SSM No.2   

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SSM No.2 is one of only two State Saw Mills locomotives existing today.

 SSM No.7  2-6-0 built by Martins of South Australia being the other, which is currently situated in a park, on Brockman St, Pemberton, outside the sawmill.

On display at Manjimup Forest Products Centre

In 1910 the South West Timber Hewer’s Co- Operative Society (the only producers of hewn railway sleepers in WA at the time – all other sleepers being sawn) of Collie and Holyoake,  placed an order with locomotive manufacturers Beyer Peacock of Manchester U.K. for  a “G” class type 4-6-0 engine of which there were already many similar types successfully operating in WA. 

A kit of parts arrived in Fremantle in 1911 and was assembled at Midland Junction Workshops. The locomotive named “The Hewer” was trialled at Midland on the 20th July 1911 and then sent to work at the Lucknow Mill near Collie. In early 1912 “The Hewer” was moved to Holyoake, just east of Dwellingup where the SWTH had 3 concessions operating.

With the Lucknow Mill, being destroyed by fire on 12th October 1912, all operations were then concentrated on Holyoake.

Formed in 1912 by Premier Scadden, the State Saw Mills eventually took over the SWTH operation at Holyoake in 1920 and the “The Hewer” was taken in to SSM stock. Whilst in for repairs at Midland Junction Workshops in April 1942, “The Hewer” was numbered SSM No.2, in doing so, losing its given name.

No.2 was then transferred to Deanmill in February 1943 where it worked up until March 1952 when it was transferred to Pemberton. After a short stint in Pemberton, No.2 returned to Holyoake in September 1952. By the 10th October 1953 No.2 was back in Pemberton until being transferred back to Deanmill in June 1960.

* Ready to leave a log landing in the forest at Pemberton.

No.2 remained at Deanmill where it worked until January 1967 when it was withdrawn from service. Under it’s own steam No.2 was worked to Manjimup in February where the fire was dropped for the last time. It stood on unused sidings in Manjimup for a period of time before being mounted on display at what is now known as the Manjimup Forest Products Centre.

At Deanmill in 1962

In the late 1980’s the Pemberton Tramway Company registered an interest in locomotives SSM No.2 and SSM No.7 with the then current owners Bunnings Ltd.

In 2001 further enquiries were made to Bunnings which was now renamed as Sotico. In May 2002 the General Manager of Sotico, Mr Ron Adams advised that Sotico was prepared to donate SSM #2 to the PTCo.  

The next problem was then how to move 40 ton of locomotive from Manjimup to Pemberton. The truck we used, is unique, in that it is fitted with a tilt tray specifically designed for moving large railway track maintenance vehicles by road throughout the state. Where the hire of cranes would normally be required to move a locomotive or wagon, the “Roll On – Roll Off” qualities of the tilt tray makes moving such equipment very quick and easy. This vehicle is owned by rail maintenance contractors “John Holland” and is reputed to be the only vehicle of its type available in Australia.

Truck is lined up ready for loading

No.2 eases onto the ramps moving for the first time in a long time.

Half way there

Loaded and ready to go.

On the 4th of February 2004 at approx 5.30pm No.2 commenced being winched onto the trailer at FPC Manjimup. By 6.45pm No.2 was heading out onto South Western Highway, once again heading for Pemberton.

Due to darkness closing in, No.2 was left standing over night on the trailer in Pemberton Station yard where it was then unloaded at dawn the next day.

Leaving FPC on our way to Pemberton

On the road again

Dawn unloading at Pemberton Yard with V1213 in the background

Almost there as Rusty assists to drag No.2 off the trailer

No.2 rests on the goods shed road alongside her rods and cowcatchers

SSM No.2, a small part of Pemberton’s history, has returned.

As yet it remains to be seen what condition, the main components of  this locomotive are in. It is hoped that one day it will be possible to restore No.2 to its former glory so that she may steam through the township and forests of Pemberton once again.

 

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* History drawn from the book "Rails Through the Bush" by A. Gunzburg & J. Austin

 

Tel: +61 8 97761322

Email: pemtram@wn.com.au