Bring Buderim’s Loco home to the Village!
For around 20 years, community-minded residents with a passion for historical relics have secured and subsequently restored one of the original trains that serviced Buderim Mountain in the early 20th Century. They have been trying to secure a place of prominence of the cultural icon at the heart of the Buderim Village, but have been impeded by Council representatives and others who do not share their visions of how to display Buderim history and education.
The Buderim tramway had two steam locomotives, the original being a German built Krauss 0-6-2, plus an American Shay geared loco built in 1915.
After closure, the Krauss was sold to Bingera Sugar Mill at Bundaberg, and re-gauged from the original 30″ to 24″ by Walkers of Maryborough to suit the sugar mill lines. It was later owned by narrow gauge steam enthusiast Mike Loveday, and spent some time in storage at the Australian Narrow Gauge Railway Museum at Woodford. The BPHTI acquired it from the next owner, G.Chapman, in 2004, in order to restore it for public display in accordance with our heritage related objectives.
The Shay locomotive was dismantled, and parts sold for use on sugar mill Shays. The boiler, and possibly the frame, were buried in the embankment of the Palmwoods railway station when the north coast line was electrified in early 1988. The steam dome and boiler top are visible, but QR have declined to excavate it due to its proximity to the overhead lines.
Between 2005 and 2010, BPHTI volunteers cosmetically restored the Krauss in order to put it on display in the vicinity of the original terminal station in the centre of Buderim. We plan to have a building to protect the locomotive, and to house memorabilia, photos, maps, and explanatory posters.
Since starting the Restoration, the cab and bunker have been repaired, and new side tanks built and installed. Badly corroded parts of the frame have been replaced, holes in the footplate patched, and a new cab floor fitted. The photo above shows the boiler being lagged with wooden battens prior to receiving a new boiler wrapper. Later tasks entailed manufacture of a diamond stack, cowcatcher, oil headlight, and many cab fittings. Most of these had been removed and lost since service on the Tramway ceased in 1936. A really major task for us was the manufacture and fitting of new connecting and coupling rods, all in steel.
Restoration of sheet metal work required dismantling, cleaning of rust, repair or replacement of the worst affected parts, and finally repainting. We had a capable and enthusiastic group of volunteers, and support from several local businesses.
Much has been written about the quest to bring this extraordinary monument to Buderim’s Village and yet it remains languishing in a covdered shed, waiting for a change of attitude in the hearts of Councillors and others who have sought to impede the project in its final stage.