End of COVID Lockdown Sees Restored Victorian Locomotive Back on Track After 16 Years of Restoration at Hunter Valley Railway Museum | Newcastle Herald

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news, local news, Hunter Valley Railway, Chris Richards, steamer, hudson, trains, newcastle, newcastle herald

HERITAGE railway enthusiasts celebrated a milestone on Saturday when a 1951 Scottish-built and 16-year-old restored locomotive at North Rothbury made its first run on the public rail system with two runs between Branxton and Singleton. The Hudson Class 4-6-4 express steam locomotive, number R766, was brought to the Hunter by railroad enthusiast Chris Richards, backer of the Hunter Valley Railway Museum in North Rothbury. Mr Richards said yesterday that a trial was due to take place months ago, but he was caught up by Hunter’s COVID lockdown and delayed until now. IN THE NEWS: “It was wonderful to be able to go out on the slopes after all this time,” said Richards. Mr. Richards is considered one of the region’s leading advocates of railway and building heritage. He says he’s lucky he made enough money to be able to reinvest it in preserving the things he loves – especially old trains. The Newcastle Herald reported on the struggle to maintain the North Rothbury Museum, and Mr Richards said the heritage of steam was a constant battle, despite the trains’ obvious popularity with the general public. He said that once the R766 had completed its testing and was fully certified to carry passengers, it was expected that the locomotive would pull tour cars under the banner “The Picnic Train” out of the Hunter. and between Sydney and Kiama. RAILWAY TALES: Mr. Richards thought the R766 was the only Class R locomotive converted from a Victorian wide gauge to an NSW standard gauge, and its coal-fired boiler was modified to run on diesel fuel, which made it makes it much cleaner and more ecological. He said he could go “over 160 km an hour” and that he “would follow any modern Australian passenger train”. Our journalists work hard to provide local and up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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