Tully Mill No.6

Illawarra Light Railway Museum Society


No.6 'Tully' at the ILRMS on 19 March 2006.


Perry Engineering Co. Ltd,

Mile End, Adelaide

Builder’s Number & Year


Wheel Arrangement



Tully Mill No.6 & No.7 were supplied by Perry Engineering Co. Ltd. to Tully Mill, entering service by 1950 for cane haulage over the network of tram lines radiating from the mill. Tully is situated in Queensland’s tropical north and is known as the wettest town in Australia – fittingly celebrated by ‘big thing’ attraction The Golden Gumboot!

Adelaide company Perry Engineering Co. Ltd built a total of 19 steam locomotives for various Australian sugar mills, most of which survive in preservation. Tully Mill No.6 was replaced by diesel locos at Tully Mill by 1965 after a relatively short working career. Fortunately it was retained for display, being plinthed at the nearby El Arish Country Club.

Inevitably the tropical climate took its toll on Tully Mill No.6, and the deteriorating loco was made available for sale in 1972. It was purchased by the Illawarra Light Railway Museum Society (ILRMS), arriving by ship at Port Kembla in March 1973. After a few years of storage at Kembla Grange, the loco was transferred to Albion Park where a thorough overhaul and restoration program began in 1976. The chassis, pistons, valves and running gear were complete by 1980, but expensive boiler work remained outstanding. A cost-effective solution was found with the assistance of management at the Port Kembla Steelworks whereby apprentices re-tubed the boiler and repaired the firebox from 1981, with the completed boiler returning to Albion Park in 1986. Fabrication of replacement side tanks finished the project, with Tully Mill No.6 entering regular ILRMS service on 13 September 1987. The webmaster has often found Tully Mill No.6 in steam during running days at the ILRMS, Albion Park, as evidenced by the photos on this page; the loco has always been immaculately presented and performed faultlessly. It now sports the name ‘Tully’ via brass nameplates attached to the side tanks.

No. 6 ‘Tully’ hauling the visitor train at ILRMS Albion Park on 13 October 2002.

Visible on the front buffer is the number plate ‘3’ – but I do not know what this number relates to!

The carriages are an interesting mix comprising (in order) and antique bus body, an ex-QGR railmotor body and a Melbourne cable tram trailer.

The station building just visible in the background was formerly located at nearby Yallah, hence the station nameboard.

A yellow train on the tracks

Description automatically generated with low confidence

My favourite item among the ILRMS rollingstock is C95, originally a Sydney C-class single-truck tram.

It was constructed in 1899 by Clyde Engineering Co as one of 97 members of the C-class and sold off in 1922 for use as a suburban garden shed.

The body of C95 was originally saved for preservation in 1962 by the Steam Tram Preservation Society at Parramatta Park.

It came to the ILRM&S Albion Park in 1989 and restored, now being carried on a steel underframe with 2’ gauge bogies.

This photo was taken at the ILRMS on 19 March 2006.



Light Railway Research Society of Australia Inc. Web site
(retrieved 10 July 2018):

'Preserved Australian Sugar Cane Locomotives' list
by John Browning (www.lrrsa.org.au/LRR_SGRc.htm)


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


K. McCarthy ‘Guide to the Main Exhibits –

Illawarra Light Railway Museum Society’,

Published 1992.

Page updated: 22 April 2021

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