The Steam Locomotive 299 was built in Maryborough as the first Queensland built loco for the Queensland Government in 1897, entering service at the end of January that year. She remained in service on a variety of freight and passenger duties across Queensland until she was finally retired in 1965.She was the first local construction of a series of 30 engines that had started construction in England in 1895 with a batch of 10 engines having been earlier sourced from the Yorkshire Engine Co in England.299 was then one of a group of eventually 40 engines referred to as B15 Class. She is currently in the care of MELSA Maryborough and sits patiently in a goods shed in Maryborough awaiting money for restoration.
299 was handed into the care of MELSA in a ceremony at the Maryborough Railway Station on Thursday 14th March, 1985, when The Minister for Transport Don Lane, handed 299 to MELSA. Also present were the Member for Maryborough Gilbert Alison and The Mayor of Maryborough Jock Anderson. President of MELSA at that time was Bob Kimber who gladly accepted the responsibility on behalf of MELSA.
Over the ensuing years, members have spent many hours on the restoration of 299. The tender was rebuilt and bogies refurbished. The loco was steamed for the Bi-Centennial in 1988 and on several occasions after that - including a starring role in the movie "The Delinquents" in 1989.Unfortunately, 299 has not steamed for several years since the boiler certificate expired and the need for major maintenance on the engine became more obvious and pressing. All she needs is a generous benefactor - the labour is willing and waiting.
Copies of the Booklet about 299 are available from MELSA.