Mt Lyell Mining & Railway Co. No.9

Last used by the Tullah Tramway


The condemned boiler of Krauss b/n 5988 displayed at Tullah on 8 May 2003.


Lokomotivfabrik Krauss & Co,

Munich, Germany

Builder’s Number & Year

5988 of 1908

Wheel Arrangement



This much-travelled 0-4-0WT locomotive was built for the Mt Lyell Mining & Railway Co, becoming No.9 on their roster and joining a fleet of similar Krauss locomotives working the tramlines connecting the copper mine and smelter at Queenstown.

A change of ownership in 1947 saw the locomotive working at the Ida Bay Railway in the far south of Tasmania, before moving to the Tullah Tramway in 1949. The Tullah Tramway was an interesting line connecting the eponymous township with the Emu Bay Railway at Farrell Siding, a distance of 8.5 miles. The route broadly followed the Pieman River, and I imagine the terrain was both rugged and scenic. The Tullah Tramway represents the pioneer days of Tasmania’s west coast, when small mining communities were very isolated except for the link provided by railways. Construction of the Murchison Highway in 1964 created a road connection for townships such as Tullah, leading to closure of the tramway. By this stage My Lyell No.9 was the last locomotive operating on the line.

The opening of the Murchison Highway also spurred the development of hydroelectricity along Tasmania’s west coast, including the Bastyan Dam and power station as part of the Pieman River Scheme. Tullah now sits on the shoreline of the artificially created Lake Rosebery, which unfortunately drowned much of the route of the former Tullah Tramway. Today, hydroelectricity is a major employer in the area and indeed Tasmania supplies clean hydroelectric power to mainland Australia via an underwater cable across Bass Strait.

Krauss b/n 5988 / Mt Lyell No.9 was initially preserved in 1972, being housed at the Van Diemen Railway Society, Don. A section of the Tullah Tramway was subsequently reopened as a heritage and tourist railway, the ‘Wee Georgie Wood Steam Railway’ in reference to the resident little Fowler loco (b/n 16203). Some restoration work on My Lyell No.9 was done in the Emu Bay Railway workshops, Burnie from 1987 before the loco moved back to Tullah in 1993 and was assessed for overhaul, but the old boiler was found to be beyond repair. The condemned boiler is now displayed near the Wee Georgie Wood Steam Railway station at Tullah while the loco is stored – sans boiler - inside the running shed.

Today’s Wee Georgie Wood Steam Railway operates a 1.8km section of the former Tullah Tramway from the township towards Lake Rosebery. Operating dates can be found on the Wee Georgie Wood Steam Railway website, together with a brief history of the line and its locomotives. A future extension along the shore of Lake Rosebery is planned – subject to funding to help develop this asset to local tourism – hopefully together with funds for a replacement boiler for Mt Lyell No.9.

Mt Lyell No.9 / Krauss b/n 5988 stored - sans boiler - in the loco shed at Tullah.

The wheelsets are in the foreground. 8 May 2003.



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

Number 153, June 2000. Article ‘Krauss Locomotives in Australia –

A close look at their characteristics and an overview of their migrations’ by Bruce Macdonald.

Published by Light Railway Research Society of Australia Inc. pp.10-18.

(This article is also available online.)


Wee Georgie Wood Steam Railway website, retrieved 13 September 2021


Wikipedia page for Lokomotivfabrik Krauss & Co / George Krauss,

retrieved 10 September 2021.

Page updated: 14 September 2021

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