Locomotive, Steam 2606 | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Locomotive, Steam 2606

Item details

Name of item: Locomotive, Steam 2606
Other name/s: 22
Type of item: Movable / Collection
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Locomotives & Rolling Stock
Primary address: Broadmeadow Locomotive Depot, Broadmeadow, NSW 2292
Local govt. area: Newcastle
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Broadmeadow Locomotive DepotBroadmeadowNewcastle  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Steam Locomotive 2606 has heritage significance as an example of a small class of heavy tank locomotives from the last period of locomotive procurement prior to the advent of the Standard classes of William Thow. The locomotive is a tank version of the B (55), later Z24 class and demonstrates the development of a mineral tank engine for goods and banking service.
Date significance updated: 18 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: Henry Dubs Ltd, Glasgow
Builder/Maker: Henry Dubs Ltd, Glasgow
Physical description: EXTERNAL
Locomotive 2606 is a two cylinder, non-condensing, saturated, coal-fired, 2-6-2 ‘Prairie‘ type steam tank engine. It has small diameter wheels for goods working. The outside cylinders are fitted with tail rods, the valves being operated by Stephenson link motion. The side and connecting rods are plain section. The boiler has a rounded firebox and a stovepipe chimney. It is fitted with a full length saddle tank that ends flush with the smokebox door. The cab is enclosed with a bunker at the rear spectacle plate. The road number is painted in white on the cab side sheets and yellow on the rear-side of the coalbunker. The locomotive is painted overall in un-lined black, with red buffer beams and running board edges.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Operational Status: Non-Operational
General Condition: Moderate Condition
External Condition: Moderate Condition
Internal Condition: Moderate/Poor Condition

The locomotive is generally intact. Some components are missing from the valve rods and the connecting rods, although these items are securely stored. The headlight is missing.

The cab interior is incomplete with some fittings missing. There are no gauges or gauge-glasses. One seat is missing. Coal box intact but corroded. Internal surfaces heavily corroded. Window glass missing or broken.

Asbestos contamination risk. Paint on body may contain lead due to age of vehicle.
Date condition updated:21 Oct 09
Modifications and dates: 1891 - Built by Henri Dubs and Company, Glasgow as works number 2795.
1892 - Entered service in mid 1892 having been allocated the road number 22.
1924 - Renumbered 2606 as part of the Z26 class. Used as a shunting engine in regional depots.
August 1970 - Withdrawn from service. Set aside to be transferred to the NSWRTM.
1975 - Arrived at Thirlmere. The engine has since been repainted in satin black overall livery.
Current use: NSW Government Railways Collection
Former use: Steam Shunting Locomotive


Historical notes: Locomotive 2606 was built by Henri Dubs and Company, Glasgow as works number 2795 in 1891. It entered service in mid 1892 having been allocated the road number 22. The class originally known as I(17) was ordered by the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the NSWGR, William Thow, to provide motive power (only as assistant engines) for heavy goods workings over the Blue Mountains, the design being a tank engine variant of the earlier B (55) class of 1891. They had a very limited life in mainline goods traffic on the western line due to problems with their limited water capacity, and being displaced by the first of the T class standard goods engines. They were then placed in secondary services, as banking engines on the Illawarra and also saw useful service when better motive power was needed for passenger workings particularly to destinations such as the National Park south of Sydney. At the renumbering in 1924 number 22 become 2606 of the Z26 class. Restricted in operation by the limitations of a small bunker and water capacity saw them displaced in these roles by the advent of more modern traction. A new use for the class arose as shunting engines in regional depots such as Lithgow and Bathurst, from where 2606 was withdrawn in August 1970. Set aside the locomotive was eventually transferred to the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum, arriving at Thirlmere in 1975. The engine has since been repainted in satin black overall livery.

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 Transporting troops and equipment-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Steam Locomotive 2606 has a high level of historical significance. It demonstrates the continuing attempts to develop mainline engines to cope with the increasing goods traffic and challenging gradients in the early 1890s. Except for some weekend excursion trains to Waterfall c.1900, the 26 Class were only used on the main line as bank engines. The locomotive demonstrates the continuing trend towards constructing engines for domestic use overseas.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Based on current knowledge, Steam Locomotive 2606 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 2606 has low aesthetic significance. It is an unusually squat engine, and helped to establish the appearance of a ‘mineral tank’, without the family likeness of so many of the contemporary NSWGR classes.

Steam Locomotive 2606 has low technical significance. The locomotive demonstrates the progressive development of the tank engine to a mainline goods (bank engine) status for banking with maximised water and coal capacity compared with other tank engines. It also demonstrates the early round top pattern firebox of the engines in the pre-Belpaire period.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The Steam Locomotive 2606 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 2606 has low research significance, with the ability to reveal information regarding the development of the tank engine to mainline goods (bank engine) status for banking with maximised water and coal capacity compared with other tank engines.
SHR Criteria f)
Steam Locomotive 2606 is rare as one of only two mainline goods tank engines surviving from this period, displaying a round top firebox boiler.
SHR Criteria g)
Steam Locomotive 2606 is a good representative example of a goods tank engine from the 1890s prior to the arrival of the standard goods classes.
Integrity/Intactness: Steam Locomotive 2606 retains a generally high 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
WrittenHills, RL & Patrick, D1992Beyer Peaccock - Locomotive Builders to the World
WrittenOberg, L1975Locomotives of Australia

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

rez rez rez
(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: 4807219

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.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.