About the exhibit
In late 2006 the restoration project of 5711 was transferred to Valley Heights:
December 2006: Cab, tender frame and bogies return to the mountains
February 2007: Bogie and tender frame restoration progress
September 2008: 5711 engine transferred to Valley Heights
April 2018: Locomotive repainted, work continues on the tender
October 2020: Locomotive to be moved to Chullora for cosmetic restoration prior to returning for display at Valley Heights
Transport Heritage NSW trading as Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum
5711 was built by Clyde Engineering (Granville) in 1929-30.
These large "Mountain" type locomotives, the first in the service, were built by Clyde Engineering Company to Departmental design but their tenders came from Mort's Dock & Engineering Company. No 5701 commenced to run in September 1929, and the contract was completed by the end of 1930. The arrangement of three simple cylinders was the first in the system and their tractive effort was 67% greater than that of a D50 class goods engine. The outside cylinders were controlled by Walschaert's valve gear and the inside cylinder by Gresley conjugating gear.
An innovation was the use of a single piece cast steel frame for the trailing truck. For the first time a power reverse gear was fitted. As a concession to their large fireboxes, they were fitted with mechanical stokers, the first on the system. The large turret tender had an axle load of no less than 22 tons. Owing to their weight and cylinder dimensions, they were strictly confined to working between Sydney and Thirroul, Junee and Wallerawang and were not permitted to run on any part of the Northern Line.
The 57 class locomotives were withdrawn relatively early during the elimination of steam but fortunately 5711 was retained for preservation and stored at Enfield pending the formation of a railway museum — which became the NSWRTM (now Transport Heritage NSW). 5711 became somewhat derelict during its years of storage and in 1985 a restoration attempt was begun by members of the NSWRTM at Thirlmere, with the intention of returning the locomotive to steam. 5711 and tender are now dismantled, but technical and operational issues have precluded restoration to steam and although many components have been restored there has been little visible progress since the mid-1990s.
This exhibit is listed on the RailCorp Section 170 Heritage & Conservation Register - Movable Heritage.
NSW Office Environment & Heritage register details:Locomotive, Steam 5711 contains additional information about the exhibit.