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Baldwin Loco Works official photo, Wb 297, 1898

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Proposal for Baldwin Steam Trust.

The inspiration behind the salvage of two century-old Baldwin steam locomotives Wb 292 and Wb 299 was the earlier salvage of Rogers K 88 from the Oreti River, Southland, in January 1974. The subsequent restoration to working order attracted world-wide interest - that a locomotive buried for over forty years could indeed be brought back to life!
Many locomotives had been dumped at various locations in New Zealand, and perhaps one of the more attractive propositions were the Baldwin Wb class tank locomotives at Seddonville on the West Coast. Hugh McCracken lead the project to salvage and restore the two steam locomotives. The recovery mission and transport to the Wellington area was attempted successfully in 1989.

Currently the locomotives cared for by Hugh McCracken - this is viewed as a custodial role pending the finalisation of arrangements for a Charitable Trust. The best interests of the locomotives will be the cornerstone principle of the Trust.

The proposed Trust will act as a vehicle for the collection of heritage items such as plans, documents, photographs and oral history that relate to New Zealand Baldwin steam locomotives, Wb and Wd classes being of particular interest.