2 foot gauge
Class operators: Millaquin Mill
Entered service: 1946
Entered the museum: 25th May 1981
Length (over coupling points): 21’ 3.5’’
Number in class: 13
Ownership: Port Dock Station Railway Trust
Provenance: Millaquin Mill, Queensland
Total Weight: 16.00 tons
Tractive Effort: 7,200 lbs
Wheel Arrangement: 0-6-2
The sugar mills of Queensland are served by extensive networks of 2’ 0’’ gauge ‘Tramways’ which are now operated by diesel locomotives which, for the most part, have been built in Australia. However, they were once worked by a large number of diminutive steam locomotives, most of which came from the British builders John Fowler and Hudswell Clarke. The only Australian company to seriously attempt to enter this field in the years between the Wars was Perry Engineering of Mile End who supplied tank locomotives of the 0-4-2 and 0-6-2 types.
Skipper belongs to a group of thirteen 0-6-2Ts built between 1934 and 1952, and was manufactured by Perry in 1946, carrying works number 289. It was built for the Millaquin Mill at Bundaberg and was given road number 3. When displaced by diesel traction it was sent to the Qunaba Mill where it was given the name Skipper and renumbered 2. Written off in 1978 it remained in storage at the mill. Meanwhile the Mile End Railway Museum launched a project to acquire a Perry-built cane locomotive for its collection. The necessary funds were raised and Skipper was purchased, arriving at Mile End on 25th May 1981.
It was moved to the Museum on the former SAR locomotive transporter wagon WL8200, on 24th January 1989. It is also interesting to note that, of the 13 locomotives of this type built by Perry, only two have been broken up. The rest have been preserved around Australia and seven are in working order.