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John Fowler 0-6-0T 11885 of 1909 (5)

Cheetham Cheetham

Status: Operational

Built by John Fowler & Company at Leeds England in 1909, this locomotive arrived in Australia in mid 1909.  It was re-sold to Johnston sugar mill in 1913, and then to the Isis Central mill in 1925, where it became No.5 on the locomotive roster.  The locomotive received new boilers in 1927, 1946 and 1955.  In 1966 it was transferred to Gin Gin sugar mill where it retained its roster number.  By 1969, the loco was relegated to standby duties and was sold to Bruce MacDonald, who removed it to the Goulburn Steam Museum in NSW in March 1972.  Here it received new water tanks of a smaller size and, in 1975, it underwent steam trials.  In 1978, the locomotive was transferred to the ACT for a tourist attraction which subsequently failed.

On 8 November 1980, the locomotive was put up for auction and was purchased by the Alexandra Timber Tramway.  It arrived in Alexandra on 30 January 1981, and has operated trains here on a regular basis since 1988.  This locomotive is typical of those used in the sugar industry, with a short-wheelbase to handle sharp curves, all the weight of the locomotive available for adhesion, and a limited fuel capacity due to the relatively short runs involved.  These attributes were also appreciated by sawmillers, and two similar John Fowler locomotives were used on the 3-ft (914mm) gauge timber tramway east of Warburton.