TRACKED DOWN: Southern Downs Steam Railway president Peter Gregory and fitter John Brady with the new 40-tonne diesel locomotive from Gympie.
TRACKED DOWN: Southern Downs Steam Railway president Peter Gregory and fitter John Brady with the new 40-tonne diesel locomotive from Gympie. Jayden Brown

Fans hail arrival of DH loco

YEARS of negotiations and searching came to a joyous end for Southern Downs Steam Railway members with the delivery of a new diesel locomotive from Gympie yesterday.

Members celebrated as the 40-tonne DH series locomotive was carefully hoisted into the rail yard, ending years of searching and closed doors in their quest to secure a back-up to the steam engine.

President Peter Gregory said the diesel loco would be handy in a number of situations including breakdowns and fire bans.

"If we have a breakdown we now know we have a back-up," he said.

"The beauty of this thing is we can do shorter trips.

"I've been here since 2009 and we've always been looking for some sort of back-up locomotive."

The diesel loco is owned by Adrian Hurley, who told the Gympie Times on Monday it had been in Gympie for four or five years.

"It was used as a support loco for the steams, doing maintenance work and some night trips," he said.

"It's handy sometimes to have something you can just start up and run.

"But they perish if they're not used all the time and it's not doing any work here at the moment."

Mr Hurley will be in town later next week to show the Southern Downs Steam Railway team how the loco works.

Once the loco is licensed, it could be on the tracks within weeks.



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