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Push gathers steam to restore a historic loco

ONE of Maryborough's iconic first steam trains could be restored to its former glory if the Maryborough Model Engineers and Live Steamers Association has its way.

During its long lifetime the No. 299 steam train did everything from star in a movie, tug coal and cattle and transport passengers.

MELSA is now on a worthy mission to raise more than $1 million needed to restore Maryborough's first locomotive made for Queensland Rail.

Foundation member Owen Bell said the No. 299 steam train was built by Walkers Maryborough in 1897 and spent its working life carrying freight and passengers throughout Queensland. It was decommissioned in 1966.

Mr Bell quashed rumours the train would be relocated.

"In 1985 the train was given to the citizens of Maryborough under the care of MELSA," he said.

Mr Bell said an expert MELSA had consulted was confident the train could be restored.

"The biggest thing is the boiler needs to be lifted off, so inspection can be done on the crown plate," he said.

"Our dream is to get it going back at full steam and run it on a section of track."

Mr Bell said MELSA would be over the moon if it could get the iconic steam locomotive running again.

"It would just be unreal," he said.

"It's something for the people of Maryborough, Queensland, the world."

The No. 299 featured in the Kylie Minogue film The Delinquents.

Mr Bell said all donations to the restoration would be appreciated.

Can you help? Visit melsamaryborough.org.

Topics:  maryborough, train, walkers




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