ex-Blue Circle Southern Cement, Portland


 Blue Circle Southern Cement Co. No.2 "Stevo" at Parramatta Park in October 1992.

This photo was kindly contributed by Mark Newton.

The Blue Circle Southern Cement Company operated a short private railway to connect their cement plant at Portland the NSWGR line to Mudgee.  Although only two kilometers or so in length, the line featured a sharp gradient up to the cement plant.  Blue Circle Southern Cement at Portland operated an interesting stud of industrial steam locomotives, often augmented by hired NSWGR locomotives (particularly members of the Z(26) class of 2-6-2ST engines) and was one of the last commercial steam locomotive operations in Australia, with second-hand diesel locomotives taking over as late as 1983.  Complete closure of the cement plant followed a few years later.

One of the early locomotives supplied to Blue Circle Southern Cement for their Portland railway was "Stevo", a handsome 0-6-0ST built by Robert Stephenson & Co of Darlington, England (builder's number 2994 of 1899) which arrived new at Portland in 1907.  (Apparently Stevo had been awaiting a buyer at Darlington for several years after construction in 1899.)  It received road number "2" at Portland.

No.2 "Stevo" entered preservation in 1974 when acquired by the Parramatta Park Steam Tram Preservation Society.  (The webmaster has fond memories of childhood visits to Parramatta Park.  I first encountered Stevo in the mid 1970's at which stage it was stored at the rear of the Parramatta Park loco shed; it was slightly too long to fit into the shed, so two holes had been cut into the rear wall of the loco shed to allow Stevo's buffers to poke through!  I was always intrigued by the identity of this mystery locomotive hiding in the gloom at the rear of the shed.)  Although nominally operable, No.2 "Stevo" was apparently too heavy for the light track then in use at Parramatta Park and saw only infrequent use.

Fortunes changed for No.2 "Stevo" in 1993 when it was sent to the NSW Rail Transport Museum, Thirlmere in 1993 for contract restoration.  By sheer good luck it had not yet returned to the Parramatta Park Steam Tramway site at the time of the arson attack in May 1993 which destroyed the Parramatta Park loco shed and contained wooden rollingstock.  Steam Tram 103A and steam locomotive 1022 were severely damaged, with Stevo at Thirlmere suddenly the only remaining operable asset.

The Parramatta Park Steam Tram Preservation Society later relocated to Valley Heights and have progressively rebuilt their collection and operations there.  Accordingly No. 2 "Stevo" was relocated from Thirlmere to Valley Heights in 1999.  Here it is displayed on one of the roundhouse roads and is occasionally steamed for the Valley Heights Steam Tramway service.

It is interesting to note that three other steam locomotives remained at Portland cement works at the cessation of steam in 1983 and all have subsequently passed into preservation.  These were No.3 (Andrew Barclay 1234 of 1911),  No.5 (Andrew Barclay 1470 of 1916) and ex-NSWGR 2605.

This information sheet attached to Stevo's cabside provides a summary of the locomotive's history.

(This information sheet dates from my visit to Valley Heights on 8 October 2006.)



Griffiths, D. 'BHP Locomotives', Railmac Publications, 1982.


Information sheet (as reproduced above).


Webmaster's observation or comment.


Page updated:  26 August 2014

Government Railways:











Private & Industrial Railways: