Locomotive, Steam, Coal Grab 1064 | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Locomotive, Steam, Coal Grab 1064

Item details

Name of item: Locomotive, Steam, Coal Grab 1064
Other name/s: 1064 (From 1924), Lo39 (From 1918)
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


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Steam Coal Grab Locomotive 1064 has heritage significance, as a representative example of a specialist steam crane closely associated with locomotive servicing at country depots, one of the numerous pieces of specialised machinery used by the New South Wales Government Railways. It is a rare survivor of an early steam crane used on the NSWGR and demonstrates well the role played by crane locomotives in materials handling in railway operations in the early part of the 20th century.
Date significance updated: 17 Dec 09
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Designer/Maker: Alfred Harmon, Port Melbourne
Builder/Maker: Alfred Harmon, Port Melbourne
Construction years: 1918-
Physical description: MECHANICAL
Coal grab 1064 is a 3-ton, self-propelled, steam crane. Mounted on two axles the crane is fitted with a two-cylinder, simple, saturated, non-condensing steam engine with coal-fired boiler. The cylinders are mounted vertically and outside with valve events controlled by Stephenson link motion. They drive a winding drum, slewing gear, gypsy and a drive train through lever operated sliding dog clutches. The whole is mounted on a rigid chassis, the engine, jib and boiler being carried on a slewing table. The jib is constructed of a riveted lattice of steel angle and bar with a main hoist at the peak. The crane is provided with a steel hinged bucket and grab. The axles are powered through a reduction gear train to the wheels, which are spoked. The crane is fitted with spring buffers and hook draw gear. All wheels are disc, and run in plain journal bearings with drip-feed oil axleboxes. The locomotive is currently dismantled.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Operational Status: Non-Operational
General Condition: Very Poor Condition
External Condition: Very Poor Condition
Internal Condition: Unknown Condition

Currently set aside, dismantled and in outside storage adjacent to the turntable, coal grab 1064 has not been operational since withdrawal from NSWGR service.

The cast iron underframe is in poor condition, generally covered in moss, lichen and surface corrosion. There is evidence of a fracture at one end, repaired with a bolted steel bracket. The wheels were unable to be inspected closely but appeared in moderate condition with only minor superficial corrosion. The winding engine motion and rods are intact but with evidence of extensive surface corrosion. The winding drum could not be inspected closely due to vegetation but the wire rope is unserviceable. The bullring, foundation plate and post are generally surface corroded with heavy corrosion on bearing and machined surfaces.

Surface corrosion is widespread on the external boiler shell. All manhole doors are intact. The uptake flange to the chimney base displays extensive corrosion and is heavily wasted. All boiler mountings are missing.

The grab appears intact, though all surfaces are covered in corrosion and some pins appear seized. The associated wire rope is unserviceable.

The tank was not visible.

The jib was unable to be inspected closely. The main hoist sheaves were visible and these were in moderate condition with the adjacent lattice structure generally displaying surface corrosion.

The internal condition of the boiler and cylinders is unknown. The firehole was not able to be inspected due to access problems. The firebox internal surfaces and the boiler tubes are unknown.

Asbestos may be present in jointing material on pipe flanges. Lead based paint may be present on all surfaces where a paint system survives.
Date condition updated:23 Feb 09
Modifications and dates: 1918 - Designed and built by Alfred Harmon Engineering Works of Port Melbourne, to the order of the New South Wales Government Railways. Entered service in August 1918, allocated the number Lo39.
1924 - Renumbered 1064 in the X10 class.
July 1968 - Allocated to Eveleigh Workshops.
June 1971 - Withdrawn and transferred to the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum.
Current use: NSW Government Railways Collection
Former use: Coal grab in departmental service on NSWGR


Historical notes: Steam coal grab 1064 was designed and built by Alfred Harmon Engineering Works of Port Melbourne, to the order of the New South Wales Government Railways. One of a small number of similar cranes supplied by this manufacturer for service as coal grabs, they were normally allocated to regional locations which did not have extensive facilities to service locomotives, generally to replace a coal stage.

Steam coal grab 1064 entered service in August 1918, allocated the number Lo39 and following the renumbering in 1924 it became 1064 in the X10 class. Service at a number of country locations was noted including Taree, Binnaway, Murrurundi and Nyngan. Following many years of service in the regions it was allocated to Eveleigh Workshops in July 1968, remaining there until withdrawal in June 1971. The crane was transferred to the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum shortly after this, from whence it was eventually moved to Thirlmere.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Mining-Activities associated with the identification, extraction, processing and distribution of mineral ores, precious stones and other such inorganic substances. Transport of goods-
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 operations workers-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Railway tourism-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Steam coal grab 1064 has low historical significance, as it is a specialist steam crane closely associated with locomotive servicing at country depots.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Based on current knowledge, the steam coal grab 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 coal grab 1064 has a moderate level of aesthetic significance as its form and character demonstrates its function of lifting and transfer, with a combination of manual and power assisted elements, it easily interprets its role in a country locomotive depot.

Steam coal grab 1064 has a low level of technical significance as it demonstrates materials handling technology at the turn of the 20th century on the NSWGR.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The Locomotive, Steam, Coal Grab 1064 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 coal grab 1064 has a moderate level of research significance. The steam coal grab has the potential to reveal information regarding the transfer of goods on the NSWGR in the early twentieth century, particularly in country areas.
SHR Criteria f)
Steam coal grab 1064 is rare as one of a handful of steam coal grabs surviving.
SHR Criteria g)
Steam coal grab 1064 is considered a good representative example of its type. It is representative of coal grabs and other cranes in departmental service on NSWGR during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Integrity/Intactness: Steam coal grab is in a completely dismantled state, some elements being in very poor condition and others missing. In this state the crane exhibits a low level of integrity and intactness.
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.


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
WrittenMcNicol, S1985Preserved N.S.W.G.R. Steam
WrittenTolhurst, S 10 Class Locomotives

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

(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: State Government
Database number: 4807207

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