Full steam ahead for legend’s facelift

Ailish DelaneySouth Western Times
Rail Heritage WA members Noah Greenfield, Brayden Hesford and secretary Ian Studham with the Leschenault Lady steam train tender.
Camera IconRail Heritage WA members Noah Greenfield, Brayden Hesford and secretary Ian Studham with the Leschenault Lady steam train tender. Credit: Memories of Bunbury/Memories of Bunbury

One local lady is set to receive a facelift as the Leschenault Lady steam train tender undergoes restoration works.

After calling Boyanup home for about 15 years, the tender and cabin cover from the train engine were taken to the Piacentini and Son workshop to be restored.

The tender, which supplied the engine with coal and water on journeys, will be restored as part of a project to get the steam train up and running again.

Tom Dillon, who helped Colin Piacentini get involved with the project, said the Leschenault Lady and its sister train, the Koombana Queen, were saved from being scrapped by former town councillor George Baxter.

“They were the two locomotives that were very symbolic when our town council became a city in October in 1979,” Mr Dillon said.

“He got them beautified and in working condition and he had passenger wagons and used to run steam trips to Donnybrook and Busselton, but then regrettably they fell by the way side.

“The Rail Museum from Bassendean, in conjunction with the people at Boyanup, are restoring the Leschenault Lady and it has had a complete new pressure vessel built.”

Mr Dillon said the tender would go through a full beautification process.

“It will be blasted by garnet mineral and it will be totally refurbished and painted and it will look magnificent,” he said.

The train’s engine is kept in Boyanup and has been undergoing a slow restoration and is expected to be back sometime next year.

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