Circumnavigating Australia — Melbourne and Puffing Billy


Puffing Billy

Our cruise ship departed Adelaide on Sunday, March 1. Two days later Radiance of the Seas docked in Melbourne. But this day we would not be touring Melbourne. Instead, we had a date for a ride aboard the Puffing  Billy Railway, a narrow-gauge heritage railway.

Locomotive 14A

There’s a lot to see on this excursion, so we’ll be enjoying it this week and next. And there’s a lot of history on this line, from the stations to the equipment used.

Menzies Creek Station

For instance, today I’m presenting photos of Locomotive 14A. From the Puffing Billy website:

Built in 1914 and painted Canadian Pacific red & dark brown, this locomotive was issued to the Colac to Crowes line and saw service on all four lines, but mostly on the Colac to Crowes line. It was withdrawn from service in 1962 at Colac and sent to Newport Workshops for storage where it remained, except for a brief time at Bendigo North Work-shops in 1963. After overhaul, it was brought to Belgrave in 1965 where it has seen almost continuous service since. In 1978, it became the first of the preserved NA’s to trial a historic colour scheme for which the Canadian Pacific red & dark brown was chosen, but ended up mistakenly being painted a “London Tan” & dark brown. In 1996 it received a more correct Canadian Pacific livery. This “temporary” trial livery has now given way to 14A’s designated livery of all-over black. Its physical configuration will match the late 1940s era with the extended bunker, guard irons, etc.

Locomotive 14A

Locomotive 14A would not be our steed this journey. You’ll see that beauty on Wednesday. I present Locomotive 14A because it was available for detailed viewing while we awaited our own transportation. Let’s take a look at the boiler of this beautiful steam-powered locomotive:

Red hot boiler

And while we’re at it, let’s take a gander at the vitally important temperature and steam gauges that warn against impending disaster should the pressure get too high:

Locomotive boiler gauges

Narrow-gauge is defined as, ” . . . track gauge narrower than standard 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) [source].” Puffing Billy’s track width is 2 feet 6 inches/762mm.

Narrow-gauge — 2’6″/762mm

I’ll be posting links below to provide you with more information, and I’ll be including these links throughout the series. Until Wednesday, here’s one last look at Locomotive 14A hitched up to the rest of her train:

Locomotive 14A ready to go

For more information:

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