Delicate move for historic steam locomotive

An 1890s locomotive has been successfully transported by road from Newcastle to Cooma, where it is now on display at the Cooma-Monaro Railway Museum.

McDonald Contracting, a second generation family business running since 1969, was tasked with moving the unusual load. “Not too big, but she’s heavy,” the company said.

The historic locomotive arrived in Cooma last Wednesday, where it was carefully unloaded by crane and shunted into its temporary storage shelter in the Cooma yard.

Photo: Transport for NSW/Facebook

The 32 class of locomotive were once a common sight in the Cooma region, serving the Bombala line during the steam era. But this locomotive took its last ride on the tracks there in 1973.

During its heyday, it was used to transport various goods across regional lines.

Today, locomotive 3203 forms part of the State collection and has been restored by Transport Heritage NSW (THNSW) volunteers to its current display condition.

Vice president of the Cooma-Monaro Railway Museum, Craig Moore said, “This is just a huge moment for the museum here at Cooma, to finally have a steam locomotive back in Cooma at the precinct for the first time in 35 years is going to go a long way to helping us tell the story heritage railway down here at Cooma. The 32 class locomotives were a mainstay on this line for close to 100 years.”

Photo: McDonald Contracting/Facebook

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