Victoria Mill ‘Melbourne’

Operational at ANGRMS Woodford


Ex-Victoria Mill loco 'Melbourne' is seen sitting outside the ANGRMS running shed at Woodford on 12 April 2003.

Some maintenance is evidently underway because the connecting rod is sitting on the running board.

The livery follows that worn at Victoria Mill in the 1960’s: grey tender & boiler barrel, sky blue cabsides, with yellow roof and running boards.

The livery is nicely finished with a polished brass dome and boiler bands.

An interesting feature is the double-layer tropical roof over the cab.


Hudswell, Clarke & Co. Ltd, Leeds

Builder’s Number & Year

1701 of 1938

Wheel Arrangement



‘Melbourne’ is one of the fleet of Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0 locomotives operated by Colonial Sugar Refining Co Ltd (CSR) at its mills in Queensland and Fiji. This example spent its entire working life at the Victoria Mill at Ingham, a town north of Townsville and notable for the social and cultural heritage of the many Italian cane farming families in the area.

‘Melbourne’ was assembled by CSR fitters at Victoria Mill in 1956 by combining the best parts of three earlier Hudswell Clarke locomotives:

·        Frames, wheels, running gear and tender from ‘Victoria’ (b/n 1701 of 1938)

·        Boiler from Hambledon Mill No.5 (b/n 1552 of 1925)

·        Cab from ‘Silver Jubilee’ (b/n 1659 of 1936)

A locomotive usually takes its identity from the frames, and hence this combined locomotive perhaps should have retained the name ‘Victoria’ but was instead christened ‘Melbourne’ by the CSR administration, while the worn-out remains of the three donor machines were scrapped in 1956.

CSR was among the last commercial users of steam locomotives in Australia, maintaining several Hudswell Clarke locos until 1976. At the cessation of steam operations, the remaining CSR steam locomotives were generously donated to various preservation societies. ‘Melbourne’ was gifted to the Australian Narrow Gauge Railway Society & Museum (ANGRMS) in 1976, with the locomotive initially transported for storage at Rocklea, Brisbane in 1977 before arriving at Woodford in 1979. ANGRMS is based at Woodford station on the former Queensland Railways Kilcoy branch, a portion of which has been re-laid to 2’ gauge for heritage train operations on what is now known as the ‘Woodford Railway’. Here ANGRMS volunteers have restored Melbourne to operable condition, a process requiring much work over more than 15 years as the locomotive was found to have a number of unanticipated defects.

The webmaster recalls visiting Ingham and district during a 1996 road trip to Cairns. In those days, Victoria Mill offered guided tours for visitors, for which I eagerly signed up! The tour included the cane delivery and refining operations, in particular the massive steam-powered crushers, filtering and crystallising equipment. The sights, sounds and smells of an operating sugar refinery assault the senses, including sweet smell of molasses mingling with the tropical heat & humidity; wonderful memories.

An excellent source of detailed historical and technical information for ‘Melbourne’, together with many photographs, its earlier constituent engines and the various other Hudswell Clarke steam locomotives employed by CSR in Australia and Fiji is ‘Salute to the Hudswells’ by Ian Stocks, David Mewes and John Browning. This book also provides information about Hudswell Clarke products supplied to non-CSR sugar mills.

The ANGRMS collections page for Melbourne also provides useful historical and technical information for this loco.



Light Railway Research Society of Australia Inc. Web site

(Retrieved 3 November 2018):

'Preserved Australian Sugar Cane Locomotives' list by John Browning



Wikipedia page for Hudswell, Clarke & Co. Ltd,

retrieved 28 November 2018


‘Salute to the Hudswells’ by Ian Stocks, David Mewes & John Browning

Published by Australian Narrow Gauge Railway Museum Society, 2014.

Page updated: 28 February 2021

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