New welded boilers for New Zealand steam locos

TWO former New Zealand Railways (NZR) tank locomotives will be given a new lease of life with brand new welded boilers replacing the originals.

After discussions with Australian preservation groups, which had used new welded boilers, it was decided to buy two boilers as the joint cost was lower than buying one at a time.

Both ‘Ww’ class locomotives were in steam at Pukeoware shed at the Glenbrook Vintage Railway on May 26 – ‘Ww’ 480 (left) for a test run, after receiving its boiler ticket two days beforehand, and ‘Ww’ 644 to run a charter trip that morning, being two days before its boiler ticket expired. ROBERT SWEET

The welded boilers were bought for Glenbrook Vintage Railway’s ‘Ww’ class 4-8-4T No. 480, dating from 1910, and sister loco No. 644, dating from 1915. The new boilers were received in 2016 and after repairs to ‘Ww’ 480’s frame the installation of the new boiler began with the new boiler ticket being obtained on May 24, 2018 just days before sister loco ‘Ww’ 644’s boiler ticket expired.

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