Year Built 1907
Builder Avonside Engine Company, Bristol, England, United Kingdom.
Wheel Type 0-6-2T
Works number 1539
Cylinders 10 x 16
Mill First Used at in Mackay Marian Mill
ID Number or Name "No. 3", "OLD JOHN", "No. 6", "LARGE AVONSIDE"
Fate Scrapped after 1964



This locomotive was originally purchased for use on the State Treatment Works at Irvinebank in Far North Queensland. The works also known as Loudon Mill crushed tin ore from around the district. The locomotive was given the name "Old John" presumably after John Moffatt the founder of the tine mines in Irvinebank.  No.3 was described as a splendid specimen of British workmanship.  The tender was manufactured in Irvinebank and when coupled with the engine the loco weighed 19 tons. It also had a patent swivel gear under the tender which gave the loco great play in rounding sharp curves. It was capable of hauling 400 tons on level ground. Under a test under normal conditions it brought in 100 tons into Irvinebank and normally carried about 75 to 80 tons with ease.


The loco was abandoned in a siding in the Irvinebank township for many years until it was purchased by the Marian Mill in 1942. Presumably the Mill purchased this loco as it was in the middle of the Second World War and procurement of new machinery was nigh on impossible. It was delivered to Marian in December 1942.  It was nicknamed "Large Avonside" while in service at Marian. In 1949 it was fitted with a new boiler.  By 1962 it was out of service and finally after 1964 it was scrapped.


 Manufacturers photo of the Avonside prior to delivery to the Irvinebank Tramway (UNEW Collection)

References BROWNING, John ; various emails

1939 'PATHWAYS OF YESTERDAY.', The Northern Herald (Cairns, Qld. : 1913 - 1939), 16 December, p. 37. , viewed 03 Feb 2019,

Browning, J. (1993). Cane tramways and locomotives of the Mirani Shire. Mirani, Qld.: Mirani Shire Council.

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  Glen Hall



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last updated 31 October 2019 .
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