Here is the last Fell loco in captivity. H199 was built by the Avonside Engine Co of Bristol in 1875, dismantled, shipped to Wellington, reassembled, and put to work on the Rimutaka incline
. H199 hauled trains up and down the incline until 1955. When a railway tunnel under the Rimutaka Range superceded the incline, the Fell locos were all cut up for scrap, except this one which was presented to the people of Featherston, as a memorial to the men and women who for 77 years had provided the services over the ranges.
From 1958 the loco sat in a park, beset by the weather and the vandals. In 1981 volunteers started work to conserve the loco and in 1984 it was moved to this purpose-built museum.
Visitors can climb the little stair provided at the back of the loco and look into the cab. At the front of the loco you can climb down into a pit and look at the most remarkable part of this machine -- the horizontal driving wheels that gave terrific traction against a central rail on the permanent way.
Taken 5 June 2004. Filed under
things. Click the photo to go to the previous photo.