Steam Engines

Name: Gabriel, Number 1730

Built: 1927 by Thomas Peckett, of Bristol, UK – 28 tons

Type:  4-4-0 side tank

Source: Leased from Wilson Portland Cement Co, near Whangarei.

Previous history: Gabriel was the last of 5 engines built for this class:

2 engines went to Southern Ireland (Eire) – scrapped 1950s

2 engines went to Borneo – scrapped c1947

5th engine – now Gabriel – was unfinished in the Bristol works until sold to Portland Cement in 1926. Was re-gauged to fit New Zealand’s 3 foot 6 inches.

Comment: Gabriel was given on loan to the Bay of Islands Scenic Railway in 1985 and was subsequently purchased by the Bay Of Islands Vintage Railway Trust. It was at this point that she was renamed Gabriel. Since then Gabriel has become a real icon of Kawakawa, one of the few towns in the world with a railway track running through the middle of the main street.

At present her boiler needs replacing and Gabriel has run out of puff. We are fundraising so that Gabriel can chuff through town soon.



Name: Thomas (working title); Number 1645

Built: 1923 by Thomas Peckett, of Bristol, UK

Type:  0-6-0 saddle tank

Source: bought 1990 bought by BOIVR without wheels, connecting rods or boiler fittings Previous history: Built for Pukemiro Coal Company, South Auckland – worked there until 1958. By this time, she was in a bad condition – worn out tyres and serious boiler troubles.

She spent years in the yard, then was sent as playground equipment to Huntly – all removable items were discarded.

A rebuild was attempted, but not completed

Comment: To date – waiting time and funding to complete a rebuild, however:

  • a set of modified axle “F” class wheels would fit
  • new boiler fittings are available from overseas
  • extension to the engine shed has been completed, and currently creating an engine pit to enable this engine to be rebuilt