HISTORY

COLLECTION

The ASCR locomotive and rolling stock collection has been limited to what the Society can restore and maintain. Restoration is primarily financed by the income from our weekly train operations in the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens and depends heavily on volunteer labour.


Regular maintenance of existing equipment is a priority and ASCR volunteers have assisted with maintenance work for other Queensland museum operators.

BFC No 1 (Bundaberg Fowler 0-6-2T)

Built by the Bundaberg Foundry in 1952, BFC 1 saw service at Mulgrave mill south of Cairns until 1955, Milliquin mill, and last at Qunaba Sugar Mill until it was withdrawn from service in 1980 and plinthed at the Bundaberg Rum distillery until being moved to the BSTPS workshops in February 2002.

This locomotive is currently in dry storage with plans to commence restoration works in 2019.

BFC No 3 (Bundaberg Fowler 0-4-2T)

Built by the Bundaberg Foundry in 1952 and first commissioned on 5th June 1952, it spent its working life in the sugar industry, firstly at Mourilyan Sugar Mill, where it served until the late 1960s. It then saw service at Millaquin Sugar Mill until the mid 1970s, after which it went to Qunaba Sugar Mill until its retirement in 1979.

The locomotive was donated to the Society for restoration in 1981. It was restored by the Society and recommissioned on 20th November 1988. In 1991 the locomotive was fitted with a new fire box and tubes by the Bundaberg Foundry.

The Bundaberg Foundry built locomotives under license from the UK; No 3 was the only 0-4-2T constructed, the rest being 0-6-2T configuration.

BFC3 was recommissioned in late 2014.

Germany (Orenstein and Koppel 0-4-0T)

Built in Germany by Orenstein and Koppel in 1914, this loco was on a ship bound for Australia when World War I was declared. This was Millaquin Sugar Mill’s first steam locomotive, operating over a track length at the time of only 2 miles.

It served Millaquin until 1951 after which it was used in the Qunaba Mill area until its retirement. It was donated to the East Bundaberg Rotary club for placement in the park at Kendalls Flat, where after approximately 30 years and several floods it was obtained by the society in 1987 for restoration. The recommissioning of Germany was held on 21st October 1990.

Germany is currently being restored.

Invicta (Leeds Fowler 0-6-2T)

Purchased new in 1907 for the Invicta Sugar Mill, it spent all its working life in Sugar Mills in the Bundaberg area. Restored and returned to service with ASCR in November 2008,  currently under complete restoration again.

The loco was purchased by Mr Buss of the Invicta Sugar Mill, then located near the Kolan River. At the end of 1918 the mill was sold and moved to Giru in North Queensland, while the rolling stock was sold to Gibson and Howes (Bingera).

When Invicta Sugar Mill was dismantled in 1918, Invicta was used to marshal the sugar cane from the Invicta area to Ralphs Siding where other locomotives transported the Sugar Cane to Bingera Sugar Mill.

Invicta worked in the Bingera area until the early 1960s when it was sold to Millaquin Sugar Company during the sugar industry expansion program, to work at Qunaba Sugar Mill.

Invicta was retired in 1978 before the steam era ended. In 1981 it was donated to the HMAS Nirimba Navy Training College at Quakers Hill Sydney. In July 1993 BSTPS made a submission to the Australian Navy for the return of Invicta to Bundaberg. The locomotive was returned and an official handover took place on 20th November 1993.

The loco was dry stored until restoration started in 2003. A team of 20 members worked over four years to complete the restoration, with most of the work undertaken by the members themselves

Invicta was recommissioned 17 November 2007 with a 100th birthday celebration attended by roughly 200 members and guests.

Valdora (EM Baldwin DH)

Valdora was purchased from Bundaberg Sugar (latest owners of the now defunct Moreton Sugar Mill, Nambour) in November 2004. In running order when purchased, the loco was fully refurbished by early 2005 and has allowed the Society to operate on extra days and for track maintenance.

Valdora, an 8 ton diesel mechanical locomotive, was built by EM Baldwin (sn 6/1258.5 6.65) of Castle Hills, NSW. It’s quite similar to ex-Moreton Mill loco Maroochy, and the two were fitted with multiple-unit controls so that they could be operated together (The ‘Twins’).

Both locos underwent numerous changes over the years with Valdora’s enclosed cab being one of the most noticeable.

Valdora has been fully restored with the same paint scheme as it finished work at Moreton Mill in 2003. It re-entered service with the Australian Sugar Cane Railway on 3 September 2005.

Carriages (ex-cane bin frames)

These were constructed locally from cane bin frames and, for many years were fairly rough riding due to the lack of adequate springing. However, Harvey Flanders, a new member and the former Chief Engineer of Mulgrave Mill, thought out the coil springing that was applied to all the carriages in early 2005.

Every carriage is joined by Willison auto couplers as well as safety chains .

Until 2006 the carriages ran with a green paint scheme, but were stripped and sent to Sandblasted for repainting. The carriages now have timber under the roof and a red paint scheme.

Miscellaneous

As with any operating railway. ASCR has a variety of navvy and other miscellaneous equipment, some of which will be featured on this page.

HISTORY OF THE AUSTRALIAN SUGARCANE RAILWAY

The in-depth history timeline of the organisation