Marian Mill Perry

Now at the Bennett Brook Railway, WA


Perry 2601.51.1 (ex-Marian Mill) awaiting its next steaming at Melaleuca Station on 1 February 2004.


Perry Engineering Co. Ltd,

Mile End, Adelaide

Builder’s Number & Year

2601.51.1 of 1951

Wheel Arrangement



This locomotive originally worked at the Marian Mill, near Mackay, which was owned by the Marian Central Mill Co Ltd and first crushed cane in 1895. In 1966 Marian Mill was sold to the cane farmers supplying the mill via the Marian Mill Co-operative Society Limited, which amalgamated in 1988 with the nearby Cattle Creek, Farleigh, North Eton, Racecourse and Pleystowe Mill to form the Mackay Sugar Co-operative Association Limited.

I’m not sure when the Marian Mill Perry loco was withdrawn from sugar service, but during the 1990’s it was preserved as the running locomotive at ‘Melaleuca Station’, Chinderah, NSW, a railway-themed roadside attraction featuring local produce, a picnic ground with farmyard animals, and a steam train ride looping through tropical gardens and around an artificial wetland. (Chinderah is north of Murwillumbah on the Pacific Highway, near the Queensland border and surrounded by the sugar cane-growing areas alongside the Tweed River feeding into the nearby Condong Mill. A 2’ gauge mill railway was once a feature of the Condong Mill, but there is now little trace of that operation.)

Melaleuca Station has since changed hands and now operates as a Memorial Garden and Crematorium, with a portion of the once extensive grounds now returned to agriculture and the railway dismantled. The Marian Mill Perry was sold to the Bennett Brook Railway, arriving at its new home in Western Australia on 24 June 2009. At that stage an overhaul was planned with an expected return to service in 2010, but to my knowledge the Perry is yet to work at the Bennett Brook Railway. Instead, its smaller sister Perry 0-4-2T ‘Betty Thompson’ (b/n 8967.39.1 of 1939) has instead been the usual running loco in recent years.

The photos on this page date from the webmaster’s visit to Melaleuca Station on 1 February 2004, showing the ex-Marian Mill Perry loco basking in the sun as it awaited its next steaming day, together with its train of two open tourist carriages.

A second view of the ex-Marian Mill Perry loco on 1 February 2004.

Keeping company are some of the farmyard animals that were part of the Melaleuca Station attraction.

The loco is standing over a rudimentary ash pit at its customary stabling point.

Builder’s plate detail. 1 February 2004



Light Railway Research Society of Australia Inc. Web site
(retrieved 29 July 2018):

'Preserved Australian Sugar Cane Locomotives' list
by John Browning (


Wikipedia page for Perry Engineering Co Ltd,
retrieved 29 July 2018

Page updated: 6 August 2018

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