South Bulli No.2

Bulli Black Diamond Museum & Heritage Centre


South Bulli No.2 displayed at Bulli station on 19 March 2006.


Hudswell Clarke & Co, Leeds

Builder’s Number & Year

297 of 1888

Wheel Arrangement



“South Bulli No.2” is a very handsome and well-proportioned tank locomotive, built in 1888 as one of two for the Ringwood Colliery, near Bundanoon.  Around 1891 it moved to South Bulli Colliery where it worked for 70 years before being retired in April 1962.  (I understand its sister locomotive was known as “Pygmy” and ended up at the Toronto Tramway, on the shores of Lake Macquarie.  A very similar 0-6-0T locomotive (Hudswell Clarke 320 of 1888) was also employed by the Public Works Department at Port Kembla as their number PWD 27.)

While many interesting privately owned steam locos were being scrapped around the 1960’s, fortunately South Bulli No.2 was spared this fate when donated by South Bulli Colliery to the Australian Railway Historical Society, NSW Division.  (Ken McCarthy’s book “'Gazetteer of Industrial Steam Locomotives, Illawarra District NSW'” details the many interesting locomotives which once worked in the Illawarra and their histories.)  South Bulli No.2 was loaded onto a well wagon and a small handover ceremony held on 12 March 1966 before it was hauled to Sydney by Standard Goods loco 5593.  South Bulli No.2 was then displayed alongside the growing New South Wales Rail Transport Museum (NSWRTM) collection in the Enfield Roundhouse.

When the NSWRTM was evicted from Enfield in 1975, South Bulli No.2 was not transferred to the new Thirlmere site, but rather the Australian Railway Historical Society, NSW Division made arrangements for the loco to be returned to the Illawarra region for display by the Illawarra Light Railway & Museum Society at Albion Park.  Here it was well cared for, being stripped and repainted a number of times.

In 1995 the locomotive moved to Bulli Station for display at the Bulli Black Diamond Museum & Heritage Centre, which is based in the historic Bulli Station building.  Here South Bulli No.2 is displayed together with a Corrimal-Balgownie Coal Co. open hopper & Australian Iron & Steel 4-wheel brake van, both of which had also previously been at Albion Park.  The Bulli Black Diamond Museum & Heritage Centre has an excellent website with further information about South Bulli No.2 and local history.

Alas Bulli Station is not far from the coast and South Bulli No.2 and its short train require ongoing maintenance against the effects of the salt & moisture-laden air.  Hopefully at some stage funding will become available for a secure covered shelter so that these old-timers can be properly protected and displayed for future generations to contemplate.

A scanned photo view of South Bulli No.2 and her short train at Bulli Station, circa 1999.

The nameplate, builder’s plate, brass dome and other refinements are removed, presumably for safekeeping - a necessary adjunct to open display.

A second view of South Bulli No.2 circa 1999.

It can be seen that the antique buffer beam comprises wooden beams behind a heavy steel plate.




K. McCarthy "Guide to the Main Exhibits - Illawarra Light Railway Museum Society",

published 1992.


Bulli Black Diamond Museum & Heritage Centre website, retrieved 10 June 2015.


McCarthy, K. 'Gazetteer of Industrial Steam Locomotives, Illawarra District NSW',

prepared by Ken McCarthy for the Illawarra Environmental Heritage Committee.

Published by the Australian Railway Historical Society (NSW Division) December 1983.


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Page updated:  10 June 2015

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