Warragul's steam train move 'a dream come true'
 Baw Baw News   By // 16:31, Wednesday 27 March 2013

WARRAGUL’S historic J550 steam train was moved from its display in Rotary Park on Sunday for restoration and operation in Noojee.

Video: Time lapse footage of J550’s removal.


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Over the course of several hours the train was secured, lifted and loaded onto trailers for transport to its new home while a small group of spectators watched.


The Baw Baw Shire Council motioned to hand management of the train to the Noojee and District Historical Society for use as part of its Noojee Heritage Project Centre development in April last year.

Shortly before the train was lifted project manager Will Langoor told The Warragul Citizen that to get this far with the project was “a dream come true”.

“This is a dream come true for us, this is going to be fabulous,” Mr Langoor said.

LISTEN: Will Langoor interviewed by
The Warragul Citizen about the move:

If audio controls are not visible above or do not work correctly,
click here to download the MP3.

“There’s been hurdles everywhere. We started this eight years ago with a small group of friends who came up with an idea.

“We then applied to DSE for the original railway siding land [and] that took nearly six years before we finally got that signed over.”

The removal and restoration of the train is only stage one of a five-stage project expected to cost just under $4 million.

“We’ll be constantly be trying to get some funding so eventually we’ll get the thing restored and up and going, but we’ll actually do the outside cosmetic work ourselves,” Mr Langoor said.


The next step is to rebuild the Noojee station.

“We’ll actually start to build the station platform, which is a replica of the 100-year-old one, and then we’ll put down 200 metres of track and… actually pull it (the train) back along the platform… so people will actually be able to go on it when the centre’s open,” Mr Langoor said.

Optimistic despite criticism

The project has been criticised by railway enthusiasts who said the train has had too much removed from it to be restorable and the society was too small to manage the project.

“I’ve seen occasional things on the net, papers stuff like that, obviously people who are railway people that are railway people,” Mr Langoor said in reference to the comments.

“Things that we don’t know we’ll find out, and the important thing is… if we need to actually get people that have skills to do it up then we’ll source those skills.

“I’m always the believer [that] if you get the money it don’t matter (sic) what is missing off it, you can buy it or actually get it made.

“I’m optimistic that one day we’ll see that, probably people might think that it’s a bit optimistic, but they said that about us eight years ago and look where we are now.”

“It’s the impossible task and we’ve achieved the impossible task and you just move on with it.”

J550 removal william kulich warragul citizen

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9 responses to “Warragul's steam train move 'a dream come true'”

  1. William, l have just seen you info on the j-550. l think it was such a great idea in fast time: Best wishes to you and keep up the great work, we need a young persons perspective. yours sincerely William Langoor

  2. Well done to the Noojee crew and big step forward. I do find it interesting that we move around locomotives on a regular basis and no one seems to even notice down in Warragul or the west of the BBS…out of sight, out of mind!

  3. wombat lyons says:

    sounds like an exciting project and a good new use of a historic gem that Baw Baw Shire didn’t want

  4. Simon Craig says:

    We certainly noticed it’s departure on Sunday morning. Our kids use the “train park” quite frequently. There’s no more train, what are we going to call our park now? Good to see it going to a good location though and hopefully it will be a boost for the local economy out at Noojee. 🙂

    Hopefully the play equipment won’t be left to fall into a state of disrepair as has the neglected park on the corner of Davey St & Bowen St (-38.152816,145.928198)

  5. Graeme says:

    The removal of the rusted out hulk has certainly improved the off street parking for businesses on the other side of Latrobe Street.
    Great Improvement.

  6. Michael says:

    I hope you don’t get 4m to restore a train. What a joke. Waste.

  7. Ben hurst says:

    The loco is now in a great position the one that it was in was out of sight out of mind and it is in like a dead part of the town. I was apart of the crane company and I think that the train will boost the attraction to noojee… Well done to all of the crews and the historical crew (;

  8. Jack says:

    The journo and council officials have kindergarten-kid mentalities. IT’S NOT A CHWAIN, IT’S A LOCOMOTIVE. A CHWAIN IS A CHOO-CHOO (OR DIESEL) PULLING AT LEAST ONE VEHICLE. CALLING A LOCO A ‘TRAIN’ IS EXACTLY LIKE CALLING A FAMILY CAR A SEMI-TRAILER. Grow up and learn proper English.

  9. Aberfeldy says:

    Jack is quite right – the engine should be described as a J class locomotive. “550” is it’s road number – there were 60 or so of them built.
    Similarly, the facilities they run through are “railway stations”, not the dreadful Americanized “train station”.
    From what I hear, J550 has been cannibalized for parts to help other preserved steam locos be rebuilt, so the chances of it ever steaming again are just about nil. Still, it will be a good static exhibit at Noojee.