Fairymead No. 1

Baldwin b/n 10533 of 1889


Fairymead No1 working up the short grade to Nomad station during the NSWRTM Members' day
at the Lake Macquarie Light Railway on Sunday 18 October 2009.


Baldwin Locomotive Works,

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

Builder’s Number & Year

10533 of 1889

Wheel Arrangement



This handsome little locomotive is the survivor of three Baldwin engines imported for use at Fairymead Mill, near Bundaberg. Fairymead No.1 features classic features of Baldwin locomotive of the period, such as bar-frames, slide valves and a relatively large wooden cab. A prominent sand dome and ornate brass bell graces the boiler in typical American style. This locomotive also features a Forney-designed frame for the trailing truck, presumably an allowance for the sharp curves encountered on lightly-laid sugar cane tramways. (Forney 0-4-4T locomotives were employed on the elevated city railways in the USA, where sharp curves were negotiated as the elevated railways turned corners around city blocks.)

The three Fairymead Baldwin locos were withdrawn around 1956 and two were scrapped. Fortunately Fairymead No.1 was spared this fate, later being plinthed at the nearby beachside town of Bargara.

In March 1972, Fairymead No.1 moved to the Goulburn Steam Museum. It was later sold for private preservation.

Around 1992 the owner of Fairymead No.1 contracted the NSWRTM Thirlmere to fully overhaul the loco for restoration to operation. The locomotive was moved to the workshop area at Thirlmere and completely stripped for repair.  Restoration was completed in 1993, with steam trials held on a short section of 2' gauge track laid in the workshop area. The loco was then stored for a number of years under a heavy tarpaulin within the NSWRTM Thirlmere workshops area, occasionally emerging for private steaming events.

Fairymead No.1 subsequently moved to the Lake Macquarie Light Railway (LMLR), a private 2' railway near Toronto. The NSWRTM kindly arranged a members' day at LMLR on Sunday 18 October 2009, and the webmaster jumped at the opportunity to see Fairymead No.1 in action! A number of photos of this page were taken on that day.

Further details for Fairymead No.1 can be found on the Lake Macquarie Light Railway website. As an additional source of further reading, David Burke has written an excellent and well-illustrated book ‘America Steam on Australian Rails’ which provides a wonderful exploration of the Baldwin and other US-built locomotives that operated on the various Government-owned railways ‘down under’. Alas this excellent book excludes those locomotives delivered to non-government operators, such as the three Fairymead Baldwins, but it remains an excellent reference.

This photo dates from approximately 1993 and shows Fairymead No.1 under contract overhaul at the NSWRTM, Thirlmere.

This photo is kindly provided by Bruce Belbin and shows No.1 in steam at the NSWRTM, following its overhaul.
It is steaming on the short section of 2’ gauge rail which was its restoration base and running line!

This detail of No.1 shows the builder's plate, slide valve chest, bell and other typically Baldwin features. Sunday 18 October 2009.

Another view of Fairymead No1 during the NSWRTM Members' day at the LMLR, Sunday 18 October 2009.

Fairymead No1 crosses a bridge on the LMLR during the NSWRTM Member's day on Sunday 18 October 2009.

The Baldwin builder’s plate affixed to the smokebox.



Light Railway Research Society of Australia Inc. Web site
(as at 17 November 2017):

'Preserved Australian Sugar Cane Locomotives' list
by John Browning (www.lrrsa.org.au/LRR_SGRc.htm)


Wikipedia page for Baldwin Locomotive Works,
retrieved 11 April 2018.


Lake Macquarie Light Railway website (locomotive page),

Retrieved 18 April 2018.

Page updated: 18 April 2018

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