No. H220. Victorian Railways H Class 4-8-4 Steam Locomotive, Heavy Harry Locomotive details: 1:6 Scale
• 17 feet 5” (5300mm) long including tender over pulling lines.
• 10¾” driving wheels.
• Cylinders (3) 3.6” x 4.7”. Piston valves. Walschaert’s valve gear.
This is a remarkable and very rare model. In Australia, the fine scale model engineering hobby extends up to 7¼” gauge. This very detailed model is:
1. the significantly wider 12” gauge,
2. based on Australia’s largest express passenger locomotive,
3. three cylinder, when most model engineers build two cylinder models of such locomotives.
Much work was done on the locomotive when the builder, Archie Millage lived in Perth, WA and work then continued at Archie’s home in Monarto South, SA. The loco was completed in about 1997 and soon after advertised for sale. In about 1999 Graeme Knott purchased the loco, hoping to run it at a proposed railway at a vineyard near Newcastle, NSW, or at the Smoky Mountain and Grizzly Flats Railroad, Warnervale, NSW. The vineyard railway was never built. At the Smoky Mountain Railroad, Arthur Birch was in his late 80s and was not keen on hosting a fine scale express locomotive built to a small scale. It would have required new shed space and a siding to be added. It occupied too much space at home, so arrangements were made to store it in a carriage shed at Lithgow, NSW. It remained in the removal crates with little interest from the host heritage society whose focus was on NSW stock. Graeme acknowledged he had little prospect of seeing it run in NSW and word started to circulate that it was coming on the market. Word got to the Melbourne Steam Club. Graeme Knott saw that a helpful move would be to shift the locomotive to Melbourne where it could be viewed by prospective buyers. It arrived at the Steam Club on 3rd June 2016. Soon after a member purchased the locomotive, determined to have it stay at the club. All related paperwork had been lost in a fire, so some years passed before boiler design drawings were obtained from government archives. The boiler needs a strip-down and detailed examination, witnessed by the boiler inspector. This loco has not had a fire in the firebox since Archie did test runs when it was newly completed.