Heritage

Locomotive, Steam 5908

Item details

Name of item: Locomotive, Steam 5908
Type of item: Movable / Collection
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Locomotives & Rolling Stock
Primary address: Goulburn Locomotive Roundhouse Museum, Goulburn, NSW 2580
Local govt. area: Goulburn Mulwaree
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Goulburn Locomotive Roundhouse MuseumGoulburnGoulburn Mulwaree  Primary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Steam Locomotive 5908 has heritage significance as one of a class of 20 imported oil-fired locomotives ordered at short notice to ease the critical shortage of motive power after the Second World War following the concerns of the government of the day about the continuity of coal supplies as a result of industrial unrest in the coal mining industry in the late 1940s. The class is historically significant as it was the only time oil-fired locomotives were purchased, and demonstrates the policy of the NSWGR administration at the time. It demonstrates American locomotive technology at the end of the steam era and the increasingly American influence upon the NSW Railways following WW2. It is technically significant as an oil-fired locomotive, and is also significant for its ‘Mikado’ wheel arrangement.
Date significance updated: 13 Nov 09
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.

Description

Designer/Maker: Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corporation
Builder/Maker: Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corporation
Physical description: EXTERNAL
Locomotive 5908 is a two-cylinder, simple, non-condensing, superheated, oil-fired, 2-8-2 ‘Mikado' steam locomotive. It is of typical North American profile with a high running plate large cab and utilitarian appearance. The locomotive is fitted with a short bogie tender, comprising a tank of rectangular hopper shape for oil fuel storage, incorporated into the bunker space. The whole is of riveted construction. The locomotive is fitted with a superheated boiler, the two outside cylinders being fitted with Walschaerts valve gear. The locomotive and tender are fitted with automatic couplings. The locomotive has had its sheathing removed. It currently carries no road numbers, but in service in the 1960s had them painted white on the front buffer beam, yellow on the tender rear, and brass numbers on the cab-sides. The old boiler lagging has been removed.

INTERNAL
The enclosed cab does not share any family likeness with other NSWGR classes, but is the same as other 59 class examples. It is provided with electric power driven from a boiler mounted turbo-generator, driving a headlight and marker lamps, both of which have been removed.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Operational Status: Non-Operational
General Condition: Poor Condition
External Condition: Poor Condition
Internal Condition: Poor Condition

EXTERNAL CONDITION
This engine is significantly dismantled, and many components of the motion are missing, including pistons. Some parts which have been removed are heavily corroded. Most boiler backhead fittings from the cab have been removed along with numerous boiler shell fittings. The boiler casing has been removed. The tender is in very poor condition with corrosion evident and components of the suspension in a bogie missing. Many of the missing parts were removed before the locomotive was transferred to the RTM.

INTERNAL CONDITION
Components missing. No gauges and valves missing.

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
Asbestos. Paint on body may contain lead due to age of vehicle.
Date condition updated:29 Sep 09
Modifications and dates: 1952 - built by the Baldwin Lima-Hamilton Corporation as works number 75571
Late 1952 - entered service
Following withdrawal from service at the cessation of steam haulage on the NSWGR, 5908 and 5916 were retained for stationary duties before transfer to the NSW Rail Transport Museum.
Current use: NSW Government Railways Collection
Former use: Oil-fired Steam Locomotive

History

Historical notes: Locomotive 5908 was built by the Baldwin Lima-Hamilton Corporation in 1952 as works number 75571. It was one of a class of 20 imported oil-fired locomotives ordered to ease the critical shortage of motive power after the Second World War. Following a later than expected delivery time due to difficulties supplying a customised short tender, the class entered service on the NSWGR in late 1952. The use of oil as a fuel for this class arose from the concerns of the government of the day about the continuity of coal supplies from the then militant unionised coal mines.

The use of oil limited their operations to lines which could provide the liquid fuel - the main north, north coast as well as the Sydney Metropolitan areas. The high cost of oil firing led to a decision to convert the class to coal fired. Eventually, all but three class members, 5908, 5916 and 5918 (scrapped in 1964 after an accident in 1957) were converted to burn coal.

Following withdrawal from service at the cessation of steam haulage on the NSWGR, 5908 and 5916 were retained for stationary duties before transfer to the NSW Rail Transport Museum.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Technology-Activities and processes associated with the knowledge or use of mechanical arts and applied sciences Shaping inland settlements-
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 Railway work culture-
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 Transporting troops and equipment-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Steam Locomotive 5908 has historical significance as one of a class of 20 imported oil-fired locomotives ordered to ease the critical shortage of motive power after the Second World War following the concerns of the government of the day about the continuity of coal supplies as a result of industrial unrest in the coal mining industry in the late 1940s. The class is historically significant as it was the only time oil-fired locomotives were purchased, and demonstrates the policy of the NSWGR administration at the time. This locomotive also demonstrates the increasingly American influence upon the NSW Railways following WW2.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Based on current knowledge, Steam Locomotive 5908 is not known to have any special associations with people or events of significance in a local or state context. It does not have significance under this criterion.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Steam Locomotive 5908 has aesthetic significance as an excellent example of a North American outline goods locomotive.

Steam Locomotive 5908 has technical significance as it demonstrates American locomotive technology at the end of the steam era. It is technically significant as an oil-fired locomotive, and is also significant for its ‘Mikado’ wheel arrangement.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The Steam Locomotive 5908 is likely to have a degree of social value for the community-based associations who have demonstrated an ongoing interest in its conservation and management. This item may also have a degree of social significance to a broader section of the community linked to its historic, aesthetic and associative values.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Steam Locomotive 5908 has a low level of research significance. This locomotive has some potential to reveal information regarding the importation of oil-fired locomotives in the post-WW2 period as a response to the perceived threat of industrial action in the coal mining industry, and of the growing interest in American railway technology within the NSWR.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Steam Locomotive 5908 has a moderate level of rarity significance. Locomotive 5908 is one of only three members of its class that were not converted to coal-fired operation, and is one of five survivors of the 59 class.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Steam Locomotive 5908 is an excellent representative example of a modern steam locomotive that incorporated most successful contemporary features. It is a good example of a 59 class locomotive that was not converted for coal-fired operation.
Integrity/Intactness: Steam Locomotive 5908 retains a moderate level of integrity and intactness, though is in poor condition. The locomotive is one of two surviving 59 class locomotives that have not been converted to coal-fired operation.
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.

Listings

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
S170 Rolling Stock Review2009 NSW Department of Commerce  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: 4807236


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