629/729 Re-activation?

  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

It seems that the heritage set 629/729 might be re-activated to be used by Lachlan Valley Railway. If true, then interesting also given the recent re-opening of the Milthorpe railway station and tour trains that LVR plan to run there over the weekend hauled by their heritage diesel 4716. LVR also have 638/738 which is quite famous for having run on the Casino - Murwilllumbah line but it's condition is not so good.

629/729 was purchased for preservation by Goodwin Alco and a blog link below (last post 27 Dec 2010) details some of the restoration works which took place on the set, with the goal to restore it as close back to original condition as possible. This included sourcing a complete set of original 3-roll back seats from 636/736 and 670/770 which were at Valley Heights, a partition wall for the first class seating, even the original window shutters which were removed from most of these sets.


The two videos posted below show ChumRail's 42103 pick up 629/729 from it's long time home at RMS Paterson and take it to Rothbury, presumably for the restoration works. The movement took place 14 March 2019. Credit to both individuals for sharing videos of this movement.



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  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Below is a link to the ARTC Toc Waiver for the movement if anyone is interested


- Nothing much there except it was requested by Goodwin Alco/Lachlan Valley Railway to go from Paterson to Branxton with max speed limit of 60km/h imposed.

629/729 is slightly different from the 2 officially preserved sets 621/721 and 623/723 in that it has the round port style windows and the 720 trailer car had a partition wall to separate first and second class seats. This set, like several of the others were designed to operate longer suburban services out of Newcastle than the first 5 620/720 sets. Interesting in the restoration blog is also that they also restored the water and cup dispenser unit which had not been removed but simply plated/covered over in the vestibule.

RMS Paterson have had many adventures with 621/721, taking it into parts of Victoria and even all the way to Roma Street, Brisbane. No doubt a set like this would also benefit LVR and help take some pressure off their CPH's. Would be great to see a 620/720 make an appearance at a future Transport Heritage Expo.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

According to a post in the last 2 or so days on the DEB Set Restoration facebook page (ie, the plan to restore the Rothbury DEB Set which has been acquired by those connected with Lachlan Valley Railway), it seems the plan is to bring the DEB Set and 629/729 out of Rothbury and bring them both to the west the "back way". I guess this does open the chance that LVR will have some kind of lease/custody of the set and restore it to operational status. Would certainly be exciting if it was fully restored to as close to original condition - seats, shutters, paint schemes, light fittings, 1st/2nd class partition wall, etc, as was the original plan.

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