Saga of a Steamer.

A short Article from "The Party-Line": The in-house magazine of Steamtown.


Typical of the late nineteenth Century lightnarrow gauge developmental locomotive, Y82 is a reminder of a bygoneera in the Town of Peterborough.

In her day, she was a symbol of hope andimpending good fortune, as she ran her trains over what was thenconsidered to be the new Wheat Bowl in the Land of Hope.

Built by Beyer, Peacock and Co.(ManchesterUK) in 1888, she saw service not only out of Peterborough, but alsoover the narrow gauge lines of the South East.

Her Centenary, 23 years ago, barely raised awhisper and she was left a rusting , and vandalised eye sore. Hardlya befitting end for such a worthy beast.

The irony of the sad end for this locomotiveis that suitable storage facilities are no more than three kilometresaway. She could be under cover: She could be stabilised and madesafe. She could even be under restoration.

One of the great beauties of these machinesis the simplicity of construction , and the effectiveness of theirdesign for the uses for which they were intended. Indeed, the WAGRand timber millers in WA ran identical machines up until the end ofsteam.

It is not in dispute that both PMR720 andT199 are still "sitting" in the sheds at Peterborough. However thatis no reason why such an historic machine as Y82 should be left outto rot.

It is not in dispute that the beast has satin the open for close to 50 years. F251 sat at Salisbury, in a muchwetter environment for nigh on the same time, yet today it steams asa symbol of the enthusiasm and dedication of a very small group ofpeople who had a dream, and, in the face of many knockers (whobelieved it would never happen) and much adversity, brought her backto life.

The cost of moving Y82 to a coveredenvironment would be much less that the liability it poses in itscurrent locale. Why move it to be an eye-sore elsewhere, when it canbe safely preserved in the centre of the town's railway heritagearea, the Peterborough Round House?

She can still be a symbol of hope and goodfortune for the district this time through a brighter future in theRoundhouse.

Is Peterborough serious about its future asa railway preservation centre'?

Ironicaly, she now sits no more than a fewkilometres from a railway roundhouse and a "preservation society",where, if nothing else she would away from the weather.

I have always believed that this machine,with some work, would be steamable, yet she was moved from a parkwhere she had sat for 40 years, only to be moved to the Roundhouse inPeterborough where cosmetic work was undertaken, so she can continueto rot in a car park.Why did the People of Peterborough, or atleast its representatives, not have some vision and let the thingstay in the Roundhouse?

It is an irony to me that the People ofPeterborough, or at least its representatives, fought so hard to keep"their" railway Society, yet when it comes to moving assets such asY82, or helping "their" railway Society, they can only show a myopicattitude that will allow such a machine to rot!


Y82 was moved in early 2000 to the Roundhouse inPeterborough. She underwent cosmetic restoration (a very good jobtoo) and is now on display in the Main Street.

Steamtown ceased operating in 2002 on account of thecost of public liability insurances despite the efforts of Ian Milne to turn the fortunes of Steamtown around. During his time, things looked up considerably for the organisation. The group was formally disbanded in December 2003 and ceased to exist as of January 13, 2005. The assets are now the full responsibility of the Corporation of Peterborough.

It is now highly unlikely this unit will ever see service, as the Railway upon which it could have run has been removed.

See here.

But, it is great to report that a South Australian Y Class is on the way to Steam. Yx141 is currently being overhauled for service at Quorn

Was Peterborough ever serious about its role as acentre for operational railway preservation?


Last updated April 3, 2011