Rolling Stock


SMJ 16 (aka Sweet 16)

This 5" loco was built by Jack Esdaile and finished in 1978. Graeme Belbin bought the loco in 1985 and preserved it well but never ran it. It had been kept indoors as a static exhibit and this is why it was still in such good condition. This sheltered lifestyle ended when we steamed it and I bought it in 2012.

It now has a vacuum brake ejector making it suitable for hauling passenger trains on AALS club tracks. It has worked on public days at Galston and Narara.

Pages showing commissioning and improvements are here and here.

Tiny Bum Truck

This 5" bum truck was built so I could run SMJ 16. It has manual brakes and piping to support vacuum brakes.

The page showing the construction is here. The page heading (Tiny Bum Truck) attracts heaps of search engine hits. I wonder what people are searching for.


Charlotte was built by Bob McKinney at Orange and ran on the 5" track there. After Bob's demise the loco was included in a garage sale but not sold. Subsequently we heard of this loco and spoke to Matt who had arranged the garage sale. We drove to Orange and bought the loco and a few remnants of the old workshop.

It now has a vacuum brake ejector and mechanical lubricators. The original riding car has been replaced by a bogie tender.

The Charlotte page is here.


3901 is a 5.25" Pacific owned by Graeme Belbin. It ran on the Banool Garden Railway and is still here on a long-term loan. This is our express passenger locomotive and the most powerful on the site. The copper boiler was built by Ross Style and even has a combustion chamber with Galloway tubes.

This was the first locomotive to run after we'd begun restoration of the railway and after some initial repairs it provided excellent service and was invaluable in maintaining the interest in what was a major and drawn out effort by many people. Nowadays we keep it for special occasions and generally run Bluey or Arnie instead.

BGR 1st class carriage

This 5.25" carriage proudly demonstrates the height of luxury afforded to passengers at Banool Garden Railway. A favourite among young and old alike. Passengers are often upgraded to this carriage when seating is available.

BGR 2nd class carriage

This 5.25" carriage provides comfortable transport for the economically minded at Banool Garden Railway. Ideal for a budget family outing and available for exclusive hire.


1054 is a 5.25" ten-wheeler built at Toronto and bought by Phil Belbin for his garden railway. When I bought the property in 2017 this loco was in the roundhouse but in a terrible condition. In April 2017 we started a restoration and managed to fix most of the problems that were plaguing it. The original steel boiler failed years ago and its replacement is probably a copy of the original.

We guess that the 1054 number means it was finished in October 1954.

The page showing the restoration is here.

After the restoration we've re-bushed the valve gear and machined the slide valves and seats along with other minor repairs. This loco now runs so much better and is a pleasure to drive. Way different from the cantankerous beast it was when it was first named Bluey.

BGR 3rd class carriage

This 5.25" carriage was the riding car for Charlotte. But the low seating and unsprung bogies made it an uncomfortable ride. So the 5" bogies were replaced with some 5.25" bogies and it is now used when transporting people or equipment at Banool Garden Railway.

BGR electric loco

This 5.25" loco and car was a special order from MiniTrains. This shows that Banool Garden Railway embraces new technology as well as supporting and maintaining the old favourites. It's an excellent alternative for people who want to drive a train without the hassle of operating a steam locomotive.


The real loco was built by A&G Price at Thames, Auckland, New Zealand. The model was built by Bob Short and the modelling detail is incredible. It might have been tested on air but was never steamed. After months of work and changes we've now steamed the loco and done some test runs. As expected it is a slow and powerful locomotive and facinating to watch. A great result for a locomotive that Bob spent so many years building.

This is a Meyer locomotive and the pistons drive jackshafts with gears to the bogie axles. The bogie design provides space for a generous firebox. The recent changes have made it much more maintainable and driveable.

The Arnie page is here.

Arnie Bum Truck

For better visibility of Arnie's controls when driving we now have a low-boy bum truck. This has an ergonomically reclined back rest for operator comfort and as well as the balanced springs and cushioned axlesboxes for a smoother ride the truck also has an amply-sized seat with anti-fatigue padding and sound- deadening matting for maximum enjoyment during extended driving shifts.

Yet another fine example of the high-quality standards maintained at this railway.

Little William

This loco is a 3-1/2" gauge model donated to Galston Valley Railway by Chris Williams. It is a Martin Evans Rob Roy model built by M D Gandy with the boiler registered at MELSA Rockhampton (QF 86 02). It's had some repairs recently at Banool and is ready for a boiler test. It probably won't run on a track again and Galston will display it on special days. It can be steamed or run on compressed air.

Prairie Tank

This 5" gauge 2-6-2 prairie tank loco was built by Mike New and ran for years at Galston Valley Railway. It last ran about eight years ago and was bought recently by an HME member who wants to renew its boiler ticket and run it on public days at Galston. It's now had some minor repairs and testing at Banool in preparation for its boiler test.

This really is a big heavy locomotive and is a tank is more ways than one. Big country, big trains, big Prairie Tank. Forget those nancy battery-powered locos, what you need is a big steam loco to pull those club trains on public days. This is a seriously heavy and powerful locomotive that was built to be functional rather than a detailed model. Even the tender/riding car is big and heavy. The loco has steam brakes and an ejector for carriage vacuum brakes. The tender has hydraulic brakes. All it needs is a good track and plenty of eager passengers.

Last modified 2023-06-18