Locomotive, Steam 3137 | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Locomotive, Steam 3137

Item details

Name of item: Locomotive, Steam 3137
Other name/s: 1065
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 Locomotive 3137 has heritage significance as an example of the most successful class of tank locomotive built for the Sydney suburban system, built to haul the increasingly heavier trains on the expanding Sydney suburban network, and replacing a number of smaller engines of various classes. Locomotive 3137 represents the last of three classes of standard locomotives, closely associated with the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the NSWGR, William Thow, together with Beyer Peacock, that brought the NSWGR into the 20th century and Federation. Their introduction promoted the development of Sydney as a modern city based upon an expanding and intensively worked suburban transit system.
Date significance updated: 13 Nov 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: William Thow and Beyer Peacock, Manchester
Builder/Maker: NSWGR, Eveleigh Workshops
Construction years: 1916-1926
Physical description: EXTERNAL
Locomotive 3137 is a two-cylinder, simple, non-condensing, saturated, coal-fired ‘Baltic’ type, 4-6-4 steam tank locomotive. It has large diameter spoked wheels for speed, low running board with slightly inclined cylinders, Westinghouse brakes and a four wheel trailing truck. The locomotive has inside plate frames, with inside Allan straight link valve motion, an alligator crosshead and fluted coupling and connecting rods. It is fitted with a Belpaire firebox, side tanks of riveted construction, an enclosed cab with an extended coal bunker. It is fitted with hook drawgear. All wheels are spoked and run in plain journal bearings with drip-feed oil axleboxes. The engine is painted in lined black with red and white trim and with road numbers painted in white on front buffer beam, yellow on the bunker rear, and with brass numbers on the tank sides. The tender has a NSWR coat of arms on its side.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Operational Status: Non-Operational
General Condition: Good Condition
External Condition: Moderate Condition
Internal Condition: Moderate Condition

The locomotive is complete and intact, in ex-service condition, except for having been repainted by the PTC in 1972. It is in good condition mechanically, although the boiler needs major repairs to allow a return to service.

Appears intact.

Asbestos contamination risk. Paint on body may contain lead due to age of vehicle.
Date condition updated:29 Sep 09
Modifications and dates: 1916 - Constructed at Eveleigh Workshops as works number 134. Entered service as road number 1065.
1924 - S Class renumbered as the C30 class with 1065 being allocated the new road number 3137.
1926 - Rebuilt into a 4-6-4 tender engine. The locomotive was fitted with a turbo-generator, electric lights, a headlamp and marker lamps. It was also uprated with bored-out cylinders (19'') and high boiler pressure (175 lbs psi) to increase tractive effort for improved suburban working in the 1920s. The boiler pressure was subsequently reduced back to the original 160psi.
July 1967 - Withdrawn from service. Retained by the Railways Department and the RTM as an operational engine, a concept that kept a number of steam locomotives in running order for tourist and enthusiast excursion trains from 1960 until 1974.
1972 - Repainted.
Current use: NSW Government Railways Collection
Former use: Steam Locomotive


Historical notes: Locomotive 3137 was constructed by NSWGR, Eveleigh Workshops, as works number 134 in 1916. It entered service on the NSWR, being allocated road number 1065. Along with the other 144 members of the S class, it was built to haul the increasingly heavier trains on the expanding Sydney suburban network. As a member of the S class, 1065 replaced a number of smaller engines of various classes and allowed for improved timetable running in Sydney as well as passenger services in the Newcastle and Wollongong areas. The class performed particularly well on the steeply graded North Shore, Main North and Illawarra lines. The class was renumbered in 1924 as the C30 class with 1065 being allocated the new road number 3137.

Their monopoly on suburban workings came to an end with the advent of electrification in 1926, which saw most of the class made redundant in that service. Seventy-seven of the class were rebuilt into 4-6-0 tender engines for branch line work while the remainder were redeployed on outer suburban workings on non-electrified lines. The engines were long lived in this service and were only finally ousted with the arrival of the 48 class diesel-electric locomotives in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Some members of the class survived until the late 1960s with 3137 being withdrawn from service in July 1967. The locomotive was retained by the Railways Department and the RTM as an operational engine, a concept that kept a number of steam locomotives in running order for tourist and enthusiast excursion trains from 1960 until 1974. Following cessation of this program the engine was transferred to the custodianship of the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum where it continued to have a significant career on the mainline. It is currently on display, not in running condition at Thirlmere.

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-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Steam Locomotive 3137 has a moderate level of historical significance as a member of the S Class of locomotive, introduced to haul the increasingly heavier trains on the expanding Sydney suburban network, and replace a number of smaller engines of various classes. The locomotive is associated with the development of the Sydney suburban network as an urban transit system and demonstrates the motive power for the Sydney suburban system at the turn of the 20th century. The locomotive is also significant as one of the last steam-powered locomotives to remain in use for suburban services, being finally withdrawn in 1967.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Based on current knowledge, Steam Locomotive 3137 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 3137 has a low level of aesthetic significance. The locomotive demonstrates the strong influence of British design in its well-balanced appearance, and the way in which locomotives were adapted to meet the changing requirements of the NSW railway system.

Steam Locomotive 3137 has a high level of technical significance as a high-quality, well-designed tank locomotive of the early 20th century.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The Steam Locomotive 3137 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 3137 has a moderate level of research significance with potential to provide information on tank locomotive design of the early 20th century and the specific requirements (such as increased boiler pressure and tractive effort) that led to major locomotive rebuilding programs within the NSWGR.
SHR Criteria f)
Steam Locomotive 3137 has a moderate level of rarity significance. It is one of a handful of suburban tank locomotives surviving from a once very large class.
SHR Criteria g)
Steam Locomotive 3137 is an good representative example of a highly successful suburban tank locomotive design. The class was also the most numerous tank type with 145 members.
Integrity/Intactness: Steam Locomotive 3137 retains a high level of integrity and intactness. It remains in almost unaltered condition following its rebuilding as a side tank locomotive in 1926.
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
WrittenOberg, L1975Railways 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: 4807222

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.