On 16 Aug 2009 the Puffing Billy Railway celebrated 100 years of Garrat Locomotives by dragging G42 out of mothballs, firing the big black beast up and running to Cockatoo and back.
I caught up with the train purely by accident at Cockatoo Station on this cold windy rainy day just after they had run around their train.
Despite the rain I had to fight off the crowd of photo takers to get a shot.
Great credit is due to the workshops and locomotive crew who did the hard yards to get G42 running after lying idle at Belgrave outside for about the last four of five months.
As she departed Cockatoo the familiar clanking side motion gave away their position in the forest even more than the steam did. We drove down to bridge No. 9 over Cockatoo Creek and waited there to grab another shot. There was no danger of being caught by surprise.
Puff is fundraising to do G42's 'D' exam which is basically a tear-down and rebuild. Donations to the G42 Fund are tax deductible. You can find out more information at www.puffingbilly.com.au. It cost approximately $AU1.4 million to restore G42 to operating condition. The rebuild is unlikely to cost that much but will be costly in terms of both money and scarce staff and volunteer resources in the workshops. Currently the workshops are building an NA, DH31, a "new" DH, and the Climax locomotive. The volunteer workshops group meets on Wednesday evenings and anyone with a bent to working on locomotives is welcome to attend. You do not need any experience or skills - there are jobs for the unskilled ranging right up to skilled professions such as boilermaker.