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Baldwin Loco Works official photo, Wb 297, 1898

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1. Wb 298 different appearance

plate cowcatcher fitted to Wb 298

Wb 298 at the loco depot road, Westport, 1952. The plate cowcatcher was a distinctive feature of this loco. PHOTO: Jack Creber

Wb 298 had a distinctive appearance. The only member of her class to sport a standard NZR cowcatcher, manufactured from plate steel. The reason for the plate cowcatcher dates from the locomotives early years, one of two Wb class that worked between Wellington and Summit.

Wb 298 hits landslip

The following page details a report published in The Evening Post on 28 August 1899, describing the derailment of Wb 298 near Pakuratahi tunnel, north of Upper Hutt.

The following report was published in the Evening Post on 28 August 1899, describing the derailment of Wb 298 near Pakuratahi tunnel, north of Upper Hutt. The locomotive suffered moderate damage, the front cowcatcher of Baldwin design (vertical steel rods) subsequentially replaced by a NZR-design plate cowcatcher. This was a distinguishing feature of the locomotive thereafter.