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Gone, but not forgotten

Improved roads and faster motor transport robbed the line of its freight and its passengers, although petrol rationing and other shortages caused by World War II provided enough traffic to enable it to struggle on, barely paying its way. In its final years passengers were allowed to travel free of charge, because it was so slow. Closure was inevitable however, and in 1944 the Maroochy Shire Council announced that the operation of the Mapleton tram would cease at the end of the year. The puffing of the exhaust, the growling of the gears, the squealing of the wheels on the sharp curves and the cheery toot of its whistle were to be heard no more on the Blackall and Highworth Ranges. The Nambour Chronicle reported the last official run in its edition of 5th January 1945: 


   "Twenty passengers - probably the greatest number on any one trip for some considerable time - were carried by the Mapleton tram on its last official journey from Nambour to Mapleton on Friday last [29th December 1944]. Some of the passengers comprised visitors on holiday at Maroochydore. They were informed of this unique opportunity and hastened to experience what is now regarded as an epic trip.


   "They left Nambour after lunch, arriving at Mapleton about 3.30 pm. The visitors returned at 5.30 pm by a special bus run by Mr J. Appleby, service proprietor. The locomotives now remain at both termini - Nambour and Mapleton - to be used in steaming the line prior to sale. The working account of the Mapleton tramway will finish up with a credit balance of between 500 and 600 pounds." 

On the last day, the Mapleton hauled the timetabled special and returned to the top of the Range, and the Dulong worked the cane trains from the Nambour terminus. The time had come for the people to say good-bye to the tram, and the railway era in Mapleton came to an end. There was no representative from the Shire Council, nor any official party of any kind to perform the last rites - the tram just didn't run any more.

Alvyn Hingston was a boy living in Mapleton at the time. He says, "I remember the last journey the Tram made. It arrived on the siding near the general store blowing its whistle madly. Loud cheers all round, and then the crew and many well-wishers adjourned to the Mapleton Hotel for celebrations which seemed to go on forever." 

The Shire Council put the removal of the line (including the purchase of the two Shays, the rolling stock, the rails and all equipment) up for tender. The Moreton Central Sugar Mill took advantage of this opportunity to obtain sleepers and rails which were in short supply due to World War II, and made a successful offer. The Shays were valued at 40 pounds each in this transaction! 

Both engines were put to work in early 1945, the Mapleton dismantling the line, the Dulong working cane traffic on the one and a half mile section between the Mill and Burnside, which would be retained until 1971. Mr Alby Lyell and a gang of Italian Prisoners-of-War arrived in Mapleton to lift the rails. The two locomotives also engaged in shunting at the Mill and hauling trucks of filter press residue down Howard Street to a wax factory (a Mill subsidiary, located where the Big W store is now). By May, all the track to Mapleton, Burnside Road and Image Flat had been lifted and removed. The rails and points were stacked at the Mill ready for re-use in other parts of the Company's tramway system. 

By the end of that cane season it was found that both locomotives were in need of heavy overhaul. The Mapleton was serviceable but the Dulong needed a new boiler. By 1947 the Dulong had been written off and was being used as a source of parts to keep the Mapleton running. Some sources state that in 1948 major parts from both locomotives were amalgamated. They claim that the Dulong's engine was attached to the Mapleton's boiler and frame and the best two of the four bogies fitted. The identity of the boiler as being that from the Mapleton is confirmed by the fact that the boiler in the rebuild has five longitudinal stays, whereas that from the Dulong had only four. Two photographs near the bottom of this page illustrate this fact. The steam dome also is identical to that carried by the Mapleton. The frame is from the Mapleton as it has cast steel end timber braces - the Dulong had the older style frame, fabricated from bent flat steel stock.

The bogies on the rebuild are from the Dulong as the bolsters are made of wood, whereas the Mapleton had steel channel bolsters. The Mapleton bogies are at the Illawarra Light Railway Society. The Mapleton had wheels half-an-inch larger in diameter than those on the Dulong.  The chimney of the Mapleton which was topped with a diamond-pattern spark arrester remained on its boiler.

The present writer suggests that, in addition to the bogies, only a few small parts from the Dulong were used to repair the Mapleton. We do know for sure that the engine on the rebuild carried the Mapleton's steel reinforcing plate attached to the crankshaft casting with ten bolts referred to earlier, and that plate is still visible on the locomotive named Shay today. This indicates that at least the crankshaft casting on the pre-rebuild Mapleton was not replaced by that of the Dulong in 1948. 

The crankshaft with its supporting brackets and housing, showing the reinforcing plate bolted on at right with ten bolts.

Whether the Dulong's cylinders, connecting rods and valve-gear would be transferred to the Mapleton's cracked crankshaft casting seems fairly unlikely. The writer therefore believes, in the absence of further evidence, that the engine on today's Shay is that of the pre-rebuild Mapleton, i.e. the engine of the Dulong was never swapped to the Mapleton during the amalgamation, even though reports at the time said it was in better condition. When the engine is stripped for restoration in the future, definitive evidence for one view or the other may come to light.

At the time of this rebuild, a new steel cab and bunker were made and fitted. Some of the wooden decking was also replaced at this time. After its repair, the Mapleton returned to service and continued to work on the Mill's Burnside line tramway and the wax factory shunt down Howard Street. The Dulong's frame was dumped on the vacant land between Mill Lane and the QR main line and forgotten. For over six decades it was believed to lie hidden in undergrowth to the south of the Moreton Mill.  In March 2013 the area between Mill Lane and the QR main line was cleared as part of the work for the new Coles shopping centre. No trace of the Dulong was discovered there. The location of the discarded engine unit is unknown, but there is a report that it continues to provide power for a sawmill near Gympie. The two unwanted bogies were set aside, and acquired by the Illawarra Light Rail Museum Society. They are presently under a new fabricated Shay frame at their facility at Albion Park, New South Wales.

The following year after the Mapleton was refurbished with parts of the Dulong, its diamond-pattern spark arresting chimney was replaced with a conical one. A rare photograph showing the locomotive after its refurbishment but still with its diamond chimney appears in Clive Plater's book, "Locomotives of the Moreton Central Sugar Mill". Whether the conical chimney placed on the Mapleton at this time was from the Dulong or a newly fabricated one is not known with certainty, and the reason for the change is not known. Perhaps the conical chimney offered better steaming than the other.

The Mill retained all the Shire's carriages and wagons after it bought the line, and modified them for use by its track gangs on the cane tramway. At least three had roofs and walled-off sections for tools, and one as a covered wagon. The tramway guard's van was converted into a navvies' van. Many were reported as still intact in 1991, but some had been scrapped and burned. The late Mr George Hadley, Cane Railways Supervisor at the Moreton Mill, informed the writer in May 2003 that there was no trace of any Mapleton Tramway carriages, bogies or parts remaining at the Mill. As Mr Hadley had worked there for forty years, and in fact did maintenance work on Shay, it appears certain that no relics remained. In any case, the demolition of the Mill and levelling of the site in 2004 would have destroyed any Mapleton Tramway items remaining, had they in fact still existed. 

On the other hand, Mr Clive Plater of Eudlo has a two-bogied closed van at his home which is said to have been the Mapleton line's cream van. It was heavily rebuilt by the Mill and its sides are now made of corrugated iron.   

The Mill lifted the rails between Burnside Road at Perwillowen and Burnside itself soon after purchasing the Mapleton Tramway, but retained the line from Nambour as far as the site of today's Rotary Garden Village at Burnside. This short track of one and a half miles lasted until the 1971, when cane production at Burnside ceased. About all that remains of this section of track are the earthworks leading to the tramway bridge across Petrie Creek, just upstream from the Arundell Avenue road bridge. The tramway bridge itself was removed in February 1971.  

In 1957 the Mapleton hauled an excursion train from Nambour to Bli Bli for the Australian Railway Historical Society, Queensland Division. This train was made up of four former items of Mapleton Tramway rolling stock - three flat wagons fitted with seats for the occasion, and the navvies' van. 

The following year the locomotive was renamed Shay, the name being painted on the cab side sheets. Upon retirement around 1960, it was set aside near the Mill's eastern fence, where it may be glimpsed in the video "Steam, Rails and Sugar Cane". This video was produced using 8 mm films, and the date of the sequence showing Shay is either 1966 or 1968. Around this time, more of the wooden decking was replaced. As the loco was no longer in use, the repairers did not bother to cut holes through the back decking through which to pass the sand pipes. The sand pipes were therefore not run through the woodwork to join up to the sandbox outlets. A steel cover was fixed over the top of the chimney to keep water out, but the smokebox soon began to corrode badly, notwithstanding. Most of the brass fittings, such as safety valves and whistle, were removed soon after decommissioning and disappeared. 

The locomotive was later put on display on the opposite side of Mill Street to the Mill entrance, inside the fence of the Nambour Child Care Centre. Whether the youngsters were allowed to climb on the engine is not known, but it would be quite a risky place for children of that age to play. At the time, though, a number of Mill steam locomotives such as Petrie, Bli Bli and Coolum were decommissioned and set up in nearby parks and other places as playground equipment.


The photographs above, taken by the writer in June 1970, shows the loco at the child care centre. It shows Shay facing east, painted green, with black smokebox, chimney and domes. The cabsides and bunker are lined in yellow, and the name 'Shay' is painted in the centre of the left-hand cab side sheet, below the window. The name on the right-hand cabside is just above the engine compartment, due to reduced space below the window. The wheel rims are picked out in white. The drive shafts are painted red and the gears are silver. It is possible that the loco was gifted to the Shire Council at this time, but no record of this has been found at the time of writing. 

As the years passed, the significance of this locomotive was not forgotten by the Mill management nor by the Councillors of the Maroochy Shire, and so an agreement dated 8th March 1985 was drawn up between them. In this agreement it was stated: 

"WITNESSETH THAT WHEREAS the Council is the owner of a certain steam locomotive (hereinafter referred to as "the Shay") presently sited at the Nambour Child Care Centre, AND WHEREAS the Council and the Mill are desirous of preserving the Shay for display and historical purposes and have agreed to place in writing the terms and conditions therefore, 


Firstly          On and from the date of execution of these presents the ownership of the Shay shall vest jointly between the Council and the Mill in equal shares absolutely UPON TRUST  to ensure preservation of the Shay for display and historical purposes.

Secondly     THE COUNCIL shall cause the Shay to be removed from its present location at the Nambour Child Care Centre and placed at a site to be determined by the Council and the Mill upon land owned by the Mill at Mill Street, Nambour,

Thirdly        THE MILL shall cause to be constructed on the said Site a concrete base for the Shay to be set upon, AND FURTHER shall erect a roofed structure over the Shay to provide protection for it from the elements.

Fourthly       Should the RAILWAY MODELLERS SOCIETY restore the Shay a plaque may be erected on or near the Shay.

Fifthly         The costs incurred in the transportation of the Shay from the Nambour Child Care Centre to the site on the Mill's land [just across the street] shall be borne by the Council.

Sixthly         The costs incurred in the preparation of the concrete base upon which the Shay will be placed as well as the protective roof will be borne by the Mill.

Seventhly     The Mill will cause the Shay to be covered and kept covered for public risk insurance in a sum of not less than one million dollars ($ 1 000 000).

Eighthly       Either party hereto may at any time terminate this agreement by giving to the other of them not less than three (3) monthsí notice in writing. Upon expiry of such notice this agreement shall terminate and the Millís interest in the Shay shall vest in the Council absolutely. The Council shall thereupon with reasonable expedition cause the Shay to be removed to another site and neither party shall have any further liability of obligation to the other of them whether under this agreement or otherwise. 

"IN WITNESS WHEREOF THE COUNCIL OF THE SHIRE OF MAROOCHY has hereunto affixed its Seal on the date hereinafter mentioned and THE MORETON CENTRAL SUGAR MILL COMPANY LIMITED has caused these presents to be executed this twentieth day of February, 1985."

This agreement was signed on behalf of the Mill by Thomas Maxwell (Director) and Penton Sutcliffe (Secretary), and by Donald Culley (Shire Chairman) and Donald Christiansen (Shire Clerk) for the Council. The actual document is available here:    page 1    page 2

The preamble to this agreement supports the contention that the Mill had already gifted the Shay to the Shire Council, but apparently they were not entirely happy with its being located at the Nambour Child Care Centre for children to play on. It is possible that they felt that the locomotive would have a better chance of preservation if it were located in their grounds and protected by a shelter with a strong security fence. So, after the agreement had been signed, the Shay was moved onto a concrete plinth at the entrance to the Mill, and a secure roofed enclosure built around it. To facilitate its handling by crane, metal straps were welded between the tops of the bogies and the chassis to stop them from swinging from the straight ahead position when the loco was lifted. In a later repaint, the white wheel-rims were painted black, and the name 'Shay' was moved to a higher position, forward of the side window. 

To celebrate the centenary of the settlement of Mapleton in 1989, the people of the town requested that the old locomotive Shay be brought up the Range by truck and put on display in the Services Memorial Park,  adjoining the Mapleton State School. This was agreed to, and the roofed enclosure came with it. The enclosure was erected on concrete footings over the loco, between the toilet block and Flaxton Drive. For most of that year the engine remained there, and was quite a popular tourist attraction.  

Though local residents were hopeful that it would be allowed to remain in Mapleton, this was not to be, for the Shay went back to Nambour before the year was out. Its shelter went with it, and both were re-erected just inside the Mill's main entrance at the approach to Nambour Railway Station (below).

At the front of the shelter was an enamel sign which gave details of the locomotive. The text was written by John Knowles, a rail enthusiast and expert of long-standing. It is not known how old the sign is, or who has it at present. In 2000, the management of the Mill announced its intention to decommission its cane tramway network, and to transport all cane from out-lying farms in to the Mill by road trucks. This caused great disquiet in Nambour, as the hundreds of additional truck movements that this would entail, going as would be necessary through the very heart of the town and through its main intersections, would create traffic havoc during the crushing season. As well, the townsfolk expressed a sentimental attachment to their little trains, and saw them as a tourist attraction as well as fulfilling their main purpose quite admirably.

The idea of hauling cane to the sugar mill by truck came to naught for in mid-2003, after some years of low sugar prices, the Mill's owners announced that it would cease sugar crushing operations altogether at the end of that year's season and would then be demolished. Closure of the Mill after 106 years meant that the small amount of raw cane still being grown needed to be transported by truck to mills at either Beenleigh or Maryborough. As of 2005, some is converted locally into 'cow candy', a nutritious fodder for cattle, but it is not known if cane growing near Nambour will continue. We do know that some cane farmers have changed to growing of vegetables such as beans, and these crops are proving more profitable than cane ever was. With the closure of the Mill in December 2003, ownership of the Shay was officially passed to the Maroochy Shire Council.

The Maroochy Shire Council, Caloundra City Council and the Noosa Shire Council amalgamated in March 2008 to form the Sunshine Coast Council, but in 2013 the Noosa Shire withdrew from the amalgamation. In 2020 the Sunshine Coast Council region has the fourth largest population of any local government area in Australia. The Sunshine Coast Council has placed custodianship of the Shay in the capable hands of the Nambour Historical Museum for preservation.

Demolition begins at the Moreton Mill in 2004.

The top of the chimney stack is cut off and lowered by crane.

Half of the stack has been cut through and lifted off, and a machine tries to push the rest over.


Pushing fails, so the lower half of the Mill's chimney stack is yanked unceremoniously to the ground by cable.

Rubble litters the site as demolition proceeds.

Shay sits dolefully in its shelter at the main gate, as the Mill around it is reduced to scrap and trucked away.

The closure of the Mill and its complete demolition in mid-2004 (above) caused moves to be initiated by the Maroochy Shire Council to utilise part of the tram network near Bli Bli or Coolum as a tourist-carrying operation. Suggestions were made that the Shay locomotive and others be refurbished to pull these trains. They could have been made operational in a similar way to the Moreton. A change in the Council's view after the 2003 election and the opposition of farmers (who wanted the tram tracks removed from their properties immediately) put paid to this idea before it got off the ground. Most of the the tracks east of the Mill were lifted before the end of 2004.

The Mill site remains fenced off in January 2007.

Machinery moves in to prepare the site for construction in early 2012.

The concrete foundations are reduced to rubble. The surviving Mill palm trees are in the background.

The foreign owners of the Moreton Mill, Bundaberg Sugar, sold the site to Walker Corporation, who presented plans for redevelopment (including a large shopping centre) to the Maroochy Shire Council. The Council had previously stated that they wanted any new development to respect the heritage of the area, and that it should incorporate a residential component and a light-rail facility using the existing tracks down Howard Street to transport passengers between the proposed shopping centre and other retail centres in the town. The Nambour Weekly stated in its edition of 20th December, 2006, that Walker Corporation "had included a cinema complex, a supermarket and over 100 specialty shops, but it reflected little acknowledgement of the area's history, nor any inclusion of the heritage-listed cane railway into the design."

Walker Corporation abandoned its plans for the site and sold the property in late 2006 to Mirvac, a unit trust corporation, for $ 12.4 million. With the onset of a global financial crisis, Mirvac needed to liquidate some of its properties, and sold the site to Coles, one of Australia's largest retail organisations with 2200 stores nationwide. Currently owned by Wesfarmers Ltd, Coles paid about $ 4 million for the 7.7 hectare mill site. In 2008 the Maroochy and Noosa Shire Councils and the Caloundra City Council were amalgamated to form the Sunshine Coast Regional Council. In 2012 Coles began preliminary work to redevelop the site, and work began in earnest later that year. Construction continued during the following twelve months, and the Nambour Mill Village opened to the public on September 25, 2013. This new shopping centre features Queensland's second-biggest Coles Supermarket and a number of specialty shops. Three of the adjoining old Moreton Mill houses have been refurbished, and add significantly to the heritage aspect of the precinct.

Plans are in hand to run a tram-type passenger service from the Nambour Mill Village shopping centre, down the heritage-listed tram tracks in Howard Street to an Aldi supermarket recently opened near the site of the old cane-bin marshalling yards at the eastern end of Howard Street. It is hoped to operate to a thirty minute timetable. The tram itself would be driven by electric motors powered by accumulator batteries, with solar panels on the roof to assist the batteries. No overhead wires or trolley poles are envisaged. Possibly regenerative braking could be used, as Mill Street and Howard Street are mainly downhill when travelling east. Popular preference seems to be for a short tramcar of a heritage style, rather than a modern type. Probably four-wheeled, it could have an enclosed cabin with open vestibules at each end. On special occasions, the tram would be hauled by the ex-Moreton Mill diesel-mechanical 0-6-0 locomotive Petrie, which has been generously donated to the project by Bundaberg Sugar. Petrie was returned to Nambour on September 24, 2013, in time for the shopping centre's opening the following day. For more information on this project, click on this link:  Nambour Tram. Pictures showing the latest developments can be accessed by clicking here .

Publicity sign at the old southern entrance to the Mill, at the corner of Mitchell Street and Mill Lane.

The new owners intend to feature a few of the old palm trees in their development.

This palm tree is one of four which have been relocated.

This palm tree has been placed in a position which will be in the centre of a roundabout at the western end of Bury Street.

It is visible from the Currie Street end of Bury Street, looking west. The Sunshine Coast Regional Council Chambers are on the left.

Two other palms were placed adjacent to the heritage house precinct (left), to add to the historic atmosphere..

A heritage house is at the top of the stairs at left, behind the trees and bushes. The cane tramway entered the Mill grounds at this point.

Site of the old Mill entrance. This and the four previous images were taken on August 3, 2012.


The Moreton Sugar Mill in its final seasons.

The Moreton Mill site remains vacant in December 2006, three years after closure.

Work begins in preparing the site for construction in early 2012.

Construction of the Coles shopping centre is well advanced by January 2013.

By July 24, the building is largely completed.

By July 24, the building is largely completed.

October 5, 2013:  The Nambour Mill Village has been opened for ten days

This is the area where the proposed tramway will terminate. One of the heritage mill houses is at the left margin.
Unfortunately, the two tallest palm trees in this view did not survive being transplanted and have had to be removed.

The red-roofed building in the background is the Nambour Historical Museum, with the steam cane locomotives Bli Bli and Valdora under the shade cover behind the utility.
See below for further images. The steam locomotives Shay and Eudlo are in the sheds behind the Mill flywheel at centre of picture.

Valdora and Bli Bli sport their new chimneys

The Mill Manager's residence In Bury Street (above) and two others provided for senior staff have been renovated. The other two are in Mill Street (below).

Below:    Nambour Tramway Project images, 2019 - 2020

17 July 2020

13 October 2020

16 October 2020

The following images show the terminus at the eastern end of Howard Street.


17 July 2020

17 August 2020

The official opening of the Nambour Tramway on 14 May 2021, with the ex-Moreton Sugar Mill cane loco Petrie in attendance.


This SW6 tram from Melbourne visited Image Flat in Nambour in 2020....



What happened to "Shay" ?

Regarding the future of the remaining Shay locomotive, some people of Mapleton petitioned the Shire Council to have it returned to their town, where the engine was based and stabled overnight for so many years. In July 2004 the Council agreed to this, and it was planned to relocate the locomotive to Mapleton sometime in the future. With the Mill demolished and the new owners wanting the site cleared, the Maroochy Shire Council moved the Shay to its Works Depot in 2004 as an interim measure, where it sat in the yard for over a year, exposed to the weather.

Shay being lifted by crane at the entrance to the demolished Moreton Mill. 

Shay on its way to the Maroochy Shire Council Works Depot for storage.

On 4th August 2005 a public meeting was called in Mapleton to gauge local interest and to decide the future of the locomotive.  The meeting was unanimous in its approval for giving Shay a safe haven in that town, and the Shay Rail Preservation Society was set up to oversee the loco's refurbishment and to construct a glass-enclosed display building to house it. It was expected that this building would be placed in the small park on the south-western corner at the intersection of Delicia Road and Obi Obi Road. This site was felt to be suitable, as it is almost on the tramway formation, and within a stone's throw of the site of the locomotive shed where the engine was stabled overnight so many years ago. Also, the nearest house (The Old School House) and the nearby Mapleton Hall both date from 1916, so they are contemporaneous with the locomotive (built in 1914). The nearby Mapleton Tavern dates from 1910. To finance these works, it was decided to apply for grants from  various organisations such as the Gambling Community Benefits Fund. From a number of rough building plans, the designs below were chosen unanimously.

In 2006, the Ipswich Railway Workshops advised that it would like to examine the locomotive, to assess whether restoration was feasible. The Council and Mapleton people agreed that this was probably a good idea, and so on 7th April 2006, Shay was loaded onto a semi-trailer truck and transported 140 kilometres south to Ipswich. A bus load of local enthusiasts accompanied it on its journey. The Ipswich facility, once the main steam locomotive workshops of the Queensland Railways, now has two main functions. Firstly, it acts as a museum and showcase for preserving Queensland's railway heritage through exhibitions and displays of artefacts. Secondly, it houses a comprehensive workshop facility operated by QR for the restoration and maintenance of the steam locomotive fleet and heritage rolling stock. Shay was delivered to this facility, so that it could be housed under cover while a full assessment was made of its condition. Advice was given that, when sufficient funds were raised, restoration would begin.

This party of well-wishers accompanied Shay on its journey to the Ipswich Workshops.

Shay departs Nambour for its trip down the highway to Ipswich.

Shay claims the world's speed record for a geared steam loco - 110 kilometres per hour - and in reverse!

In Mapleton, petty jealousies and squabbles saw the Shay Rail Preservation Society come to naught. Innovative projects such as this never seem to go the distance at Mapleton, two others being the earlier short-lived Mapleton Historical Society and the 'Puffing Billy' plan to run a steam train around the Lilyponds Park in the 1980s. Having watched with bemusement the bickering surrounding these projects, your writer has maintained his independence and eschewed membership in any Mapleton group. The $ 250 000 funding necessary to cosmetically restore the locomotive never eventuated, although a smaller grant was offered but rejected as being insufficient. The Shay languished at Ipswich, slowly deteriorating although under cover, with no work at all being done.

After four and a half years, the Council requested that the Ipswich Workshops hand the engine back to Nambour. Shay was returned on October 12, 2010, again by semi-trailer, and was unloaded and placed on track at the Nambour Historical Museum in Mitchell Street, where it is expected to stay permanently. It may now be found at the rear of the Museum building, near another Moreton Sugar Mill loco Eudlo and the rail tractor Sandy. A cursory inspection revealed no evidence that it was touched in any way while at Ipswich. Though a full restoration to steam is something that most people would like to see, to bring the locomotive to working order would necessitate the replacement of many damaged, corroded and missing parts.

Each replacement of an old part with a new one would compromise and diminish the historical authenticity of the loco, so the Nambour Historical Museum under the leadership of President Clive Plater has tidied it up, replaced the cab with one approximating the original appearance but made of steel, and given the loco an excellent paint job. It is now on static display and looks very good (see final pictures below). Such cosmetic preservation is probably the most realistic outcome that can be expected for this locomotive, although its availability as a model could be used in the future to create a working replica. It is possible that funds may be raised one day to enable people to once again see a Shay geared locomotive in operation near Nambour, but realistically that is not very likely as its low top speed would make it unsuitable for tourist traffic.

Shay rests at the back of the Nambour Historical Museum in October 2010.

Shay reposes next to the small rail tractors Joe and Sandy (in shed).

The Fowler 0-6-0T Eudlo keeps Shay (in background) company.

Shay's controls are in the same positions as they were before the loco went to Ipswich.

A new shed to provide protection for the locomotive from the weather was erected in January 2011.

It is hoped that, once the mechanical parts have been freed-up, Shay will be able to be drawn out of its shed by a small diesel locomotive when required for open-air display.

By June 2012, the smokebox, chimney, domes and boiler clothing have been removed for repair.

With the smokebox removed, the boiler front plate is exposed, showing the ends of the fire tubes and the five longitudinal boiler stays. The two pivoting arms which secure the smokebox to the chassis, while allowing it to expand forward when in steam, are seen in the foreground.

By January 2013 a new smokebox has been installed and the chimney refitted.

The boiler, smokebox, steam dome and steam pipes have been primed.

One of two hinge joints attaching the sides of the smokebox to the frame - these allow the boiler to expand forward when in steam, the firebox being immovably fixed to the engine and frame

The cabsides have been removed.

Shay with its new traditionally styled cabsheets on 30 November 2013

Shay now has company - the diesel-mechanical Petrie sits alongside, waiting to see if the passenger-carrying project up and down Howard Street becomes a reality.

Petrie has towed Eudlo out of its shed for display, 30 November 2013

A notice of preservation has been attached to Shay's bunker side.

The following pictures, taken on December 18, 2014, show Shay after cosmetic restoration was completed earlier that month.
The work was undertaken by members of the Nambour Museum, under the leadership of Mr Clive Plater.


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