7 March 2019
Steam locomotive Wb 299
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].
Wb 299 was withdrawn from service in 1957. In January 1960 the loco was dumped as river protection at Seddonville, north of Westport, a common fate for many steam locomotives in the South Island from the 1930's - 1960's. Wb 299, along with sister 292 were recovered in 1989 for preservation and eventual restoration.
31 October 2017
A regulator handle is being manufactured in Canada for Baldwin steam loco Wb 299, adding key components to the rebuild of the 1898-vintage locomotive.
Trust member Peter Darian-Varzeliotis prepared CAD drawings for the various components that are mounted on the boiler back-head, including the regulator handle and clasp, latch and connecting rod and the sector plate. The latter, with its many fine-pitched teeth, presented a design challenge as details in the blueprint were unclear.
17 August 2017
Steam locomotive Wb 299 cab and interactive display was the centre-piece of our display at the 2017 Upper Hutt Summer Carnival. We rigged up a petrol-power air compressor to a pea-shooter whistle, which carnival goers were invited to try. The Pyle-National headlight and gauge lights could be worked as well, with light cast onto a steam pressure gauge and the original Baldwin Locomotive Works maker's plate that was fitted to Wb 292.
7 April 2017
The cab front, side and back of 1898 Baldwin steam locomotive Wb 299 was on display at RailEx over the weekend of 19-20 November 2016. The display was prominent among the variety of exhibits in the Walter Nash Centre, in the middle of the large sports stadium.
The cab was popular with young and old, as visitors were welcome to try out the driver's seat and work the interactive display of lights, gauges and other artefacts.
3 January 2017
Work continues on rebuilding the cab for 1898 Baldwin steam locomotive Wb 299. The photo above shows progress with fabricating the cab front on 24 September 2016. The curves for the roof and firebox cut-out took some time to mark out, having radii of 87.657" and 27". It was fantastic to see the distinctive cab outline come together as the cut-outs were completed.
30 September 2016
The Trust recently had displays at a couple of key Upper Hutt community events - Upper Hutt Summer Carnival on 27 February, and March Madness on 19 March.
22 March 2016
A brilliantly fine day at Trentham Memorial Park for the 2015 Upper Hutt Summer Carnival - a great venue for the Trust to promote its activities and operating days. Prominent in the display was the cab and bunker side of steam loco Wb 299, which proved popular with the public. As earlier published in Wb 299 rebuild under way the cab is an interactive exhibit, folk are free to try out the driver's seat and glance out the cab window - and get a sense of the scale and heritage of the loco.
3 March 2015
The rebuild of Baldwin steam locomotive Wb 299 is now well under way. The first major components - cab and bunker side were fabricated in time for display at RailEx. A cab seat and raised section of cab floor were added to make a more interesting exhibit, which proved quite popular with visitors.
1 December 2014