THNSW CEO Andrew Moritz said this is the first time THNSW has operated a steam train to the New England region since 2015.
“Both the 32 and 35 class steam locomotives were once the backbone of the NSW railways and operated regularly in the New England region for many years,” said Mr. Moritz.
“While we had the pleasure of operating to Tamworth in 2015, this will be the first time a steam train has operated as far as Armidale in over 25 years.”
“We can’t wait to offer locals the opportunity to ride behind these two icons of our state’s rich transport history.”
"Not only will people get to experience the sights and sounds of a genuine steam train, but they will also get to enjoy the comfort of our beautifully restored carriages which date back to the late 1930s.”
For more information and tickets, visit www.thnsw.com.au/new-england or call 1300 11 55 99.
Media: David Bennett, Transport Heritage NSW | 0417 44 55 33
Images available here
Video footage available here
About locomotive 3526
Reclassified as the 35 class during the 1924 renumbering program, these locomotives were originally known as the NN class, giving rise to the nickname 'Nanny'.
Built in 1917, 3526's original number was 1314.
The 35 class 4-6-0 locomotives were built by the NSW Government Railways (NSWGR) at their workshops at Eveleigh. Coincidentally, there were 35 engines in the 35 class. They were intended to reduce the amount of 'double-heading' required for main line express trains following the introduction of heavy, twelve-wheeled corridor compartment cars.
Teething problems with the new design were overcome by several modifications throughout their service (including re-framing and re-balancing the driving wheels), seeing them develop into solid performers. The original cabs were replaced to provide the crew greater protection against the weather.
With the advent of the 36 and later the 38 classes, the 35s spent the greater part of their lives on northern services.
Withdrawn in 1967, locomotive 3526 in that year became the first exhibit to be painted by the NSW Rail Transport Museum, forerunner of Transport Heritage NSW. 3526 is one of the few NSW locomotives to have been painted in blue livery for a time, while hauling the Caves Express services from Sydney to Mount Victoria in the 1930s. Following a major overhaul completed in 2018, it now appears in Brunswick Green livery with red and yellow trim.
About Locomotive 3265
Locomotive 3265 entered service as 4-6-0 express passenger engine P 584 in 1902. It was renumbered 3265 in 1924 and was equipped with superheating in 1933. The 32 class became known as the "English express locomotives” due to their origin, although some were built in the USA by Baldwin and others in Australia. 3265 was among those built by Beyer, Peacock and Co. in Manchester, UK.
The 32 class hauled a range of passenger services on almost every line in NSW. With 191 members the class were among the NSW Railways’ most successful steam locomotive designs.
3265’s original livery was black, but in 1933 it was painted maroon and received the nameplate ‘Hunter’, to haul the Northern Commercial Limited express to Newcastle. The 32 class were soon replaced by larger locomotives on this run.
From around 1960 they were gradually replaced by diesel locomotives, mostly 48 class, but so functional were the class that the last regular steam-hauled passenger train in New South Wales was hauled by a 32 class engine from Newcastle to Singleton in 1971. These locomotives thus outlived their successors – the 35, 36 and 38 classes.
3265 ran for 66 years across NSW and was retired in 1968 after clocking 2,965,840km of service. It still has its original frame, and the cab is stamped with its builder's number.
Restored by the Powerhouse Museum in 2009, 3265 later received further mechanical repairs with Transport Heritage NSW and returned to service in 2019.
Transport Hertiage NSW
0417 44 55 33