular and accessible exhibit, especially with children, and the centrepiece for many visitor photographs!

This form represents the loco as restored for the 1969 Royal Easter Show – the cab backplate has been reinstated, while the smokebox door, slender chimney,

and tall unclad steam dome are those associated with the 1942-built replacement boiler fitted at Farleigh Mill.


Lokomotivfabrik Krauss & Co,

Munich, Germany

Builder’s Number & Year

6063 of 1908

Wheel Arrangement


This locomotive began life as one of four German-built 0-4-0WT locomotives ‘Dulce’, ‘Robin’, ‘Archie’ & ‘Jack’ imported from the Munich works of Lokomotivfabrik Krauss & Co for construction work on the Burrinjuck Dam project as part of the creation of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. ‘Jack’ arrived in 1908 after its three sister locomotives of 1907 vintage, and the four Krauss locomotives featured prominent diamond-stack chimneys and carried handsome brass nameplates on their side tanks.

The Goondah - Burrinjuck Railway was a lengthy route with steep gradients, built to ferry construction supplies to the Burrinjuck Dam site on the Murrumbidgee River, and interfacing with the NSW Main Southern Railway at Goondah, south of Yass. The Goondah - Burrinjuck Railway operated for more than 20 years, reflecting the size and duration of the Burrinjuck Dam project, but had served its purpose at the project’s completion in 1928 and the line was lifted in 1929. ‘Jack’, ‘Dulce’ & ‘Archie’ were then sold to a Sydney machinery dealer.

‘Jack’ was on-sold in 1933 to Farleigh Mill, near Mackay, where it was put to work in sugar cane haulage. Apparently, the name & builder’s plates had been removed prior to sale. Farleigh Mill modified the locomotive over the years, with the cab rear opened and a makeshift tender added. A replacement boiler was built in 1942 featuring a high, unclad dome, and at some stage the diamond stack chimney was replaced by a taller, slender version. The smokebox door design also changed, with the hinge moved to opposite side.

A 1957 report by a visiting steam enthusiast and historian mistakenly transposed the names of the Krauss locomotive ‘Jack’ at Farleigh Mill with that of its sister ‘Archie’ (Krauss b/n 5945 of 1907) which had become No.7 at Fairymead Mill, near Bundaberg. This misidentification persisted after ‘Jack’ finished its working days in 1963 and through to preservation when the locomotive was donated by Farleigh Mill to the NSW Rail Transport Museum (NSWRTM) in 1966. Jack was delivered to the NSWRTM at Enfield, later being repaired and restored at the NSWGR Chullora Workshops, with some Farleigh Mill modifications reversed such as the cab back sheet being reinstated. Replacement nameplates were made and, as ‘Archie’, the little loco appeared at the 1969 Royal Easter Show, a wonderful ambassador for NSWRTM activities. It was later plinthed outside the No.1 Roundhouse at Enfield, a fine gatekeeper and concierge for the original NSWRTM site.

Following closure of the Enfield site, ‘Jack’ (as ‘Archie’) was transferred to Thirlmere in 1975 and displayed in the museum forecourt, where it remained for the next 33 years. (The webmaster has fond memories and family photographs of Jack in this location, starting from my first visit to Thirlmere as a 7-year-old in 1975.)

‘Jack’ was regularly repainted by NSWRTM volunteers but in August 2008, with the upgrading of the Thirlmere site soon to begin, it was announced that the loco would be leased to the Lake Macquarie Light Railway for restoration to operation at their site. Accordingly, the locomotive left Thirlmere on 24 September 2008 via road transport to Lake Macquarie. It was during detailed inspection and assessment in preparation for this move that the loco’s true identity ‘Jack’ was discovered, with b/n 6063 found stamped on most parts!

Jack has now been restored to operation at the Lake Macquarie Light Railway after thorough stripping down, overhaul and repair, with replaced historic components labelled and safely stored. The Lake Macquarie Light Railway website includes a well-illustrated blog detailing the restoration work performed. One interesting sequence of photos shows the front well-tank and its repairs. Photos suggest the loco now wears gloss black livery, picked out with attractive red & straw lining, and the work done is certainly a credit to the Lake Macquarie Light Railway’s restoration team.

‘Jack’ (as its alias ‘Archie’) was a popular and very accessible exhibit at the NSWRTM, especially to younger visitors. The locomotive also represented a significant story in the development of NSW through the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area and Burrinjuck Dam, and representative of many smaller locomotives that were once part of the industrial scene. While I am glad to see ‘Jack’ restored to operation, I will miss its contribution to the story of rail in NSW as presented at Thirlmere. Is it too much to hope that the derelict remains of the third remaining Burrinjuck Tramway Krauss ‘Dulce’ could be obtained, reassembled and restored for static display at the NSWRTM, or perhaps some other small industrial locomotive found to take its place?

As an aside - the final miles of the Goondah - Burrinjuck Railway can still be followed as it descends into the Murrumbidgee Valley, as this is now the main access road to Burrinjuck Dam and makes for an interesting and scenic drive. The real ‘Archie’ (until recently understood to be ‘Jack’) and can be seen plinthed near the Burrinjuck Dam.

An excellent reference for further reading on the Burrinjuck line and its locomotives is ‘The Goondah-Burrinjuck Railway’ by John R Newland, published by the Australian Railway Historical Society, New South Wales Division, 1994. (A second edition was published in 1999.) In addition, a full history of Jack and the background to its mistaken identity as ‘Archie’ can be found in a detailed and well-illustrated article written by Colin McDonald in the NSWRTM publication ‘Roundhouse’, Vol. 45, No.4 - November 2008.



'Light Railways - Australia's Magazine of Industrial & Narrow-Gauge Railways',

Number 153, June 2000. Article ‘Krauss Locomotives in Australia –

A close look at their characteristics and an overview of their migrations’

by Bruce Macdonald.

Published by Light Railway Research Society of Australia Inc.

(This article is also available online.)


Wikipedia page for Lokomotivfabrik Krauss & Co / George Krauss,

retrieved 10 September 2021.


Newland, J. R. ‘The Goondah-Burrinjuck Railway’,

published by the Australian Railway Historical Society,

New South Wales Division, 1994.


‘Roundhouse’ magazine, Vol. 45, No.4 - November 2008,

Published by the NSW Rail Transport Museum, Haymarket.


Lake Macquarie Light Railway website,

Retrieved 23 September 2021.

Page updated: 28 September 2021

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