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The South Maitland Railways in the 1970s were the last remaining vestige of a once extensive coalfields railway system. During 1973, I took the opportunity of visiting this system a couple of times, and recorded steam in its last great regular revenue service in Australia.
The 10-class tank locomotives were the mainstay of SMR operations up until the demise of steam in NSW. Based on the NSW Government Railways standard goods (50-class), they were solid, reliable locomotives.
SMR 15 was the class leader of the 15 Class on the SMR (nicknamed Slow Motion Railway). Like a locomotive built for AIS (Iron Duke), they were based on the NSWR S-636 (later C-30 Class). There were 3 members in this class: nos. 15 and 16 built 1912, and no. 29 built 1923.
They were used for passenger traffic initially, then utilised on coal traffic. When withdrawn from traffic they were parked around the workshops for many years. The SMR locomotives were basically a direct copy of the NSWGR 30 class, and were built by Beyer Peacock and Co for the SMR.
Unfortunately, the "gas axe boys" got all three of them in very late 1973.
(I am indebted to Brett Fitzpatrick and Geoff (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the information above.)
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