South Johnstone Mill No.5

Built by Hudswell Clarke to an order received by John Fowler


South Johnstone No.5 in storage at ANGRMS, Woodford on 12 April 2003.

The loco wears a faded but handsome yellow livery with red stripes, with maroon edging & frames and white-wall tires;

Presumably this livery provided high visibility; a useful safety feature given the frequent road crossings by sugar tramways.

The two sandboxes are stored on cab roof, rather than their rightful place on the boiler fore and rear of the steam dome.


Hudswell, Clarke & Co. Ltd, Leeds

(to a John Fowler & Co. Ltd design)

Builder’s Number & Year

Hudswell Clarke 1705 of 1938


John Fowler 22752 of 1938

Wheel Arrangement



The South Johnstone Mill near Innisfail is aptly named, being situated alongside the South Johnstone River and the nearby township of South Johnstone! In need of additional motive power in 1938, South Johnstone Mill ordered a locomotive from the famous Leeds company John Fowler & Co Ltd, based on the design of an earlier Fowler locomotive supplied to the Mill in 1929. Following a strategic business decision, John Fowler & Co had exited the steam locomotive market by this date and were only building internal combustion locomotives. Unable to persuade South Johnstone Mill’s management on the virtues of diesel power, Fowler made arrangements with their nearby former competitor Hudswell Clarke & Co Ltd, who built the locomotive to Fowler’s design under licence, and accordingly South Johnstone No.5 received builder’s numbers from both companies.

I don’t have any information on the retirement date or early preservation history of South Johnstone Mill No.5, but it has been stored since the 1980’s by the Australian Narrow Gauge Railway Museum Society (ANGRMS) at their Woodford base. The ANGRMS website includes a data sheet for South Johnstone No.5 with some useful technical information.

The photos on this page show South Johnstone No.5 in storage at Woodford on 12 April 2003. Superficially the loco seems like a good candidate for restoration; it appears complete and is a relatively modern loco with an interesting history, but perhaps the boiler or other components need major work.

A rear view of South Johnstone No.5 in storage at ANGRMS, Woodford on 12 April 2003.

The two sandboxes are stored on cab roof, and a protective cover has been placed on top of the chimney.

The loco’s external frame can be seen in this view.



Light Railway Research Society of Australia Inc. Web site

(Retrieved 3 November 2018):

'Preserved Australian Sugar Cane Locomotives' list by John Browning



ANRGMS website page for South Johnstone No.5,

retrieved 4 November 2018


Wikipedia page for Hudswell, Clarke & Co. Ltd,

retrieved 4 November 2018

Page updated: 4 November 2018

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