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Malcolm Moore 4wPM 1049 of 1943

Historical Photo
Recent Photo

Status: Operational

After Pearl Harbor and the rapid advance by the Japanese towards Australia, local industry was placed on a war-footing.  It was in this context that a total of ninety-two Malcolm Moore V8 locomotives were designed and constructed for the Australian Army.  The use of Ford V8 engines as a power source was a logical choice, as this was a unit favoured by the army for a wide range of vehicles.  This engine was considered by troops to be the most reliable available.  Its use in large numbers of vehicles, both Australian and American, meant spares were always to hand.  Its ease of service and accessibility meant that damaged vehicles could easily provide parts to keep other vehicles in running order.  As it turned out, very few of these locomotives were used in war service, some being sold still in their boxes in the 1970s.  The American policy of ‘island hopping’ (and comparatively ample supplies of road vehicles) meant that a different approach to handling materials was used.

No. 1049 was sold by the Department of Supply to the State Electricity Commission of Victoria where it was probably used on one of the construction railways of the Kiewa hydro-electric scheme in the 1950s.  The SEC later moved it to Yallourn, where it was used on a boiler ash disposal line.  The loco was withdrawn from service in December 1974 and eventually moved to the Gippsland Folk Museum at Moe.  The Alexandra Timber Tramway swapped the locomotive and its associated side-tipping skips for an old motor vehicle, and 1049 was restored to operating condition by Ian Bowering at the Alexandra Hospital.  In February 2003, the chassis of Malcolm Moore 1023 was inserted under 1049’s cab and power-plant due to excessive wear on the wheels of 1049.  Two other Malcolm Moore locomotives of this type in various stages of restoration can be seen at the ATT. These will be completed as time and finances permit.