From Light Railways No.148,
August 1999

Dear Sir,

The Zeehan & North East Dundas Tramway

I recently came across some of my material gathered over the years re: the disposal of rolling stock from the TGR Zeehan & North East Dundas Tramway.

As there has always been a lot of interest in this particular line, I thought these notes may be of interest to readers of your magazine. Many of my notes came from the fitter who worked at Zeehan during this period, and some old TGR correspondence.

In March 1929, the following rolling stock was available for sale at Zeehan:

Steam Locos:

2 'G' Class Sharp Stewart 0-4-2T

1 'J' Class Hagans 2-6-4-0T

2 'K' Class Beyer Peacock Garratt

Passenger Carriages:

2 'DB' Class Composite Guard/Second

1 'AD' Class Composite Guard/First

2 'AB' Class Composite First/Second

1 A Class First Class


37 A Class 10 ton capacity

19 'AA' Class 15 ton capacity

12 'BB' Class 20 ton capacity

All of the above was offered for sale to the Mt Lyell Co., Queenstown.

On the 29th April, 1929, the Mt Lyell Co. CME was at Zeehan to inspect the two Garratt engines.

The 610 mm gauge TGR system was announced as being closed at June 30th, 1929.

In September 1931, a rail line was being built from Coles Bay to Seymour, on Tasmania's East Coast, for transportation of coal. By October, a formation and culverts from Coles Bay (including a "heavy cutting") had been made for a distance of 16 miles, including a large jetty at Coles Bay. Another 16 miles would have taken it to the coal deposits at Seymour. The gradients on the line were described as "light".

The TGR recommended to the Company that 'G' Class, or 'K' Class locos would be suitable motive power, with the 'BB' Class 20 ton wagons for rolling stock.

In November 1933, the new Catamaran Collieries Pty Ltd in far southern Tasmania required some wagons for use in transporting coal. The TGR sold them 10 A Class wagons that were in the "best condition" from the ZNED stock at Zeehan, in January 1934. The wagons were A5, A9, A19, A24, A26, A27, A28, A29, A41 and A42. For some reason, some wagons were "left on the Strahan Wharf" whilst four others (A1, A30, A32 and A37) were railed to Hobart.

In February 1934, H Jones & Co. of Hobart requested a "2 ft gauge locomotive suitable for the Ida Bay Tramway". The TGR offered a 'G' Class Sharp Stewart loco. Jones refused the offer, as the 'G' Calss was considered "too heavy for the bridges, etc" and asked for a smaller loco. The TGR replied that no lighter locos were available.

In May 1935, the Catamaran Coal Co. agreed to purchase a further 12 wagons. Also, the Hobart firm of A G Webster, Machinery Department were interested in purchasing "2 ft gauge steam locos" and by December of 1935 had purchased the two 'G' class locomotives.

In June 1935, local sawmiller and businessman R J Howard of Zeehan was interested in the dismantled Krauss locomotive (H1) in the Zeehan loco shed, and asked if a boiler was available for it. He also, at this time, bought six of the W wagons, for use on the Mariposa Tramway. He did not take the Krauss loco.

During 1936, the Catamaran Coal Co. bought some wagon brasses and couplings for their stock, and also requested "brasses and rods for a Krauss locomotive".

In June 1937, the North Mt Farrell Co. at Tullah bought two of the A Class wagons (A38 and A39) and van No. DB3.. It was noted that the van was " a converted W wagon, and had no upholstered seats".

As a result of another enquiry by A G Webster of Hobart, the TGR advised that the two 'K' Class Garratts were still available for sale, along with the 'J' Class Hagans, which also had a spare boiler.

In February 1939, the Fairymead Sugar Co. of Queensland enquired about the two Garratt locos that were for sale at Zeehan.

In January 1940, the 2 ft gauge rolling stock remaining at Zeehan was stated as follows:

2 'K' Class locos

1 'J' Class loco

24 'A' wagons

20 'AA' wagons

12 'BB' wagons

In June 1943, the North Mt Farrell Co. at Tullah requested information from the TGR on the "purchase of a First Class carriage from Zeehan". However, they could not agree on a suitable price, and the transaction did not take place.

In March 1945, the TGR announced plans to "scrap all the remaining freight stock at Zeehan to obtain cast iron, etc". The passenger stock, consisting of A1, AB 1, AB2 and AD2, was to be sent to Launceston Workshops for conversion to camp cars. One 'DB' van in poor condition was to be demolished or sold locally (it finished up as a 'woodshed' at Zeehan).

During 1947, 62 wagons at Zeehan were cut up for scrap material, and Beyer Peacock Ltd accepted Garratt loco 'K1' for preservation in the UK.

In August 1948, the boiler from loco 'K2' was sold to a Mr Fidler of Burnie. The tanks were bought by fitter M Grey of Zeehan.

In September 1948 the Hagan loco 'J1' was stripped at Zeehan.

In November 1948, R J Howard of Zeehan purchased four wagons (AA9, AA10, BB9, BB10).

In November 1949, the Cornwall Coal Co. purchased one ex-passenger car bogie for "experimental purposes" at their colliery at Cullenswood, Tasmania.

Ralph Proctor

Launceston, Tasmania