Photos from last weekends steam train ride (see below)
A bit of history…….
HISTORY OF C17 CLASS
After the Second World War, forty of these locomotives were built by Walkers Limited, of Maryborough. These locomotives were an important part of the major rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Queensland Railways in the post war period. The new locomotives followed on an improved design introduced in 1938.
The Walkers Ltd engines were all painted in a medium brown colour scheme with green lining on the footboards, and tender edge, and black smoke box and red buffer beams. The engines were nicknamed ‘Brown Bombers’ after the then world champion heavyweight boxer Joe Louis. These brown bombers differed because they were fitted with roller bearings and larger tenders. Also, a more streamlined cab and side windows for weather protection were fitted.
The workhorse of the steam era, the C17 locomotive being overall the most numerous class of Queensland engine, was also possibly the most versatile.
The C17 worked almost any train in Queensland, be it suburban passenger, goods train shunt or even hauling air-conditioned trains in western Queensland.
The main reason so many of this class were constructed was that it was the most powerful form of conventional locomotive that could run on Queensland tracks, regardless of the limitations of axle loading.
Sadly with diesels becoming more popular, the C17 Class started to be withdrawn, with No. 261 first on 21st October 1952. There were at least 119 C17’s still on the books on 31st December, 1969 however, within a year, the last 6 C17’s were condemned on 26th August, 1970, with QR now fully dieselised.
The C17 Class lasted 50 years from 1920 to 1970. And proved to be the most powerful all lines engine in Queensland.
The locomotive was well known to the Warwick locals for being used regulary on the Dirranbandi (Thallon) Mail when working from Warwick, and Toowoomba Depots.
During it’s lifetime 971 was based at many depots, some of which were:
- Toowoomba in November 1950
- Roma in October 1954
- Toowomba in September 1955
- Mayne in Ocober 1956
- Toowoomba in December 1956
- Warwick in April 1966
- Toowoomba in January 1967
Some duties that No.971 was noted to have performed are:
- 23 October 1964 – No. 124 Goods Warwick to Wallangarra, detaching at Wyberba, Glen Aplin, Stanthorpe, Applethorpe, Thulimbah, Cotton Vale and Fletcher. Departed Warwick 1.35 pm and arrive Wallan-garra at 7.35 pm.
- 24 October 1964 – No. 551 Goods. Departed Wallan-garra at 7.15 am with guards van No. 970. Picked up a wagon at Stanthorpe, arrived Warwick at 12.42 pm.
- 13 December 1966 – No. 192 Texas Goods. Departed Warwick at 8.00 am with Guards van No. 1547, and 4 wagons. It crossed Train 649 at Gore. Arrived Inglewood 2.08pm, and with a crew change, would have shunted and proceeded onto Texas, returning later that evening
- 13/14 December 1966 – No. 183 Goods. Departed Inglewood at 11:40 pm with guards van No. 1547, and 11 wagons. Crossed 674 at Cunningham brfore arriving at Warwick at 4:57am
971 was retired from service in February 1969 and was donated to the Chinchilla Historial Society where it remained until May 2000 when the SDSR brought her back to Warwick.