Name: Gabriel, Number 1730
Built: 1927 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: After purchase, was re-named “Gabriel” after the first engine of this class which ran near a mountain of this name in Ireland in 1906.
Since Gabriel arrived she has had a few changes:
- re-instated round windows in the cab instead of the large square ones which assisted with vision in the cement works
- made a large spark arresting chimney to prevent lineside fires
- converted to burn waste sump oil
- fitted a straight chimney when the old spark arrestor was worn out. This chimney now serves as a donation box just inside the workshop.
- a serious rebuild in 2006 when changed back to coal firing, and fitted with another spark arrestor.
- at Portland – her blue paint colour, weathered to near white, was changed to black, and during 2006 rebuild a dark green livery was adopted with brass name plates.
Gabriel uses about one ton of coal daily (less than a quarter of the J 1211).
Gabriel is now back in service and scheduled to run on our Steam Sundays – the last Sunday of every month.
Gabriel has now been refurbished and fitted with her new boiler. It cost approximately $350,000.00 – see “What’s Happening” for our latest news.
Name: Thomas; (this is working title only) Number 1645
Built: 1924 by Peckett & Sons
Type: 0-6-0 saddle tank
Source: bought 1989 by BOIVR without wheels, connecting rods or boiler fittings
Previous history: Built for (Glen Afton Mines-NZSR) 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 1960-1978 was playground equipment in West 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