Huge steam locomotive model displayed at Macksville Railway Centenary celebration

Bruce Anderson spent 30 years building his massive Steam Locomotive 'Carole'. Photo: Stephen Katte
Bruce Anderson spent 30 years building his massive Steam Locomotive 'Carole'. Photo: Stephen Katte

The two day Macksville Railway Centenary celebration is winding down today with a formal opening ceremony that was denied in July 1919 because of an outbreak of the lethal Spanish Flu.

Among the events many models and other displays showcasing the bygone era is Bruce Anderson's massive steam locomotive, a labour that took the better part of three decades for the avid hobbyist to finish.

"I have a great love for steam engines, the mechanics are incredible. This one isn't a scale model, but loosely based on industrial engines," he said.

"It took about 30 years to finish; it wasn't a continual process; I'd take breaks, lose interest or other life events would take precedent. I'm happy with how the model turned out; it's very heavy though."

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The impressive model wasn't built using a kit; Bruce used his years of skill and expertise to create a custom design that few would be able to emulate.

"I built it completely from scratch, with no castings, the cylinders are machined from round billet cast iron, the rest is steel plate or flat bar, most of the valves are just common plumbing fittings," Bruce said.

"I like the hobby; I'm always making stuff."

Bruce says the train dubbed 'Carole' was a labour of love, but his long term project also had another purpose in mind when he finished it.

"They told me the only way I"d get to display a steam engine is if I made it myself," he said.

The impressive train was built completely from scratch. Photo: Stephen Katte

The impressive train was built completely from scratch. Photo: Stephen Katte

Many of the visitors to the centenary event were impressed with the model, but Bruce isn't in a hurry to undertake another long term project anytime soon.

"I probably won't do anything like this again; I don't know if I have another 30 years in me. I'll keep making things though, I do some work with the Nambucca Heads Men's Shed, and I'm always making stuff and keeping busy," he said.

The 100-year celebrations honouring the Kempsey to Macksville rail line were organised by Mary Boulton Pioneer Cottage Museum President Leanne Welsh, historian Geoff Minett and Mary Boulton Pioneer Cottage Treasurer Pat Kerr.

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