D3 639 was withdrawn in the 1960's and 658 took on 639's indentity for a few years and then went back to 658. 658 was the comissioners engine and for the Bicentenirie (excuse my spelling) it was used a 639, As it was Canadian Red, It was renumbered back to 658 in the late 90's. So 658 is the one preserved, 639 was scrapped in the 1960's.
Wow. I only just noticed this one!
D3 639(I) was withdrawn after many years of service as the commissioners locomotive in 1956. The CME selected the best example of a D3 to replace 639; this was D3 658 which was based out of Benalla for much of it's life till this point.
Both D3's were taken to Ballarat North Workshops (not Bendigo North, as some people have published in the past), where the chrome fittings and a few other useful parts were removed from 639. 658 was overhauled, and the chrome fittings formerly adorning 639(I) were fitted to 658, which at this point officially became the second D3 639. Another reason for this number change was due to the commissioners being quite fond of the original 639 after giving them sterling service for so long. 639(I) was officially renumbered as 658 on the official records, and shoved up the back of the workshops until 1958 when it was finally cut-up for scrap.
D3 639(II) re-entered service as the new commissioners loco in mid 1956, a position it held until 1964 when it was replaced by Y123. The loco was set aside for tours, and used on short inter-urban passenger services for a short time. The loco was then set aside for special tours only, a role the loco has more or less held to this day.
D3 639(II) has seen a few number changes during it's life:
Dd 586 (as built in 1903)
Dd 799 (renumbered in the 1910's)
D2 799 (when superheated)
D3 658 (1938 - 1956)
D3 639 (1956 onwards)
Over the years many VR locomotives were renumbered for varying reasons, some even gaining the number previously held by a classmate. For this reason, and as the renumbering was done officially by the VR commissioners for a purpose; the locomotive preserved is D3 639, and not D3 658. The reason the locomotive survives is due to the simple fact it was the commissioners loco, and this reason alone.
D3 658 ceased existing in 1958 at Ballarat North.