Wb 299 is one of two survivors of a class of twelve built in 1898 by Baldwin Locomotive Works, Philadelphia, U.S.A. The loco was based at Westport on the West Coast of the South Island, hauling coal trains from inland mines to the port. Two Wb class locomotives were originally based at Wellington, working trains to and from the Hutt Valley and Summit.
[Photo: Wb 299 at Westport loco depot, c 1955 - John Creber].
Photo: Ab 745 on a work train at Marton 11 December 1954. Photo: John Creber.
The Trust has signed an agreement with The Taranaki Flyer Society for RIRHT to take over steam locomotive Ab 745, currently located at Stratford. The Taranaki Flyer Society is closing up and have offered the locomotive to us "free to a good home".
The Trust has been offered the opportunity to purchase 1947 built Ohai Railway Board No.1. ORB No. 1 is the forerunner to the NZR Ds class of locomotive which were first put into service as heavy shunters during 1949.
The Trust is currently undertaking a fundraising appeal to purchase and transport Ohai Railway Board No.1 from Pukemiro to Maymorn. This locomotive will provide the Trust with a level of redundancy when major work is required on Tr189 as well as forming a key role in future railway construction activities and shunting work at Maymorn.
The rail vehicle shed at Maymorn has been one of the primary projects for the Trust over the last few years. A huge amount of design work, engineering consultation, planning and project management has gone into the structure. The vast majority of the foundation work, component fabrication and final construction has been undertaken by volunteers working in their spare time. The decision to replicate an original 1911 New Zealand Railways 2-road engine shed design has paid dividends in that the Maymorn station has a real railway depot “feel” about it.
Track is being built at Maymorn station, including our future mainline and loop tracks, along with points and yard track leading into the rail vehicle shed.
We've made a start on building our future mainline track at Maymorn. Track has reached the 150-metre mark and plans are afoot to extend it to the Kaitoke end of our Maymorn site.
Photo: Gumdigger carriage A255 at Christchurch on 27 January 1950, near the end of its revenue-earning service. Photo: JAT Terry.
Further major components required for our 1880s Gumdigger Carriage restoration project have been made available to the Rimutaka Incline Railway.
In 2008 Wayne Haste donated a number of key components from carriage A189 along with an underframe – the start point for the project. The Trust stored these components for eventual use in a rebuilt Gumdigger carriage, pending completion of its storage and workshop facilities at Maymorn.