Who Built Australia’s Steam Locomotives

I’ve just been advised that I can have access to the image library of one of the world’s biggest steam locomotive builders. It’s really exciting news … at least it is for me … and there have been reports of me doing a happy dance around the house on more than one occasion.

But … and there is always a but … I have to wait about a week before some of those images start arriving in my inbox so, while I was thinking about how I would present those images I began to wonder just who built Australia’s steam locomotives.

Now I’ve been around for over 60 years so I thought that I had a pretty fair idea of just who did build the steam locomotives that appeared in Australia but I thought that I would do some digging … and I’m glad I did because now I do know how little I knew about who built Australia’s steam locomotives.

While I knew that British companies would have undoubtedly built the vast majority of locomotives that were used here in Australia and then there would have been some Australian companies, a few US companies and one or two European companies I didn’t realise just how many British manufacturers actually built locos for Australia and how many Australian companies built for the local market too.

There were Australian companies that I had never heard of and some of the more well-known Australian companies built locos for states that I thought had only bought British products. Four steam locomotives that reached Australia were even built in New Zealand … that was something of a surprise.

So. to cut a long story short. I made a little list of who built Australia’s steam locomotives and you can find it here and if there are any steam locomotive builders that I have missed please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Photo courtesy of Queensland State Library