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Baldwin Loco Works official photo, Wb 297, 1898

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Disposal of Baldwin locomotives Wb 292 and 299.

Wb  299 being toppled into Coal Creek, 1 January 1960. Photo: John Prince

Wb 299 being toppled into Coal Creek, 1 January 1960. Wb 292, foreground, had been dumped earlier, in 1958. Photo: John Prince.

Towed north and dumped

In 1958 Wb 292 was towed north to Seddonville, 30 miles north of Westport. Wb 299 followed in January 1960. Track was unbolted and slewed, the locos jacked until they toppled into position.

River protection

In the 1950's steam locomotives on the West Coast were not an economical proposition to scrap. They were perfect for use as river protection - a good size and able to be towed to a site where the line was under threat.

Disposal documented

Research at National Archive, Christchurch, uncovered documents detailing how Wb 292 and Wb 299 came to be dumped in this manner.