Locomotive, Steam 1308 | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Locomotive, Steam 1308

Item details

Name of item: Locomotive, Steam 1308
Other name/s: Locomotive 1308 (From 1924), No 411 (From 1889), No 27N (From 1877)
Type of item: Movable / Collection
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Locomotives & Rolling Stock
Primary address: , Not Listed, NSW
Local govt. area: Unknown
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
 Not ListedUnknown  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Locomotive 1308 is associated with the operations of suburban services in Sydney, at the turn of the 20th century and tramway services in NSW. It is closely associated with rural tramway services, and branch line operations. It demonstrates the design and style of a locomotive of the late Victorian era and following conversion to a tank engine represents an early attempt to develop a ‘family’ appearance for NSWGR locomotives under the CME of the time, William Thow.
Date significance updated: 19 Apr 04
Note: There are incomplete details for a number of items listed in NSW. The Heritage Branch intends to develop or upgrade statements of significance and other information for these items as resources become available.


Designer/Maker: Beyer, Peacock and Company, Gorton Manchester England
Builder/Maker: Beyer, Peacock and Company, Gorton Manchester England
Physical description: 1308 is a two-cylinder, simple, non-condensing, saturated ‘Atlantic’ type, 4-4-2 steam locomotive. It has large diameter spoked wheels for speed, inclined cylinders and a radial trailing truck. It has inside plate frames, with inside Stephenson link motion. It is fitted with a Belpaire firebox, four side tanks of riveted construction, an enclosed cab with an extended coalbunker. In appearance it bears a close similarity to the original tank engines of the London Metropolitan Railway of 1865, both classes being built by Beyer, Peacock and Company of Manchester.

All wheels are spoked, run in plain journal bearings with drip-feed oil lubricators feeding the axleboxes.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The locomotive is completely dismantled. Many parts could not be located. The condition of individual components varies from fair, in the case of the frames, to very poor in reference to the boiler. All parts noted are stored in the open.
Date condition updated:19 Apr 04
Modifications and dates: 1877 construction as 4-4-0 tender engine (C79 Class, later Z12 Class)
1902 conversion to tank engine
1963 withdrawal from service
1975 transferred to NSW Rail Transport Museum, Thirlmere
Further information: This locomotive survives as a quantity of parts.


Historical notes: Locomotive 1308 was constructed by Beyer, Peacock and Company at their Gorton Foundry, as works number 1620 in 1877. Following erection, it entered service on the Region of the NSWR, given road number 27N as part of the C(79) class, on the then isolated northern system. During this period as a tender engine it hauled the first train into Armidale on 5 February 1883. Due to traction shortages on the expanding Sydney suburban network, a program of converting the surplus C(79) class tender engines to 4-4-2 tank locomotives was commenced, and in June 1902 27N entered service in this guise. As the duties were taken over by the newer S class it was displaced from the suburban service and transferred to other services on tramways and other light lines, being noted at Taree, Casino and Wagga. Renumbering to 411 occurred on the opening of the Hawkesbury River bridge which connected the isolated Northern Division to the NSWGR in 1889, followed by the final numbering in 1924 to 1308.

1308 was withdrawn in June 1963 and condemned on the 25 July 1966. It was transferred to The Rail Transport Museum, firstly to Enfield then to Thirlmere on 24 June 1975. At some stage it was transferred to the Steam Tram group at Parramatta Park where it was prepared for restoration. This project was stopped following the fired after which the components were recovered to Thirlmere where they remain.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Transport-Activities associated with the moving of people and goods from one place to another, and systems for the provision of such movements Pioneer lines-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Locomotive 1308 has historical significance because;
It associated with the operation of suburban passenger service in Sydney.
It demonstrates the motive power available to the NSWGR at the turn of the twentieth century.
Its conversion at Eveleigh Workshops from an earlier configuration to a tank locomotive demonstrates the capability and engineering expertise of the railway workshops at this time.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The locomotive has aesthetic significance because;
It demonstrates the design and style of a locomotive of the late Victorian era.
It demonstrates, following conversion to a tank engine, an early attempt to develop a ‘family’ appearance for NSWGR locomotives.
It demonstrates a certain elegance, with the tall chimney, high wheels, raked running plate and long slender side tanks.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Locomotive 1308 has social significance because;
It is associated with a number of former tramways and rural branch lines.
It is held of value to the Rail Transport Museum as evidenced by its initial retention.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The locomotive has technical significance because;
It demonstrates the popular trends in British railway practice of the day. Progressive for NSWR yet conservative British standards, the class incorporated many design features of the earlier tank locomotives of London’s Metropolitan Railway from 1865. Round top boilers with Salter safety valves (later replaced with the Ramsbottom type), driving wheels at 5’4, four inches smaller then the English counterparts provided higher tractive effort for the rougher more steeply graded permanent way standards of the NSWGR, and fortuitously more suitable for suburban service. It demonstrates use of the Webb radial trailling ruck, ver rare in Australia.
It also demonstrates the conservatism of the NSWGR at the time of conversion to a tank engine, the critical design parameters of the now Z13 class, were archaic.
It demonstrates by its longevity the extremely well engineered nature of the original design and the skill of those who maintained it over the years in service
SHR Criteria f)
The locomotive has rarity value because;
It is an example of an early form of motive power for the Sydney suburban network.
It is an example of an early tramway locomotive, crewed by a driver only, one of only three in existence.
It is in a unique position to interpret the operation of the Loop line, with which it was so strongly related
SHR Criteria g)
The locomotive has representative value because;
It is representative of the group of 20 C79 (Z12) class tender engines converted by Eveleigh Workshops into tank locomotives for the Sydney suburban system
It is representative of the class of engines used for many years on tramways and branch lines.
Integrity/Intactness: The locomotive is completely dismantled and in this state cannot give rise to the areas of significance noted above.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

1. Retain in the SRA Core Collection 2. Assemble and document all remaining parts. 3. Assess parts with a view to making these parts available to complete 1307. (RTM Comments, 2001): This is quite inappropriate; 1308 is the subject of a restoration project to operational condition by the NSWRTM and STaRPS, whereas 1307 was only originally retained as a source of spare parts for 1219, 1243, 1301, and 1308. Rentention of 1308 in the core collection would be much more approproate, and is recommended. 4. Urgently store all parts under cover.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
SRA Heritage Rolling Stock Stage 2b Heritage Assessments2000 David Sheedy Pty Ltd Architects and Heritage ConsultantsSteven Adams Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenGrunbach, A1989A Compendium of New South Wales Steam Locomotives

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: State Government
Database number: 4807213

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

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