3801 Home Page

Express Passenger Locomotive 3801
       — entered service in 1943 - now undergoing a full mechanical overhaul


The Way Forward for Two Much Loved Steam Locomotives

11 September, 2015

Two iconic 38-Class locomotives will return to steam over the next two years following an announcement today outlining the way forward for locomotives 3801 and 3830.

“Returning these historic locomotives to service is a major engineering, conservation and operational task, demonstrating our commitment to the community benefit of our steam heritage,” said Transport Heritage NSW CEO, Andrew Killingsworth.

“Built in the 1940s, both locomotives were the pinnacle of the NSW Railways steam fleet and are a lasting tribute to Australian engineering at the time.”

“Steam trains remind us of a romantic era of rail travel – today they are the star attraction at our community events across Sydney and regional NSW.”

Management of the 3801 project was transferred to Transport Heritage NSW (THNSW) in February 2015 after the locomotive’s new boiler was returned to Australia.

“As the new project managers, we undertook a thorough assessment of the 3801 overhaul project including both the original boiler and the new German made boiler.

“Now this assessment is complete, we are pleased to announce plans to have locomotive 3801 back on the tracks in the second half of 2017.”

“We are also delighted to be announcing a new partnership with the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences (MAAS) that will see locomotive 3830 returned to heritage service in the second half of next year.”

This new partnership between THNSW and MAAS will see THNSW provide significant funding to overhaul locomotive 3830 at Thirlmere whilst respecting the conservation imperatives of MAAS.

“The Museum looks forward to working with Transport Heritage NSW to balance the ongoing care and preservation of this important locomotive with opportunities for the people of NSW to experience the wonder of steam travel,” said MAAS Director, Rose Hiscock.

A new project page has been established to provide regular updates as well as information on the planned works to restore locomotive 3801 at the THNSW website: www.transportheritagensw.com.au


Background Information

Locomotive 3801

Locomotive 3801 was built in 1943 by Clyde Engineering and has been in preservation since its retirement from the NSW Railways in 1962.

The locomotive was withdrawn from heritage service in 2007, as it required major boiler repairs. It was decided at the time a brand new boiler would be built for the locomotive. A German manufacturer won the contract to build the new boiler through an open,international tender process.

The new boiler was shipped to Australia in 2010. A number of technical issues were identified with the new boiler which meant it did not comply with Australian Standards. It was returned to Germany in 2011.

A decision was made in late 2014 by a steering committee with representatives from THNSW and Transport for NSW to bring the new boiler to Australia so that further works on the new boiler could be more closely managed and overseen.

The new boiler arrived back in Australia in January 2015 and THNSW specialists have since conducted thorough inspections on both the new boiler and the original boiler, which was removed from locomotive 3801 in 2007.

After weighing up the options, detailed work plans have now been developed to repair the original boiler to ensure it meets safety and operational requirements and is able to be used to return locomotive 3801 back to service in the shortest possible timeframe.

Once locomotive 3801 returns to service, the German made boiler will also be brought to Australian Standards for certification so that a spare boiler will be available to keep locomotive 3801 in service into the future.

Locomotive 3801 is expected to return to heritage service in the second half of 2017.

Locomotive 3830 & the THNSW / MAAS Partnership

Locomotive 3830 was built in 1949 by the NSW Railways at Eveleigh and has been in preservation since its retirement from operational service in 1967. Owned by the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, the locomotive was restored by the Museum and used for heritage services between 1997 and 2009.

The current boiler in Locomotive 3830 is the first 38-class boiler ever built. Completed in 1941, the boiler is nearly 75 years old and needs attention to the firebox crown sheet, tube plate and replacement of crown stays, tubes and flues.

All of this work will be performed at THNSW Thirlmere Workshop using a novel repair approach that doesn’t require the removal of the locomotive’s boiler from the locomotive frame.

Locomotive 3830 is expected to return to heritage service in the second half of 2016.

The THNSW / MAAS partnership also includes the MAAS owned locomotive 3265. Further details regarding this locomotive’s operating future will be provided following a condition assessment.


Frequently Asked Questions about 3801 Project here.

Background to 3801 Project here.

Download the PDF version of this media release here.

Enquiries &
Phone 1300 11 55 99  or  02 9209 4646
Fax 02 9209 4634
e-Mail info@heritageexpress.com.au

Online Reservations are fast, secure & easy - just follow this u
'Buy Tickets Online' link displayed on the Tours & Events pages of this web-site.

All bookings are accepted in accordance with our Terms & Conditions.

NSW Rail Transport Museum - Home Page

telling the NSW rail story
— rail heritage conservation,
experiences & involvement
The trademarks, logos and service marks ("Marks") displayed on this web-site are the property of the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum — ABN 25 000 570 463 (NSWRTM) — unless specifically noted as being the property of other third parties. Users are not permitted to use these Marks without the prior written consent of NSWRTM or such third party which may own the Mark.

© Transport Heritage NSW 2007-2015
— THNSW is a registered NSW charity, since 1971 —
photographic contributions to this web-site are credited here.

Heritage Express™ - Home Page
the tour operating arm of the
NSW Rail Transport Museum
— operating the NSW rail heritage fleet