A LOCOMOTIVE CALLED JOSEPHINE

In 1872, the Otago Provincial Council ordered two locomotives to operate trains on the newly built Dunedin to Port Chalmers railway, the first line to be built to the new national gauge standard of 3 feet 6 inches. Consulting engineer, Robert Fairlie persuaded the railway to order locomotives of his design. Built at the Vulcan Foundry in England, two locomotives were shipped to New Zealand in kitset form. Arriving at Port Chalmers in August, they were unloaded onto the wharf where they were excitedly assembled. The railway’s No.2 Josephine was assembled first due to it being closer to the end of the wharf, and after two weeks of assembly the double-ended locomotive raised steam on 11th September 1872. After a short test run, Josephine was used to help finish the construction of the line while No. 1 Rose was completed. read more