Locomotive 3801 project
Bringing an icon of steam back to life.
ABOUT THE LOCOMOTIVE 3801 PROJECT
Locomotive 3801 was built in 1943 by Clyde Engineering and has been in preservation since its retirement from the NSW Railways in 1962.
The locomotive was withdrawn from heritage service in 2007, as it required major boiler repairs. It was decided at the time a brand new boiler would be built for the locomotive. A German manufacturer won the contract to build the new boiler through an open, international tender process.
The new boiler was shipped to Australia in 2010. A number of technical issues were identified with the new boiler, which meant it did not comply with Australian Standards. It was returned to Germany in 2011.
A decision was made in late 2014 by a Steering Committee with representatives from Transport for NSW and then newly established Transport Heritage NSW (THNSW), to bring the new boiler to Australia so that further works on the new boiler could be closely managed and overseen.
The new boiler arrived back in Australia in January 2015. At that time THNSW specialists conducted thorough inspections on both the new boiler and the original boiler, which was removed from locomotive 3801 following its withdrawal from heritage service in 2007.
After weighing up the options, detailed work plans were developed to repair the original boiler to ensure it meets safety and operational requirements and used to return locomotive 3801 back to service in the shortest possible time frame.
Repairs to the original boiler have since been completed by Ainsworths of Goulburn, with the boiler returning to Chullora on 1 July 2019. The boiler has since been reunited with the locomotive and certified on 21 October 2019.
The locomotive is now undergoing various trials before returning to heritage service in 2020.