Wee Georgie Wood

Wee Georgie Wood Steam Railway, Tullah


Wee Georgie Wood’ awaiting the next steaming day in the loco shed at Tullah on 8 May 2003.


John Fowler & Co, Leeds

Builder’s Number & Year

16203 of 1924

Wheel Arrangement



The North Mount Farrell Tramway (commonly known as the Tullah Tramway) was an interesting 2’ gauge line connecting the eponymous township with the Emu Bay Railway at Farrell Siding, a distance of 8.5 miles. The route broadly followed the Pieman River, and I imagine the terrain was both rugged and scenic. The Tullah Tramway represents the pioneer days of Tasmania’s west coast, when small mining communities were very isolated except for the link provided by railways.

In 1924 this 0-4-0WT locomotive was supplied by the well-known Leeds builders John Fowler & Co and given the name ‘Wee Georgie Wood’ - presumably a reference to the contemporary British comedian noted for his diminutive size! Over time the Tullah Tramway train itself came to be affectionately known by this name, regardless of the engine providing the motive power.

The Fowler locomotive ‘Wee Georgie Wood’ was later joined by a sister ‘Wee Mary’ (Fowler b/n 17732 of 1928). Other locomotives to work on the Tullah Tramway were Orenstein & Koppel b/n 718, Krauss b/n 2640 and Krauss b/n 5988.

After World War Two, ‘Wee Georgie Wood’ and ‘Wee Mary’ were combined to form a single operable loco during an overhaul. Whilst the remaining locomotive carries the name ‘Wee Georgie Wood’, apparently it may in fact use the frames of ‘Wee Mary’ and therefore, under the usual practice of identity following the frames, would normally be known by the latter name.

In December 1963 the Murchison Highway was opened, providing for the first time a road link to many of Tasmania's isolated West Coast mining communities and rendering the Tullah Tramway redundant. Fortunately, ‘Wee Georgie Wood’ and a portion of the Tullah Tramway have since been restored by a local community group for historical and tourist service. Operating dates can be found on the Wee Georgie Wood Steam Railway website, together with a brief history of the line and its locomotives.

As an aside - two derelict 2’ gauge loco frames and wheels survive at the Lune River sidings of the Ida Bay Railway in Tasmania's south, one of which I believe are the remains of the other Tullah Tramway Fowler, reported here as Wee Mary. (Definitive identification of these frames &/or further information would be appreciated.)

A similar Fowler is preserved at the James Hall Transport Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa – b/n 16129 of 1924.



Wee Georgie Wood Steam Railway website,

retrieved 5 October 2021

Page updated: 19 October 2021

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