Delivery: 802 arrives at Warwick Steam Railway Precinct 13th June 2019

First of all SDSR wishes to express our sincere gratitude to Mike Smith and his team, who took two trucks from their base at Woodenbong NSW up to Gympie to collect the locomotive and it’s tender.

This took two days with an overnight stop and let’s just say that Mike’s generosity left us all open-mouthed.

Thanks also to our local crane operator Bellinghams, who likewise were incredibly generous with the use of their two large cranes.

The following photos were taken in the shed whilst 802 still had her coating of dust and cobwebs.

A grand old lady just waiting to return to service alongside her sister number 971.

Below, the donor boiler for 802 is shown along with her boiler front end.


The unit in 802 is badly corroded in places and must be replaced. A brand new welded (rather than riveted) one would set us back over $100,000, so our boiler maker Trevor and the boiler inspector have deemed the donor unit to be in good condition.

It still had to have all the tubes removed for a thorough inspection, so these will be replaced with new ones.


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Type: C17
Imported: 1927
Builder: Armstrong, Whitworth & Co Ltd. of Newcastle upon Tyne
Builder’s Number & Year: 850:1927
Wheel Arrangement: 4-8-0
Number Built in Class: 227

No.802 is one of Queensland Government Railways’ highly successful C17 class 4-8-0 locomotives of which 227 units were constructed by a variety of builders between 1920 and 1953. No.802 represents the original ‘1920 design’ of C17 which are identifiable by a straight-sided cutaway cab, cast iron chimney and a low-sided bogie tender, however it has been fitted with the later ‘1938 design’ boiler with a low steam dome. No.802 was the first of a batch of 25 additional C17-class engines imported from the UK manufacturer Armstrong Whitworth & Co in 1927 and unloaded at the Pinkenba wharf in Brisbane.

No.802 was placed in Queensland Government Railways service in July 1927 and written off 42 years later in June 1969. Upon retirement it was plinthed in a park at Roma for the Roma and District Tourist Development Association.

After 30 years plinthed at Roma, fate turned for the better for No.802 in March 2000 when it was acquired by the Mary Valley Heritage Railway (MVHR) for their popular ‘Valley Rattler’ operation on the branch line from Gympie to Imbil. No.802 was overhauled in their Gympie workshop and released to MVHR service in 2003, becoming the second service engine to sister No.45. The restored loco No.802 ‘Roma’ follows the MVHR tradition of being named after the town in which it was once plinthed. Following restoration and overhaul it now sports a B18 1/4 class tender and a suburban D17 whistle.

No.802 was withdrawn from service at the Mary Valley Rattler around 2011 / 2012. It has since been purchased by the Southern Downs Steam Railway and was transported to Warwick by truck, arriving on 12th June 2019. It is intended that No.802 will be completely overhauled to provide a second locomotive and ease the workload for operational sister No.971.



  1. ‘Locomotives of Australia’ by Leon Oberg,
    published by J. W. Books Pty Ltd
  2. Armstrong, J. ‘Locomotives in the Tropics – Volume 2
    (Queensland Railways 1910 – 1958 and beyond)’,
    published by the ARHS Queensland Division, 1994.
  3. Locomotive information sheet provided by the
    Mary Valley Heritage Railway, 28 January 2004.

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