Heritage

Locomotive, Steam 1803

Item details

Name of item: Locomotive, Steam 1803
Other name/s: 287, 1077
Type of item: Movable / Collection
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Locomotives & Rolling Stock
Primary address: Thirlmere Railway Precinct, Thirlmere, NSW 2572
Local govt. area: Wollondilly
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Thirlmere Railway PrecinctThirlmereWollondilly  Primary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Steam Locomotive 1803 has heritage significance as an example of a small class of locomotives ordered and built for expanding Sydney suburban network in the late nineteenth century, and is representative of the small tank engines engaged in this service, prior to the introduction of the standard classes in the 1890s. Its subsequent service life in shunting yards depots, in port areas and as a crane, demonstrate the usefulness of its design qualities and the management philosophy of the NSWGR. It is considered rare as one of six members of the R 285 class, two of which are known to survive. The locomotive underwent static restoration in 2009 and has been repainted as "Thomas the Tank Engine".
Date significance updated: 16 Dec 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: Vulcan Foundry Ltd, Newtown Le Willows, England with specifications provided by T. Middleton
Builder/Maker: Vulcan Foundry Ltd, Newtown Le Willows, England
Physical description: EXTERNAL
Vulcan Foundry Ltd, Newtown Le Willows, England built locomotive 1803 in 1884 as an 0-6-0 tank engine. The locomotive consists of a two-cylinder simple saturated, non-condensing steam engine with inside-frames, six-coupled fitted with inside Stephenson's valve gear. It is fitted with a domed boiler. All wheels are spoked, run in plain journal bearings with drip-feed oil axleboxes.
The locomotive has been restored as "Thomas the Tank Engine" and is painted in "Thomas Blue" with red running plates and buffer beams and a black smokebox and chimney with the number 1 painted in yellow on the side tanks. There is a large fibreglass face on the smokebox door.

INTERNAL
Internally, the locomotive has also been painted in blue with many levers and fittings in the cabin painted in red.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Operational Status: Non-Operational
General Condition: Good Condition
External Condition: Good Condition
Internal Condition: Good Condition

EXTERNAL CONDITION
The locomotive has undergone static restoration for display purposes and is in generally good condition. Rust holes along the side tanks have been removed and patch panels added. New boiler clothing has been fitted. The paint system is in very good condition.

INTERNAL CONDITION
Internally the locomotive appears to be in good condition. The cabin is in good condition, with the paint system in good condition. The boiler was not able to be inspected.
Date condition updated:10 Nov 09
Modifications and dates: 1884 - Built by Vulcan Foundry Ltd, Newtown Le Willows, England. Entered service numbered 287.
1907 - Fitted with a new domed boiler, significantly changing the profile.
1922 - Fitted with power reversing gear.
1924 - Renumbered 1803.
1937 - Fitted with coal grab, re-numbered 1077.
1945 - Coal grab removed, re-numbered 1803.
August 1962 - Withdrawn from service.
22 Feb 1963 - Condemned.
17 June 1975 - Transferred to Thirlmere.
2008 - Old boiler lagging removed by specialist contractors. Fitted with new boiler clothing.
2009 - Static restoration as "Thomas the Tank Engine" completed.
Current use: NSW Government Railways Collection
Former use: Suburban locomotive / Shunting locomotive

History

Historical notes: Locomotive 1803 was constructed by Vulcan Foundry Ltd, Newtown Le Willows works in England as their works number 994, to the order of the NSWGR. It was the third of six members of the R 285 class. Following allocation of road number 287, it entered service on 12 May 1884 on the Sydney suburban network.

Originally fitted with domeless boilers, the class subsequently received boilers with a conventional dome in 1907. The locomotive was renumbered 1803 of the Z-18 class in the 1924 renumbering scheme. The Z-18 class were ultimately displaced from Sydney suburban work by larger and more powerful locomotives, particularly the C-30 class 4-6-4T engines, but found further use as shunting locomotives and other miscellaneous duties. An early assignment in this capacity was carriage shunting at Sydney Terminal. From 1937 onwards the 285 class were transferred to shunting work in depots. The locomotive 1803 ended its service as a shunter on the Port Kembla network, being noted there in 1960 before being transferred to Enfield in 1962. The locomotive was withdrawn from service in August 1962 and condemned on 22 Feb 1963.

Following withdrawal 1803 ended up on the Enfield scrap roads, but was added to the collection of the NSWRTM and became an exhibit at the Enfield museum site. Following the closure of the Enfield site, 1803 was transferred to the NSWRTM's new Thirlmere site on 17 June 1975 in a train hauled by 5461 and including 6040 and 1307. No restoration work was ever carried out on the locomotive and by 1983 it appeared heavily weathered and rust-streaked. It was shunted onto the long term storage sidings at Thirlmere in 1983, where it subsequently remained largely out of public sight for the next 25 years.
In 2008, Locomotive 1803's old boiler lagging was removed by specialist contractors and was fitted with new boiler clothing by November of that year in preparation for a static restoration of the locomotive as "Thomas the Tank Engine". This was completed in early 2009.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Industry-Activities associated with the manufacture, production and distribution of goods Making railway journeys-
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 1803 has historical significance as a representative example of the motive power engaged in the Sydney suburban passenger service in the 1880s, and demonstrates by its longevity in at least four distinct roles, the asset management philosophy prevalent in the former NSWGR. It demonstrates that in spite of the railways capacity to construct rolling stock that orders for a number of locomotives were still sent abroad.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Based on current knowledge, Steam Locomotive 1803 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 1803 has moderate aesthetic significance as an example of a small tank engine of British manufacture from the late Victorian era. The locomotive has a certain sturdy elegance and proportion with tall chimney, high shapely dome, slim running plate and long slender sidetanks.

Steam Locomotive 1803 has low technical significance as it demonstrates the technical development of steam locomotives of the late Victorian period. Originally fitted with domeless boilers, the class subsequently received boilers with a conventional dome in 1907. In 1922 this class of engines were the first to be fitted with power reversing gear but the experiment was short lived and the power gear was eventually replaced with Johnson bar reverse.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The Steam Locomotive 1803 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 1803 has low research significance with the potential to reveal information regarding the locomotive power employed in the late nineteenth century on the Sydney suburban network, the gradual introduction of larger and more powerful locomotives, and the shunting operations provided by tank locomotives initially employed for passenger services.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Steam Locomotive 1803 is a rare example of a small class of six-coupled tank engines manufactured in England and used in suburban service, from the 19th century. It was the third of six members of the R 285 class, two of which are known to survive (the other being 1076 (1804) now at Goulburn).
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Steam Locomotive 1803 is a representative example of a small class of six-coupled tank engines manufactured in England and used in suburban service, from the 19th century. It is an example of an early attempt at providing motive power for suburban working, and illustrates the design parameters prevalent at the time of its construction.
Integrity/Intactness: Steam Locomotive 1803 retains a moderate level of integrity and intactness. It retains the majority of the fabric from its last period in service as a works shunter, but has a significant amount of fittings missing. The fabric of the engine is in good condition following a cosmetic restoration.
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
S170 Rolling Stock Review2009 NSW Department of Commerce  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Management Plan 20091803 Page
WrittenGrunback, A1989A Compendium of New South Wales Steam Locomotives.
WrittenOberg, L1975Locomotives of Australia
WrittenStephen Tolhurst200910 Class Website - X1077

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: 4807312


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