A historic milestone was reached on Wednesday 25th June 2014, when Puffing Billy Railway celebrated its youngest NA locomotive’s 100th birthday. Narrow Gauge locomotive 14A was built in the Victorian Railways Newport Workshop and was commissioned on 25 June 1914 for operation on the Colac-Beech Forest-Crowes line. 14A also saw service between Wangaratta and Whitfield and Moe to Walhalla up to 1947.
From 1963, 14A had a major overhaul in preparation for transfer to the Puffing Billy Railway, and came into ownership of the popular tourist attraction in October 1977. Puffing Billy has continued to restore and maintain 14A and it continues to be a workhorse for the railway.
“The NA locomotive is the only class to have operated on the original Puffing Billy track between Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook prior to the closure in 1954”, said Puffing Billy CEO, John Robinson. “Today, Puffing Billy operates five NA locomotives, of which 14A is the youngest.”
The 100th birthday party for 14A took place prior to the departure of the 10:30AM train on Wednesday 25 June, with a delightfully decorated cake for the passengers to enjoy. A surprise was also in store for 14A, with a coal cake presented to the 100 year old locomotive.
“Close to two hundred members of the public visited the railway to help us celebrate this special occasion,” said Robinson. “I want to pass on my heartfelt thanks to the Puffing Billy Young Volunteers Representative Team, who earlier this year took initiative to organize the birthday celebration for 14A.”
For more information on Puffing Billy, visit www.puffingbilly.com.au.