Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Thames (NZ): A & G Price's Ab699 ready for a comeback

Without a railway line running through the town, and lack of trains in the area, it is easy to forget Thames' amazing train history. A & G Price were the magnificent manufacturers of many classes of steam locomotives - the special thing being that several still exist today.

An article on STUFF today has the news that Ab699 is making a comeback at the Pleasant Point Railway and Historical Society. Placed in service in 1922, the engine is due back after after being decommissioned in 2013. Ab699 has a resume that includes 46 years of government service.

Photo online at STUFF by JOHN BISSET/STUFF
"Pleasant Point's number one steam locomotive AB699 is nearly ready to be fired up for the public for the first time in five years.

The refurbished 85 tonne locomotive - the first one the Pleasant Point Railway and Historical Society purchased - is set to be reintroduced to the public on September 23, some 96 years after it first entered service." Eleanor Rarity
An old photo of Ab699 at Work from the Pleasant Point Railway Facebook site.
Watch Ab699, at the celebration of the engine's 90th birthday in 2012.

Fingers crossed some Thamesites will be at Pleasant Point 23 September 2018, and see one of our trains back in action - a tribute to all the Thames men who worked at A & G Price and made all these great locomotives.

Background:

  • Youtube videos of ex-Thames trains.
  • Ab 688 manufactured 1922.
  • Ab 699 Service History.
  • Pleasant Point Railway Facebook.
  • Summary of Thames Trains. There are several books available that give a complete history of A & G Price, and the details of the Locomotives built. Prices of Thames by Bob Stott has the following summary:

123 Steam Locomotives built for NZ Railways
22 Steam Locomotives built for other companies
40 Miscellaneous petrol, diesel and battery electric locomotives
54 'Second Generation' internal combustion engine locomotives.

A total of 239 locomotives.

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