3801 steams Down Under as overhaul nears completion

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AUSTRALIA’S most famous steam locomotive – ‘C38’ Pacific No. 3801 – steamed for the first time in more than a decade on September 16 as its protracted overhaul enters the ‘home straight’.

It was a significant milestone for Transport Heritage New South Wales (THNSW) and the overhaul team at Eveleigh, coming just a week after the loco’s grate was installed in the firebox. 


As has been well documented, the overhaul of the former New South Wales Government Railways 4-6-2 has not been without its problems.

A new welded boiler, built in 2010 by Deutsche Bahn Meiningen Steam Locomotive Works in Germany, was set aside after issues were discovered that meant it did not comply with Australian Standards. 

3801 project staff and volunteers with the loco during its first steam test for a decade on September 7. THNSW

Instead THNSW, which inherited the project in 2014, decided to overhaul No. 3801’s original NSWGR riveted boiler.


The work was completed earlier this year by Ainsworth Engineering in Goulburn, NSW, and has seen the original full working pressure of 245psi restored.

Despite the successful first firing there is still some way to go before the loco is finished and ready for its highly anticipated relaunch next year. It has not run since withdrawal in 2007.

Read more News and Features in the October 2019 issue of The RM –on sale now!


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About the Author

Nigel Devereux

Railway Production Editor at Mortons Media Group Ltd.
Nigel Devereux is a Senior Lecturer in the School of English and Journalism. He has worked within the print publishing industry for 37 years. Nigel was editor of his hometown newspaper - The Horncastle News - from 1998-2001. Nigel is currently the senior sub-editor on The Railway Magazine, the UK’s biggest selling magazine for railway enthusiasts. He is also responsible for maintaining and updating several websites across the Mortons portfolio.
01507 529529 | NDevereux@Mortons.co.uk
Nigel Devereux

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