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Australian Colonial Intelligence

First Colonial Manufactured Locomotive ~ 1870


Dear Grandpa Pencil looks at early Australian development through journals, official reports and newspaper excerpts of the day. Readers should remember that these accounts are based on personal observations at the time and some have, since, been shown to be flawed.

'First Colonial Manufactured Locomotive' is drawn from an article in The Illustrated Sydney News:  29th September, 1870

No better evidence of the progress of our local manufacturers could have been given than the two splendid locomotive engines recently constructed for the Government of New South Wales, and lately exhibited at the Exhibition grounds, prince Alfred Park.

One of these was constructed at the Railway Works Sydney, the other at Mort and Company's Dry Dock Engineering Works, Balmain.

Our remarks relate to the one built at the Railway Works.

It claims to be the first locomotive passenger engine manufactured in the Australian colonies.

The motive that lead to the building of the locomotive engine No. 10, was, that about the middle of last year, it was felt the traffic required a greater number of engines than were at the disposal of the Commissioner.

Although some had been ordered from England, and also a contract entered into with Messrs. Mort and Co. and Vale and Lacy, for supplying some engines built in the colony, it was conceived that by building one at the railway works it would be available for use before any of the imported ones, or of those made in the colony.

Events have shewn that this expectation was not ill founded.

This engine was ten months in building, having been commenced on the 13th August, 1869, and was running on the 10th June, 1870.

It has run a mileage of 4,000 miles, and has made twelve trips to Goulburn and back.

With this engine there is a saving of 4 lb. of coal per train mile run, compared with the other passenger engines working the same trains.


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