Kiama Fowler

Public Works Department No.35 / Wollondilly


PWD 35 / The Kiama Fowler is seen in storage at the Illawarra Light Railway & Museum on 19 March 2006.


John Fowler & Co, Leeds

Builder’s Number & Year

16089 of 1923

Wheel Arrangement



This locomotive was originally Public Works Department (PWD) No.35 (the second PWD locomotive to carry this number), having been purchased for use on the State Metal Quarries at Kiama.  It is sometimes referred to as 'Wollondilly' and is also known as “The Kiama Fowler”.

PWD 35 entered preservation as early as 1958 when it moved to the Marsden Museum of Historic Engines at Goulburn.  Here it was initially used as a stationary boiler for the magnificent Appleby Beam Engine which pumped fresh water to the City of Goulburn and is the centrepiece of the Marsden Museum.  PWD 35 later joined the growing collection of 2’ gauge steam locomotives at the Marsden Museum, with photographs showing that it was used on the 2’ gauge tourist line which was once a feature of that site.  In 1974 the locomotive was purchased for private preservation and dispatched to a Sydney location.

Around 1985 there was a proposal to rebuild a portion of the Kiama quarry railway as a tourist attraction, with the Kiama Fowler central to the proposal.  The locomotive was displayed at Kiama for a period during 1986 & 1987 prior to being placed in storage at the Illawarra Light Railway & Museum Society (ILRMS), Albion Park.  Alas the proposal for a tourist railway at Kiama did not achieve Council approval and the Kiama Fowler remained stored for many years in the loco shed at Albion Park.  It was donated to the ILRMS in 1998.

My visit to the ILRMS Albion Park on 3 May 2015 found restoration and repair work on the Kiama Fowler now underway, with a return to service anticipated in a few years.  Among the work to be undertaken is replacement of the heavily pitted smokebox door.

The Illawarra Light Railway & Museum Society website includes a page for Kiama Fowler providing a brief history and additional photos of this interesting industrial locomotive.

A large and diverse range of steam locomotives once served the various industrial operations situated in the Illawarra; each of these have been documented in Ken McCarthy’s book “'Gazetteer of Industrial Steam Locomotives, Illawarra District NSW'” which makes for interesting reading for ferroequinologists.

An earlier photo of the Kiama Fowler in storage at Albion Park.  13 October 2002

The lower portion of the smokebox door shows heavy pitting and distortion and will be replaced.




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

published 1992.


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.


Webmaster's observation or comment


Page updated:  4 June 2015

Government Railways:











Private & Industrial Railways: