Wayne Jeremy from Gympie Haulage, volunteer guard Maurie Wright, and volunteer Mel Sauer, with MVHR’s latest addition - a 1968 diesel hydraulic locomotive.
Wayne Jeremy from Gympie Haulage, volunteer guard Maurie Wright, and volunteer Mel Sauer, with MVHR’s latest addition - a 1968 diesel hydraulic locomotive. Renee Pilcher

MVHR do the locomotion

RUSTY and faded, the old shunting workhorse is looking a little worse for wear right now.

But wait a few months and a full makeover will have it looking a treat.

Mary Valley Heritage Rail (MVHR) general manager welcomed a new addition to the MVHR fleet this week when a 1968 diesel hydraulic locomotive rolled off the back of a Gympie Heavy Hauling low loader and onto the railway tracks at Monkland Railway Station.

The locomotive from Mackay, built originally for Queensland Rail by Walkers Engineering in Maryborough, was one of 73 that once operated around the state and one of the last few in QR possession.

“We were lucky – we put in a pretty low tender and got it,” Mr Walker said.

MVHR volunteers would carry out restoration work with assistance from Adrian Hurley and Bernie Watson, who worked on the locomotive in Mackay and know it well.

“It will be a busman’s holiday for them,” he said.

The 40 tonne diesel is capable of pulling 10 coaches and will be used by MVHR as a backup for shunting and for recovery of trains in the event of breakdowns.

The equivalent of a D9 Caterpillar engine, there shouldn’t be a problem sourcing hardware, with parts commercially available.

“It’s in sound condition,” Mr Walker said. “It certainly needs a paint and that will be the main cost. We’ll restore to its original green and grey colour.”

The locomotive could be in operation in as little as three months.

Gympie Times


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