- SETS and Pacific National have agreed to reactivate a second 86 class electric locomotive - 8649 - with the project to commence at the end of May 2019
- 8649 has been stored outside at Werris Creek for many years and it is planned to commence preparatory works at the Werris Creek Maintenance Centre run by Progress Rail (Pacific National's maintenance contractor).
- The project will involve SETS personnel, Pacific National staff, Progress Rail staff and specialist firms
- 8649 is considered to be in fair condition but it will need overhaul of some major equipment items, including some rotating machinery and brake system components.
- The locomotive was last operated in 1997 and thus the project will be a significantly bigger undertaking than the relatively quick initial reactivation of 8606, which had been stored indoors since 2003.
For the record, 8649 was one of the some 18 locos that were withdrawn by October 1997 due to discovery of cracks in the underframe. From what I've read, this was something that could certainly be repaired however given how things were slowly winding down with electric loco use in NSW they were simply never returned to service. This loco was moved to Werris Creek from Lithgow around mid 2000. Hasn't run in about 22 years, so it will be some come back.
A little fun fact about this loco, in November 1986 it hauled a special from Newcastle back to Sydney (and over the Harbour Bridge) following the conclusion of celebrations of the return of 3801 to service which was celebrated when 3801 hauled the special from the State Dockyards to Newcastle station. 8649 took the carriage consist back to Sydney after 3801 was taken off following conclusion of celebrations.
Jonesy's Photograph shot of 8649 at Werris Creek in February 2019. Credit to photographer.