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