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Steam locomotive, built in Glasgow, Scotland c.1900 (Gavin Wilkinson, committee member of Blenheim Riverside Railway Society, is the man in image 1). It left Glasgow, Scotland on 28 June 1901 and arrived at Wellington per the ship Machrianish, before being shipped onto Nelson and Puponga [source: Nelson Evening Mail, 19 July 1901 and 25 October 1901, via Papers Past website]. The locomotive is an 0-4-0 tank engine and it served Puponga Coal and Gold Mining Company Limited, near Farewell Spit, Tasman District, until 1930. In 1990 the Collingwood Museum Society lent the 'bones' of Donald to the Blenheim Riverside Railway Society [BRRS] for eventual restoration. From 1992 to 2004 fundraising, re-building and re-assembly took place. Currently there is no further progress. BRRS is awaiting more skilled labour and further funding. Donald is being restored as a 0-4-2 by adding a trailing axle to reduce track wear. To the uninitiated (like me) the tall chimney stack is on the front end of the engine. There is an article on the Tasman District featuring the Puponga coal mine in New Zealand Memories magazine, November-December 1995, issue 3, pps 162-165, with two photographs showing a small locomotive. "According to J. Newport's history of Collingwood, a small locomotive was due to arrive from England mid 1901..." [page 163] and "The make and class of the quaint little English-made locomotive is one of the great mysteries among locomotive freaks. It is of unknown pedigree and is one of the few locomotives to operate in New Zealand that has foiled all research attempts. However, the experts can tell us that it was affectionally known as "Donald". [page 164].
Locomotive -Blenheim Riverside Railway Society -Copyright Blenheim Riverside Railway Society

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Last modified on: March 20, 2014