||Climax 1694 - Geared Locomotive
The depicted Climax locomotive is presently managed and restored by the Puffing Billy Preservation Society in Victoria, Australia.
The illustrated Climax locomotive carries Constructors No: 1694 and is reputed to be the last ‘Class B’ Climax sold by the Climax Manufacturing Company. It arrived at Victoria Dock on 14th August, 1928, in a total of 20 boxes (including spares) and by 30th August had been assembled and tested at the Victorian Railways Newport workshops.
The locomotive was originally owned by the Forests Commission of Victoria. In 1926 the Commission constructed a 2’ 6" narrow gauge tramway from a loop siding and transfer point, known as Collins Siding, located one mile from Erica on the V.R. (Victorian Railways) Moe Walhalla narrow gauge line. The line ran for 6.7 miles to Tyers Junction.
The line closed in July, 1949 with Climax 1694 remaining at Tyers Junction until 28th November, 1950, when it was moved to Collins Siding and then on 14th December to Erica State Sawmill via the V.R. narrow gauge line.
After lengthy intervening years and much dedicated restoration, Climax 1694 was returned to traffic on Saturday 12th November, 1988.
Two unique features for Australia were the bell on top of the boiler and the hose used for filling the tank from creeks. A third and essential addition for use in the Australian bush was the Radley and Hunter smokestack with its internal spark arresting apparatus.