What am I doing here among these steam locomotives? You may well ask. Pull up a seat and I’ll tell you my story.
You call these huff and puff monsters the glory days of rail but I have my own glory to boast about.
Firstly, I was born in Canada, at the Montreal Locomotive Works in Quebec. Locomotives like me, called the 40 class, were the first mainline diesel electric locomotives to be built for New South Wales and, as you can tell by my number, 4001, I am the class leader having entered service 30 November 1951.
My brother, 4002, and I were immediately assigned to freight work. These steam trains you see around me required a lot of servicing and regular watering. We also performed better and proved our worth.
Our abilities recognised, we were put to work on passenger trains and in1952 two of my brothers slashed three hours of the old steam train times.
But, I had the supreme honour in 1954 when 4002 and I were painted in royal blue livery and hauled Queen Elizabeth II’s carriages for her tour. It was our greatest moment of glory and we proudly displayed our royal colours until the 1960s.
So, you see, my friend. I have earned my right to be on display here at the museum. Not only am I an important exhibit. I was thought so highly of that I have been restored to running condition and given back my livery I displayed proudly for so long.
This is another piece I wrote for the Scribblings magazine of the Wollondilly Branch of the Fellowship of Australian Writers. The theme for this was “A Photo”.