The trains operating on our railway share a lot in common with their full size counterparts; they use varying power sources including steam, internal combustion engines and batteries, they have full braking systems throughout the locomotives and the carriages, they take a large ammount of effort to construct and maintain, and they require skill to operate efficiently. Our steam locomotives use real coal to heat their boilers, and combined with the smell of steam and oil give an authentic steam railway experience.
During your visit to our railway, you will see a range of locomotives ranging from scale replicas of real-life locomotives to freelance designs pulling together elements from various types and styles of locomotives. Some of these are owned by the society, whilst others are owned by members of the society who make them available for use on Public Running Days. Many of the locomotives have been painstakingly built by members of the society over a number of years, with parts constructed either from castings where available, or machined from raw materials.
The ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the locomotives requires significant time, skill and dedication. Tasks range from basic cleaning and lubrication through to complete overhauls and recertification of locomotive boilers. Preparation of our trains for Public Running Days starts well before the gates open, with the average preparation of a steam locomotive taking around two hours from being moved out of the shed to being ready to haul passengers.
Behind our locomotives, we operate a variety of passenger carriages along with various wagons. The majority of these were built by members of the society, with additional carriages having been constructed as passenger numbers grew.
Some of the locomotives, carriages and wagons you might see during your visit to our railway are shown below.
Built by members of the Society over approximately 6000 hours, and based on a New South Wales 57 class, this locomotive can regularly be seen operating on Public Running Days.
The 3-cylinder, 4-8-2 NSWGR 57 class were amongst the heaviest locomotives to operate in Australia, with 25 built by Clyde Engineering in Granville between 1929 and 1930.
The 7-1/4″ version operating at Box Hill was built using the original full size drawings.
An example of the Heidi Class locomotive, Casey was built from castings over 2000 hours by long-standing club members. Originally a private locomotive, Casey is now owned by BHMSRS, and can be seen operating on Public Running Days.
The Heidi Class locomotive was designed by Keith Watson of Western Australia, and was modeled on a Freudenstein locomotive called Golden Ridge that operated at the Golden Ridge mine near Kalgoorlie. The Golden Ridge was an 0-4-0 well tank, 20 inch gauge locomotive, weighing 3.5 tons, with builders works number 217/1905, built by Stahlbahnwerke Freudenstein Co A.G. Templehof Berlin. An original 1/3 scale 7 1/4 inch gauge model was built and called Heidi. Further refinements led to the Heidi Mk II, of which Casey is an example, with some 60 to 70 now in existence all around Australia.
Modeled on a British LNER B1 4-6-0 locomotive, Springbok was built in 1984 from castings and a published design and later purchased by the Society, at which time it underwent extensive modifications.
The LNER B1 class was introduced in 1942, with the first example, No. 8301, named Springbok. 410 B1s were built at various workshops throughout Britain.
Springbok is not currently used for Public Running Days.
Diesel, Petrol and Electric Locomotives
Built by Society members from photos over the course of approximately 2000 hours, G520 is based on the Victorian G class diesel-electric locomotive, with 33 built by Clyde Engineering between 1984 and 1989.
Powered by a 1400cc Cortina petrol engine driving a hydraulic pump with one hydraulic motor per bogie, G520 has been a workhorse of the club for many years.
In recent times, G520 has undergone a significant rebuild and refurbishment, and can be seen operating on Public Running Days.
The T class diesel locomotive class was one of the most prolific locomotives produced for the Victorian Railways , with 94 being produced between 1955 and 1968. The locomotives were originally primarily used for branch line work throughout the state, with the class seeing more main line work as the the state’s branch lines were closed.
The Society’s T class was built by a professional locomotive constructor in Adelaide, and is based on the low-nose series. It is powered by a diesel engine driving a hydraulic pump driving both bogies.
T400 can regularly be seen hauling passengers on Public Running Days and Private Charters.
Spirit of Rotary
Constructed by Society members, and dedicated to the Rotary volunteers who assist in Public Running Days, S318 is the Society’s first solar powered locomotive. Charged by panels mounted on the clubroom roof, the locomotive’s batteries are more than capable of hauling passenger loads all day.
18 S class locomotives were produced for the Victorian Railways between1957 and 1961, and were primarily used on express passenger trains as well as fast freight services.
S318 runs on most Public Running Days as well as for Private Charters.
Original Series Passenger Carriages
Built by members of the Society, the original series passenger carriages have served the railway well for many years.
Modifications to these carriages have occurred throughout the history of the Society to improve passenger comfort and safety. This includes full air brakes, new upholstery and cushioning as well as improved carriage sides to prevent passengers legs from leaving the carriage whilst in motion.
A dedicated team of members regularly inspect and carry out preventative and reactive maintenance on the carriages to ensure the continued safety and enjoyment of our traveling passengers.
Works and Other Wagons
Sometimes visible on Public Running Days, we operate a number of wagons, generally designed for a specific purpose. If you’ve seen something around the railway and are wondering what it is, feel free to ask one of our friendly volunteers; they’ll be more than happy to have a chat!
Early in the morning before a Public Running Day, you may catch a glimpse of the signal train running around the railway positioning the signals ready to safely control our trains throughout the day.
This custom built wagon allows members to quickly transport, install and remove the various fully functioning signals you see around the track.