The Queensland Times - - FRONT PAGE - Ash­leigh Howarth ash­leigh.howarth@qtcn.com.au


A HIS­TORIC lo­co­mo­tive that was used to trans­port es­sen­tial sup­plies dur­ing the pe­riod of trench war­fare on the western front has been been fully re­stored and is now on dis­play at The Work­shops Rail Mu­seum.

At a me­dia only event, The Work­shops’ new cu­ra­tors were chuffed to show off their lat­est dis­play, the Hun­slet No. 327, which will be a per­ma­nent dis­play at the pop­u­lar tourist at­trac­tion.

Built in 1916 by the Hun­slet Lo­co­mo­tive Works of Leeds, Eng­land, the en­gine was one of 665 steam lo­co­mo­tives or­dered by the Bri­tish War Of­fice dur­ing the World War I and dis­patched to France to move sup­plies to the front lines.

“This lo­co­mo­tives job was to trans­port food, am­mu­ni­tion and all equip­ment needed to ser­vice the front dur­ing the war,” ex­plained col­lec­tion man­ager Rob Sheils at the un­veil­ing.

“It was used be­tween stan­dard gauge trains and the front.

“They run on a nar­row track, they run on a 60cm gauge, and the idea of that is it’s light­weight, it’s move­able and as the war changed and the front changed, you could quickly move your rail line to where you needed it.”

Fol­low­ing the end of the war the lo­co­mo­tive was re­built by Hun­slet En­gine Co and in June 1920 it was one of 15 War Of­fice Hun­slet lo­co­mo­tives pur­chased by the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment and shipped to Mackay to be­gin work as a cane train at the North Ea­ton Sugar Mill.

The lo­co­mo­tive was re­tired in 1964 and moved to Etons Lang­ford Park where it was put on static dis­play for the com­mu­nity.

Due to de­te­ri­o­ra­tion, it was re­moved in 2005 and gen­er­ously do­nated by the Mackay Sugar Co-Op­er­a­tive As­so­ci­a­tion to The Work­shops Rail Mu­seum in Ip­swich.

For more than five years, a group of ded­i­cated train en­thu­si­asts worked tire­lessly to re­store the Hun­slet No. 327 back to its orig­i­nal First World War con­fig­u­ra­tion.

To start, the en­gine was care­fully dis­as­sem­bled, rusted out pan­els were re­placed and other dam­age re­paired.

As much of the orig­i­nal fab­ric as pos­si­ble was pre­served.

Each step of the process was care­fully recorded and pho­to­graphs were taken.

While the Hun­slet is the new jewel in The Work­shops Rail Mu­seum crown, cu­ra­tors are keen to re­mind the Ip­swich com­mu­nity they are al­ways work­ing to in­stall new ex­hibits and at­trac­tions which will ap­peal to peo­ple of all ages.


ALL ABOARD: The Work­shops Rail Mu­seum has great line up of in­ter­ac­tive dis­plays, hands on ac­tiv­i­ties, ex­hibits and beau­ti­fully re­stored trains and lo­co­mo­tives.

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