Locomotive firing shovel

  kimck Beginner

Hi everyone!

Im wondering if anyone on here would know of somewhere i would be able to get my hands on either an original or a replica VR fireman shovel.
I've searched and searched through the web and am having no luck so far.

Any help would be much appreciated



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  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Good luck, chum. I tried exactly the same search about twenty years ago on the net, in antique and secondhand shops, and in weekend markets, and didn't get within sniffing distance of one.
  Spinner5711 Train Controller

Are the reasonably available British reproductions suitable?  If so, trawl through UK sites, i couldn't find any with a couple of minutes looking.  They are advertised in British railway magazines...
  ssaunders Train Controller
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
I dont know about other states or Countries Railways but NSW had a specific shaped shovel for that purpose.
The shovel was also issued to stations as well but I never saw one of a similar design on sale anywhere and when Steam was eventually finished in the early 70's and they began to close stations or change from Coal Fires around the same time, the shovel soon disappeared completely.

The design made it almost useless for anything else but shoveling coal rather like the conical shaped Coal Skuttle that has also vanished from use.
I saw the worth of the shovel one evening when the driver of a 'mixed and pick up' asked to 'borrow' our station shovel because the fireman had accidentally thrown the shovel into the firebox and for some 20 kms (15 miles) of a steady uphill grade, had used the bucket  to fire the engine and he was knackered............
  raymond Deputy Commissioner

Location: Gladstone, Queensland
Is it like the one in this photo ?

  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Similar shape. but generally a longer blade.  
In Victoria at least, the shovel was reckoned to hold 10 pounds of coal. A fit fireman was expected to be able to fire six ten-pound scoops a minute. If you were firing the S class on the Spirit of progress, you'd fire about six tons of best Maitland coal in three hours and fifty minutes on the Down journey - plus keeping the cab floor clean, and operating the staff exchanger between Mangalore and Wodonga. For doing all of this, you got an extra two shillings a day in your pay.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Is it like the one in this photo ?

I agree with Valvegear. The blade looks too short.