When it comes to big engines in Australia, there is none larger than the Ad 60 class Garratt. Delivered from Beyer Peacock in the UK from 1956, these magnificent machines hauled freight until the very last steam train on the NSWGR in March 1973.
They hauled the famous W44 from Parkes to Lithgow, and from Gosford to Sulphide Junction, with a changed number of N645. The sight of double Garratts climbing Fassifern bank was something one will never forget and inspired me to build my model layout around Fassifern. I just purchase a bunch of coal hoppers to create the 18 wagon consist that struggled up the hill until nearly the end of steam.
One of the class, 6029, was acquired by the Canberra Railway Museum and operated tours in the early 1980s. Recently, with $500,000 of donations,6029 was restored to operating condition and for 2 years ran excursion trips around NSW. Regrettably now the engine requires maintenance and is parked at Thirlmere.
Due to gross mismanagement, the Canberra Railway Museum went into liquidation and the assets are being sold off by auction. Now 6029 has been put up for tender, upsetting the many who donated cash to seethe loco operating once again.
One wonders where it will end up. Let’s hope it stays in NSW and that whoever purchases it has the funds to get it running once again.
Those of us who were around in steam days will never forget the impressive power of these monsters.
To view information about the auction,click on the link below