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Baldwin Loco Works official photo, Wb 297, 1898

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Documentation leading to dumping of Wb 292, Wb 299

[National Archives, Christchurch, reference CH9, 6749 pt3]

5th June, 1958

Letter from E.H. Kean, Acting Chief Stationmaster, Westport to Resident Engineer, Greymouth.

"Yard Accomodation : Westport."

"The two condemned locomotives, which, I understand, are to be used for river protection work, are not only taking up yard space, but as they are now in a rusty and dilapidated condition, present an unfavourable impression on passengers and other persons who have business at this station."

"If you have their disposal in view, it would be appreciated if the work could be carried out as soon as possible."

13 June, 1958

L.J. Bentley, Resident Engineer, Greymouth, forwarded the memo of 5th inst. to the Inspector Permanent Way, Westport.

"Please advise the sites where you consider these engines could be placed for river protection works against scour."

19 September, 1958

C. McDonald, Inspector Permanent Way, Westport, replied to the Resident Engineer, Greymouth.

"River protection : Seddonville Branch."

"I hereby advise that during the recent floods, the concrete clocks and old wagon which you placed for protection at 29¾ miles Seddonville Branch.

These blocks have been washed out into the middle of the stream bed.

The old wagon is down stream about 20 chains.

The crane would be required to replace the blocks and wagon back into position. If this protection is not replaced before the next heavy rain we will loose the track formation."

2 October, 1958

L.J. Bentley, Resident Engineer, Greymouth, forwarded the memo of 19th ultimo. to the Foreman of Works, Greymouth.

"As discussed please arrange for the blocks to be replaced and additional blocks placed where necessary at an early date and advise any other action you consider needed."

13 October, 1958

F.J. Walker, Acting Foreman of Works, Greymouth replied to the Resident Engineer, Greymouth.

"River protection : Seddonville Br."

"The removal of bush growth and the dozing of a wider river channel, also the placing of two old loco engines in the top portion of the washout to reduce further scouring is in hand."

13 November, 1958

L.J. Bentley, Resident Engineer, Greymouth, forwarded instructions to staff as follows:

"Seddonville Branch (29½-29¾ miles) River Protection"

Works Foreman and Inspector, Westport:

"Could you kindly cooperate with Inspector Permanent Way, Westport in arranging for one of the condemned locos (Wb class) at Westport to be run to the Mokihinui River area for use as river protection of the track.

District Mechanical Engineer, is being advised."

Traffic Manager, Greymouth:

"Special arrangements will be made with your staff for the condemned loco to be run say 10 miles per day at reduced speed and under supervision of Way and Works and Mechnical Branch Staff. Charges will be to account 21/1 Way and Works Branch."

Inspector Permanent Way, Westport:

"Please arrange for the movement to and discharge of the loco at the site pointed out. Charge 21/2. Advise when done."

12 December, 1958

C. McDonald, Inspector Permanent Way, Westport replying to the Resident Engineer, Greymouth.

"Seddonville Branch 29½-29¾ miles River Protection"

"I wish to advise that the Condemned loco Wb Class as stated in your memo. was tipped into the Mokihinui River on the 11th inst."

Disposal of Baldwin locomotives Wb 292 and 299

Photograph taken by Westport fireman John Prince shows Wb 299 being tipped into Coal Creek, a tributatary of the Mokihinui River on 1 January 1960. Wb 292, lying in the foreground, was dumped as detailed above.