No. 7 ‘Digger’
Proserpine Mill No. 7
‘Digger’ plinthed under a weather roof at Proserpine on 12 August 1992.
This photo was kindly
contributed by Tom Badger.
No.7 ‘Digger’ has since moved indoors to the Proserpine
‘Digger’ was built for the British Army’s ‘War Department Light Railways’ for
use on the network of 600mm gauge light lines supplying the front-line during
World War 1. (For further information about the War Office Hunslet
locomotives, refer to sister War
Department No.306 which is preserved by the Australian War Memorial.)
the end of hostilities the War Department had many surplus locomotives,
both narrow and standard gauge. This locomotive was one of several 600mm
gauge machines of several types purchased from war surplus for use in the
Queensland Sugar industry. Following rebuilding and regauging by Hunslet,
it was sold to the Engineering Supply Company of Australia (ESCO) for use on
the 2’ gauge (610mm) tramways of the Queensland canefields, becoming No.7
on the roster of the Proserpine Mill. Here it received the name ‘Digger’,
presumably in reference to its war-time connections.
7 ‘Digger’ was plinthed at Proserpine following its retirement from service
at Proserpine Mill in 1962. Around 2001 it was acquired by the Proserpine
Historical Museum Society and received some cosmetic restoration prior
to being placed on display within their museum building.
Page updated: 14 October 2018