Locomotive 3642 steams towards Thirlmere for the 2017 Thirlmere Festival of Steam. Image: Steve Burrows
To support growing heritage train experiences, both at the NSW Rail Museum and across NSW, Transport Heritage NSW will be returning steam locomotive 3642 to regular service.
While the 95-year-old veteran has largely remained in active service since its retirement from the NSW Government Railways in 1969, it was temporarily withdrawn from heritage service in 2018 for future overhaul.
3642 will provide the necessary power required to tackle steep grades on future Loop Line services to Colo Vale, as well as additional fleet support for regular main line heritage train experiences.
The overhaul will commence in 2022, following the completion of the Locomotive 3001 project at the NSW Rail Museum, Thirlmere.
About Locomotive 3642
Designed to be able to operate non-stop for distances of up to 100 miles (161 km), the first of the 36 class entered service in 1925. Nos 1 to 10 were built by the NSW Government Railways at Eveleigh, while the remaining 65 were constructed by Clyde Engineering. An interesting quirk saw the Clyde-built locomotives finished before the NSWGR-built engines, which meant that 3610 was the last of the class to enter service.
The 36 class locomotives were originally fitted with round-top boilers, which gave them a somewhat porcine appearance, and this, coupled with difficulties in firing their narrow fireboxes and the regular repairs required to the boilers, led to the nickname 'Pig'. Most of them were re-boilered with Belpaire fireboxes and given new style cabs to match during their service lives, although the nickname remained.
With the 36 class came the introduction to the NSW railways of the 'turret' style tenders, which gave the crews better vision when travelling in reverse.
Locomotive 3642 entered traffic in January 1926 and was withdrawn from active service in November 1969 before being retained for the NSW Rail Museum (Transport Heritage NSW).