From Moreton Mill, Nambour


Petrie in store at a private site near Echuca on 23 March 2005.

Behind is the two-road loco shed for the owner’s ‘Britannia Locomotive & Iron Works’.
Metal moths have been munching on the riveted side tanks!


John Fowler & Co, Leeds

Builder’s Number & Year

19930 of 1933

Wheel Arrangement



This locomotive was originally ordered by the Queensland Machinery Co. for the Babinda Co-operative Central Mill Society Ltd, operating at the Babinda Central Sugar Mill as No.6 on their roster. From 1959 this locomotive worked at the Moreton Central Sugar Co. Ltd., Nambour, where it retained No.6 and gained the name ‘Petrie’. Alas the loco was out of use by 1967.

The Moreton Mill tramway system was popular with rail enthusiasts as it was one of the most accessible sugar tramway systems, being located only 100 kilometres north of Brisbane and close to the coastal holiday towns of Noosa and Maroochydore. The Moreton Mill system was also notable for having a major route threading through the heart of the town’s busy commercial district. Being well known and accessible, Moreton Mill’s steam locomotives were prime targets for preservationists and most were saved. (The Moreton Mill and Local Tramways Interest Group is a good source of information about the Moreton Mill and its tramways.)

Petrie has had many moves during its preservation career, which started in 1970 at Cox's Museum, Maroochydore. Petrie’s next home was the Suncoast Pioneer Museum, Mudjimba Beach, Queensland.

In 1985 Petrie had a further change of ownership and moved to a private site near Echuca, Victoria. The webmaster first encountered Petrie in March 2005 when the owner kindly permitted me to photograph his collection at Echuca, with the photograph above dating from that occasion.

Petrie subsequently relocated to the Gherang Gravel Tramway, another private hobby railway based in Geelong, Victoria.

Light Railways magazine of June 2014 reported that Petrie was now based at the Mandalong Valley Railway, a private 595mm gauge hobby railway being established north of Sydney, NSW. A photograph with the news article showed that Petrie’s restoration was progressing, with the side tanks removed to reveal a well-presented boiler, chassis & running gear. As per the 2005 photo of Petrie above, metal moths had feasted heartily on the side tanks and cab roof, so presumably these were all to be replaced.

During March 2019 I received further advice that Petrie was being relocated to Timbertown, Wauchope NSW, for completion of overhaul and operation on the delightful Timbertown Heritage Railway. The gauge at Timbertown is 598mm; a 12mm reduction from the original 2’ gauge (610mm), and I understand Petrie’s wheelsets were the first components to arrive at Timbertown; possibly this is a result of them having been removed for regauging.

This photo was kindly contributed by Anthony Winstone and shows Petrie at the Maroochydore Pioneer Village in 1981.

This B&W view shows Petrie as a well-proportioned and purposeful locomotive, albeit showing its age.



Light Railway Research Society of Australia Inc. Web site (as at 6 April 2019):

'Preserved Australian Sugar Cane Locomotives' list by John Browning



'Light Railways - Australia's Magazine of Industrial & Narrow Gauge Railways',

Number 237, June 2014, published by Light Railway Research Society of Australia Inc.


Information provided via email by Brad Peadon /

Moreton Mill and Local Tramways Interest Group on 27 March 2019

Page updated: 6 April 2019

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