Our Fleet

RRC CARRIAGES AND GUARD’S VANS

Locomotive

The C17 Class

The C17 class of locomotive was an improved superheated version of the C16 class goods locomotive, which first appeared in 1903. The first locomotives of the C17 class appeared in 1920. The locomotives were built by various makers both in Australia and overseas, with design changes made until 1953.

The locomotive design was also used as the Commonwealth Railways NM class which operated on the central Australian narrow gauge railway, (“The Old Ghan”).

The C17 locomotives were overall the most numerous class of Queensland engine, and was also possibly its most versatile. The C17 class of locomotive was a lightweight Queensland design that was suited to the lightweight track and sharp curves of the Queensland Railways.

Weighing in at just over 80 tonnes and with eight driving wheels, the C17 class became the mainstay of the Queensland Railways steam fleet. 

Undergoing restoration in our workshop is our own locomotive Number 967 and 802.  They would have worked mainly in the former Maryborough District during its working life. 802 would have worked the Murgon, Gayndah and Monto branches. In its 42nd year career with Queensland Railways, the locomotive travelled many miles and was involved in a few incidents.

In the late 1960’s the end of steam locomotives was announced by Queensland Railways and in June of 1969 number 802 was condemned. It was donated to the Roma and District Tourist Association where it would remain for 31 years.

Number 802 was to remain in Roma until 2000, when it was removed by the Mary Valley Heritage Railway to Gympie. The intention was to restore 802 to working order. In 2003 this was achieved by the MVHR and since then it has run continuously and is the steam motive power of the MVHR fleet.

Since then number 802 has continued to be the mainstay and the main attraction for the Mary Valley Heritage Railway. It is amazing to think that a piece of machinery is still performing the work it was designed for over eighty years ago.

A workhorse of the steam era…

Forty of these locomotives were built after the Second World War by Walkers Limited, of Maryborough.

The Walkers Ltd locomotives were all painted in a medium brown colour scheme with green lining on the footboards, and tender edge, and black smokebox and red buffer beams. The engines were nicknamed Brown Bombers after the then world champion heavyweight boxer Joe Louis.

C17 974 was built by Walkers Limited of Maryborough, works number 511, and entered service in March 1951. C17 974 was withdrawn in 1969, but retained since 1971 as a special excursion locomotive. 

In 2001 it was withdrawn and completely overhauled and rebuilt with a new boiler being constructed for the locomotive. Other changes, including additional lighting on the locomotive, including visibility lighting on the buffer, rear headlight, tender ladder, speedo have been made as well.  The changes were facilitated to meet the rollingstock standards of today’s modern railway. Other changes were made to improve the safety of the crew and authorised personnel operating and/or working around the overhauled locomotive in the future. The locomotive re-entered traffic in 2008.

Technical Data: The C17 Class

The C17 class of locomotive was an improved superheated version of the C16 class goods locomotive, which first appeared in 1903. The first locomotives of the C17 class appeared in 1920. The locomotives were built by various makers both in Australia and overseas, with design changes made until 1953.

The locomotive design was also used as the Commonwealth Railways NM class which operated on the central Australian narrow gauge railway, (“The Old Ghan”).

The C17 locomotives were overall the most numerous class of Queensland engine, and was also possibly its most versatile. The C17 class of locomotive was a lightweight Queensland design that was suited to the lightweight track and sharp curves of the Queensland Railways.

Weighing in at just over 80 tonnes and with eight driving wheels, the C17 class became the mainstay of the Queensland Railways steam fleet. 

Undergoing restoration in our workshop is our own locomotive Number 967 and 802.  They would have worked mainly in the former Maryborough District during its working life. 802 would have worked the Murgon, Gayndah and Monto branches. In its 42nd year career with Queensland Railways, the locomotive travelled many miles and was involved in a few incidents.

In the late 1960’s the end of steam locomotives was announced by Queensland Railways and in June of 1969 number 802 was condemned. It was donated to the Roma and District Tourist Association where it would remain for 31 years.

Number 802 was to remain in Roma until 2000, when it was removed by the Mary Valley Heritage Railway to Gympie. The intention was to restore 802 to working order. In 2003 this was achieved by the MVHR and since then it has run continuously and is the steam motive power of the MVHR fleet.

Since then number 802 has continued to be the mainstay and the main attraction for the Mary Valley Heritage Railway. It is amazing to think that a piece of machinery is still performing the work it was designed for over eighty years ago.

A workhorse of the steam era…

Forty of these locomotives were built after the Second World War by Walkers Limited, of Maryborough.

The Walkers Ltd locomotives were all painted in a medium brown colour scheme with green lining on the footboards, and tender edge, and black smokebox and red buffer beams. The engines were nicknamed Brown Bombers after the then world champion heavyweight boxer Joe Louis.

C17 974 was built by Walkers Limited of Maryborough, works number 511, and entered service in March 1951. C17 974 was withdrawn in 1969, but retained since 1971 as a special excursion locomotive. 

In 2001 it was withdrawn and completely overhauled and rebuilt with a new boiler being constructed for the locomotive. Other changes, including additional lighting on the locomotive, including visibility lighting on the buffer, rear headlight, tender ladder, speedo have been made as well.  The changes were facilitated to meet the rollingstock standards of today’s modern railway. Other changes were made to improve the safety of the crew and authorised personnel operating and/or working around the overhauled locomotive in the future. The locomotive re-entered traffic in 2008.

Technical Data:

Weight: 82.9 tons (81.21 tonnes)
Length: 53’5.5″ (16.305m)
Cylinders: 17″ x 22″ (432 x 559mm), boiler pressure 175lb(7206kPa)
Tractive effort: 21,017lb (93.5kN) coal: 7.35 tons (8.13 tonnes)
Water: 3,050 gallons (13,865 litres), driving wheels dia. 45″(1.14m),
Bogie wheels: 2’4″, grate area, 18.5 sq.ft. (1.719sq.m)
Valve gear: Walschaerts 82.9 tons (81.21 tonnes)
Length: 53’5.5″ (16.305m)
Cylinders: 17″ x 22″ (432 x 559mm), boiler pressure 175lb(7206kPa)
Tractive effort: 21,017lb (93.5kN) coal: 7.35 tons (8.13 tonnes)
Water: 3,050 gallons (13,865 litres), driving wheels dia. 45″(1.14m),
Bogie wheels: 2’4″, grate area, 18.5 sq.ft. (1.719sq.m)
Valve gear: Walschaerts

 

RAILMOTOR

The purpose of the railmotor was to provide a passenger service, on branch and main lines where passenger numbers did not justify the expense of running a steam train service. To run a steam train, be it on a goods, mixed or passenger train, required a crew of three the driver, fireman and guard. The rail motor was more economical.

A bit of history of the Rattlers first railmotor, some of our guests may relate to this story.

In 1928 the first railmotor was introduced onto the Mary Valley line. Railmotors would continue to operate on the branch until the late 1960s – RM 28 was the first railmotor to be built for operation on the branch.

The original RM28 is in its own museum at Aramac QLD.

The RM 76 which is our current railmotor traditionally ran the Brooloo line to Gympie providing a daily link to the town for shopping, the transportation of goods and a means for children to get to school.

The railmotors were built on the AEC bus and truck chassis. Buses in London had been built on this type 506 chassis since 1914. They were fitted out with seats and bodies, and converted for rail use.
They lasted in service until the early 1960s. They were reliable and rugged machines, and could be repaired quite easily should anything go wrong with them.

 

RAILMOTORS – RM Na’s 2017 & 2023

These units are 2000 Class railmotors built in the 1960’s by Commonwealth Engineering at their Rocklea plant in Brisbane. They were decommissioned by QR in 1993 and purchased by MVHR in 1996. Both units were recommissioned in our workshop and entered service in 1998.

 

Diesel Locomotives:

Diesel locomotives were designed to be more efficient than the steam locomotives. A steam locomotive only produces 25% of the energy created by its fuel source-whereas a diesel locomotive uses 75% of its fuel source energy.

There are diesel mechanical, diesel hydraulic and diesel electric locomotives. Diesel electric locomotives have a diesel engine powering a generator which creates electricity for electric motors. Sounds complicated but this form of motive power is still used by major railways around the world.

The Mary Valley Rattler has an example of a Diesel Electric locomotive.

 

DEL 1632

This is a 1620 class diesel electric locomotive built by The English Electric Company at Rocklea in Brisbane. The class was introduced into Queensland Rail in 1967. It was purchased by MVHR in 1996 and restored in the workshop. It is used for yard shunting track work, and as a backup loco in case of failure of the steam loco, and during fire bans or restrictions.

This loco celebrated 50 years of service on 20 Aug 2017.

 

CARRIAGES

All our cars have a history with QR but now they belong to Rattler Railway Company and are prepared for use on the valley line.

CAR A, BUV No 1418
Built in 1947 at the lpswich Workshops for the Brisbane suburban service 1st and 2nd Class with a Guards Compartment, these cars were known as ‘Evan’s Cars’ after the then Commissioner Evans. They were designed for maximum seating capacity approximately 60, and quick exit to minimise stop time at stations.

The car was sold to the Zig Zag Railway in 1987 and in 1997 was purchased by MVHR.

CAR B, BL No 1125
Built in 1926 at the lpswich workshops, this is the only surviving unit of the six that were built. Originally built with a division in the middle these cars first class at one end and 2″c Class at the other. First class also had ceiling fans, the toilet for 2’class was located in what is now the entry foyer.
This car was withdrawn from QR service in 1987 and entered service with MVHR in 2000.

CAR C, BL No 1038
Built in 1923 at the lpswich Workshops as a 1st Class Sitter with a Lavatory at each end, it was converted 2nd Class in 1984. Used as a main Line Corridor Carriage with a carrying capacity 30 passengers, its main claim to fame is for its service in the Sydney Mail that ran between Roma Street and Wallangarra where passengers changed to NSW gauge for the rest of the journey to Sydney. This was before the construction of the standard gauge link to the border.

The car ended mainline service in April 1987 and was recommend to be sold to Zig Zag Railway in 1987.

CAR D, BL No 992
Built in 1921 at the lpswich Workshops as a Travelling Post Office and worked on the Sydney Mail Train between Roma Street and Wallangarra. It was converted to a Special Car in 1934 with Sleeping Berths Kitchenette Lounge Area and toilet.

Subsequently converted to a 2nd Class (BL) Passenger car, 1942 and continued in service modified and repaired until written off in June 1989.
To meet the demand of increasing passenger numbers. the servery was added in 2001.

CAR E, BL No 507
Built in 1909 at the lpswich Workshops, these cars were of lightweight construction for use on the Etheridge Railway. Originally called “Goondiwindi Cars” they had longitudinal seating and centre toilets. They were 2’nd Class Sitters with smoking and non-smoking compartments.
ln 1936 the cars were converted to Grandstand seating (lengthwise, one row raised behind the other) for the Cairns Kuranda scenic railway. They were later converted to the present style with conventional seating with end toilets and passenger capacity of 30.

 

CAR F, BUV No 1303

Built at the lpswich Workshops in 1939, as a 2nd class Suburban, built with a Guards Compartment, and reduced passenger capacity of 60 on cross seats, this is another “Evans Car, with a similar history to Car A. This car finished service with QR and was written off in February 1987.

CAR G, BBV No 1547
Built in 1953 at the lpswich Workshops these cars were designed for use in branch lines as a Guard’s Van with passenger accommodation approximately of 20. This car ended service in 1989.

Because of its limited passenger accommodation (20) it is only added to the train on days of extra heavy bookings.

CAR H, Bu No 1416
Built at the Commonwealth Engineering workshops in 1952 as a 2nd Class Suburban Passenger car with a carrying capacity of 90, cross seats side doors. The car ended service with QR in 1987.
It was purchased by Beaudesert Rail and heavily modified. The seating arrangement was changed to a centre aisle configuration and exits were provided at each end of the carriage. This car was purchased by the MVHR in 2005, after Beaudesert Rail ceased operations.

 

CAR No 11 30 (Club Car)
Built at Ipswich Workshops in 1925 as a 1st Class Pullman Sitter/Sleeper with curtained berths down each side and a central aisle.

When delivered to the workshop all that could be salvaged was the under-frame and bogies. These were repaired and refurbished and then fitted with a complete new superstructure, designed and built in our workshop.

CAR J, CARRIAGE BU 1071
Built at lpswich Workshops and entered service on the 30 October 1924 as a 2nd Class Suburban Passenger Carriage. It was built at a cost of 2601 pounds. It was able to seat 90 second class passengers, on cross bench seats, in nine open compartments, with side door loading.

BU 1071 was withdrawn from traffic in June 1984, but then reinstated into traffic by QR, on March 1985. lt remained on QR’s books until 1992. It was then sold to the Zig Zag Railway at Lithgow. ln the late 1990’s it was purchased by Beaudesert Rail and returned to service, the Mary Valley Heritage Railway purchased the carriage in 2003. After extensive repairs BU 1071 commenced operations with the MVHR in 2007

CARRTAGE BU 1413
Built by Commonwealth Engineering as a 2nd Class Suburban Sitter with cross seating and side opening doors this carriage was delivered on 12 March 1952. This carriage was used on the Brisbane Suburban Services. Constructed with Steel underframe with SKF axle boxes, later changed to Timken axle boxes. The carriage was written off the books in February 1987 and stored at lpswich Workshops

It is an ongoing labour of love that maintains these units even down to replacement of various timbers used. The RRC workshops have been most diligent in restoring and preparing the Rattler rollingstock in readiness for this moment.

 

QUAD SECTION CAR

The Mary Valley Rattler will have two vehicles carrying out track inspections when operational. This one is was originally constructed by Pacific Construction Equipment Company. It is powered by a Fairmont 5hp 2 stroke engine.

The second section car has a 4 stroke motor to allow it to handle the heavy equipment to repair and maintain the line.

 

GERTIE

Officially referred to as the Gympie Emergency Response Train, but affectionally known to us as Gertie, this unit is designed as a support vehicle for the Mary Valley Rattler.

Actually, it is a fire extinguisher on wheels. Gertie and her operators travel some distance
behind the Rattler on its journey along the line and act as lookouts for any fires which
may occur in the rail corridor that start as a result of steam train operations.

We appreciate the valuable assistance given us by the RFBAQ, The Rural Fire Brigades
of Queensland in donating equipment.

Gertie was once part of a sleeper laying machine but now modified to do her bit in
protecting the community.

She has a Honda powered pump, a Deutz drive engine and a water tank capacity of
1000 litres.

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