Before it was a gaming platform, Steam used to mean the combination of heat and water and for more than 100 years, it powered locomotives that drove the world’s economies and epitomised the industrial age.
The Age of Steam officially ended in New South Wales in March 1973 as one of Australia’s largest ever steam locos, British-built Garratt 6042, steamed through a banner in Newcastle, north of Sydney, marking the occasion.
Five days ago, one of its siblings that escaped the scrapper’s ‘gas axe’, Garratt 6029, began its first steam trials after a long and arduous overhaul, the first movement of the loco (or any NSWGR Garratt loco) under its own steam since 1981.
It’s a fantastic tribute to the dedication and hard work of the members and supporters of the Australian Railway Historical Society (ACT Branch), official custodians of the loco.
Back before the invention of valves, transistors and computer chips, Steam was the last word in technology and even today, it’s still pretty hard to go passed the irresistible combination of coal, fire and water.
I’m sure I join with many who look forward to seeing the loco running the rails of New South Wales in the future. In the meantime, check out this excellent clip up now on YouTube and keep up with the news on the official Project 6029 website.