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Wb steam locomotives

Wb 299, Westport c 1955. Photo: John Creber

Wb 292 and Wb 299 are the sole survivors of a class of twelve built in 1898 by Baldwin Locomotive Works, Philadelphia, U.S.A. The locos were 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].

Both locomotives were withdrawn from service in 1957 and dumped as river protection at Seddonville, north of Westport. This was a common fate for many steam locomotives in the South Island from the 1930's - 1960's. The locomotives were recovered in 1989 for preservation and eventual restoration.

Recent posts

Cab and bunker fabrication for Wb 292 and 299

Cabs for both Baldwin steam locomotives Wb 292 and 299 are being assembled concurrently in our Maymorn workshop.

23 December 2020

Moving Wb 299 to the workshop

On Saturday 21 March 2020 we rolled the main frame of steam locomotive Wb 299 into the workshop - just a few days before the Covid-19 level-3 and level-4 lock-down.

Shifting the frame into the workshop frees up space for another carriage in the main shed, one of the main reasons for the move. It should also be easier to carry out restoration work, access with lifting equipment etc.

The photos below illustrate progress made since December 2019 and steps taken to prepare the frame to move it into the workshop.

6 April 2020

Wb 299 cab and bunker reconstruction

The cab and bunker of steam locomotive Wb 299 have received a lot of attention over the past couple of months, the front and both side sheets of the bunker in place and the whole assembly mounted on a "cab board".

15 November 2019

Steam locomotive restoration work February 2019

During the warm summer months we took the opportunity to tidy up Baldwin steam locomotive boilers and tank components from Wb 292 and Wb 299.

7 March 2019

Wb 299 cab update

Work continues on rebuilding the cab for 1898 Baldwin steam locomotive Wb 299. The fireman's cab side has been cut out over the summer, including window and door cut-outs.

25 April 2018

Replacement boiler for Ab 745

After months of planning and fundraising, a replacement boiler has been secured for steam locomotive Ab 745. Delivered to Maymorn in October 2017, opportunity taken to relocate its original boiler and two Wb boilers.

31 October 2017

Regulator for Wb 299

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

Upper Hutt Summer Carnival 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

Wb steam locomotive display at Railex 2016

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

Cab work continues for steam loco Wb 299

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

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