NF 5

Also reported as NF 2

 

NF 5 displayed and stored operational within a shelter at Pine Creek on 17 August 2003.

This photograph was kindly provided by Stuart Jackson.

There is some confusion about the true identity of the NF-class 2-6-0 locomotive preserved at Pine Creek. It carries the builder's plates of NF 2 but some sources list it as actually being NF 5:

  • "Steam Locomotives & Railcars of the South Australian Railways" lists this locomotive as NF 2, which was originally South Australian Railways W 13, class leader of the W-class and built by Beyer Peacock & Co, Manchester (B/N 1715 of 1877).  W 13 was transferred to the Commonwealth Railways on 1 January 1911 and renumbered NF 2, also the class leader of the NF-class.  It was withdrawn from service in December 1939. a

  • "Locomotives and Railcars of the Commonwealth Railways" lists this locomotive as NF 5 carrying NF2's plates.  NF 5 was originally South Australian Railways W 53, built by Beyer Peacock & Co, Manchester (B/N 1717 of 1877).  W 53 had an interesting career, being sold by the South Australian Railways to railway construction contractors when brand new, being taken back into SAR stock in 1882.  It was sold to another contractor in 1911 before being acquired by the Commonwealth Railways in 1915 and sent to the North Australia Railway.  NF 5 was the last of the NF-class in Commonwealth Railways service when withdrawn in August 1945.  This book lists that NF 2, 3, 4 and 7 were scrapped in 1950, whereas NF 5 was saved and placed on display in Darwin School in 1957 with the identity of NF 2. b

Given that NF 5 was the last of the class in service, it is likely that NF 2 and others withdrawn earlier may been cannibalised to provide parts or otherwise deteriorated and somewhat incomplete.  When the decision was made to preserve an NF-class locomotive, it may have been pragmatic to retain NF 5 but give it the identity of the more historic NF 2.  (Recent restoration work may have revealed more markings to clarify the true identify of this locomotive; details are welcome.) d

In 1974, the the preserved NF-class locomotive moved to Smith St, Darwin.  In 1983 it was relocated again, being transferred to the Fannie Bay Gaol Museum, Darwin for static display. b

NF 5 later moved to the Pine Creek railway station area and was restored to operation in late 2001, together with an historic water tank and passenger carriage; further information and photos are available at the Pine Creek local government site.  (I would really appreciate photographs of this locomotive in operation, for addition to this website!)

For a detailed history of NF 5 and other Commonwealth Railways locomotives, refer to Chris Drymalik's excellent Comrails site.

 

References

a

Fluck R. E., Sampson R., & Bird K. J. 'Steam locomotives and Railcars of the South Australian Railways',

published by The Mile End Railway Museum (SA) Inc, 1986.

b

Fluck, R, Marshall B, Wilson J & others "Locomotives and Railcars of the Commonwealth Railways"

published by Gresley Publishing, South Australia for the Port Dock Station Railway Museum, 1996.

c

Drymalik, C. 'Chris's Commonwealth Railways Pages' (www.railpage.org.au/comrails/)

d

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