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Baldwin Loco Works official photo, Wb 297, 1898

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Wb 299 survives scrapping - twice

1928

Of the six Wb locomotives based at Westport in 1928, numbers 294 and 299 were proposed for scrapping, boilers life-expired1. The remaining four (291, 292, 298 and 300) had received new boilers built in 1924 and 1925.

In December 1928 Wb 291 was stopped at Westport, the boiler (No. 562 built 1925) having broken stays and requiring new half-sides to the firebox1. The proposal was not carried out as intended, records show that Wb 291 was written off in December 1931, Wb 299 in January 19572.

Further evidence is available from the recommendation on 12 December 1956 for Wb 299 to "be written off and scrapped" - Wb 299 possessed boiler No. 5623. Physical evidence exists of the boiler swap - the numbers 299 and 291 are both stamped on the safety valve bonnet of boiler No. 562.

1955

Wb 299 was stopped in September 1955 due to the condition of tyres. Wb 298 had "already been stopped due to its run down condition, but the wheels [were] in good enough condition to place under Locomotive 'Wb'-299 so as to keep this latter locomotive in service."

Wb 298 was proposed to "be scrapped and handed over to the Resident Engineer, Greymouth, for use as river protection"4.

Wb 299 fitted with Wb 298 components, Westport, 1956

Fitted with Wb 298 funnel and driving wheels, Wb 299 is good for a few more months service. Westport, 6/10/1956. PHOTO: D.G. Hill

1. NZR File w2476 R3 19/3568/1, 3 December 1928.

2. Lloyd, W.G. 1974 "Register of NZR Steam Locomotives 1863-1971".

3. NZR File w2476 R3 19/3568/1 pt 3, 12 December 1956

4. NZR File 40/112/2, 12 September 1955.