Where are they now?! VR BG Steam locos in preservation

  Barrington Womble Photo Nazi

Location: Banned
D3 639 was  withdrawn in the 1960's and 658 took on 639's indentity for a few years and then went back to 658. 658 was the comissioners engine and for the Bicentenirie (excuse my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D3 639(I) was withdrawn after many years of service as the commissioners locomotive in 1956.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.

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  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

Spoke to my brother recently the original D3 639 ( rail commissioners train) in his old SEC days he remembers seeing this locomotive in an old musuem in the Northcote area is somewhere on display in an an old wharehouse come factory along witha handful of trams. (Not the Preston Depots)  It is along in a private collection and is still there to this day.  Can anyone shed a light on this?   He insists that it bever went to the blowmans' torch................. Question
  labhenryboy Chief Train Controller

Location: Mortdale via Syndal
And there is also probably an S Class or two there as well.  The reality is that a locomotive of that size is unlikely to have gone unnoticed over the last 50 years or so.
  Barrington Womble Photo Nazi

Location: Banned
With all due respect, I think your brother might be given to a flight of fancy here.

Wal Jack noted the locomotive's demise in a 1958 ARHS-Vic Bulletin, which he contributed to on a semi-regular basis with news of Ballarat's rail, and tramways. He reported on the loco being broken up, as presumably he probably took an interest in it due to it's former duty as the Commissioner's special locomotive, and saw the loco's destruction with his own eyes.
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

Thanks for that, I thought that this was the case, I will take it up with brother.................. Evil or Very Mad
  alcoworldseries Deputy Commissioner

Location: Auburn
Reported elsewhere that J550 about to move from its current location at Warragul, anyone have more details?
  T411 Moderator

Location: Somewhere

Reported elsewhere that J550 about to move from its current location at Warragul, anyone have more details?


The reports from some time ago was it was sold/loaned/allocated to Noojee based interests. Maybe finally off to there?

  Thunda Junior Train Controller

J550 has to be moved from Warragul by the end of this month as part of the agreement in the Noojee group getting the loco/grant. There's a short section of track that's been prepared in the old Noojee station yard for it to be parked on. At a quick glance, most of the sleepers are the wrong way up and there's no drainage under them (laid directly on to compacted lilydale toppings) The sleepers ain't going to last long in that wet enviroment installed like that....

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