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Steam locomotive Wb 299

Wb 299, Westport c 1955. Photo: John Creber

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Wb 299 was withdrawn from service in 1957.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.

Recent posts

Wb 299 rebuild under way

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

CAD design work begins for Wb locos

CAD (Computer Aided Design) work has begun for the rebuilding of two Wb class Baldwin tank locomotives at the Rimutaka Incline Railway. Wb 292 and Wb 299 were salvaged from a dump site at Seddonville on the West Coast in 1989, having been dumped after withdrawal from service in 1958 and 1960. They have been in storage at Maymorn since 2008, and the frames of both locomotives are now inside the rail vehicle shed awaiting attention.

15 May 2014

1898-vintage Baldwin steam locomotive moved into shed

On Saturday 16 February 2013 the frames of steam locomotive Wb 299 were moved inside the rail vehicle shed at Maymorn. This was made possible by track work completed earlier in the day.

This is the culmination of many years work on the shed and track, and adds to the number of historic rail vehicles in the shed.

18 February 2013

Baldwin Wb steam locomotives

On a snowy August 2008 morning Wb 292 and Wb 299 arrived at Maymorn from Paekakariki. Their journey here begun about 50 years ago when they were dumped into a river near Seddonville on the west coast of the south island as river protection.

In 1989 Hugh McCracken salvaged the two engines and moved them north with the intention of restoring them to service. The locomotives are stripped to components, frames and boilers being the largest recognisable portions.

31 August 2008