Number Plate - B15 Locomotive No.297
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B15 locomotives were purchased from various manufacturers. The first batch was built by Nasmyth Wilson & Coy of Manchester in 1889. Evans, Anderson and Phelan of Brisbane also produced 21 B15s between 1893-1895. A further 10 B15s were ordered from the Yorkshire Engine Company in 1895 and these were delivered in 1897. Walkers Limited of Maryborough produced all the remaining locomotives in the class, 52, between 1897–1909.
Although purchased in large numbers, B15s had various issues that required remedial works to be done on them. From 1901 an initiative was undertaken to modify the B15s. Adjustments included replacing their 36 inch driving wheels with 45 inch driving wheels. Modifications were also made to the blast pipes and chimneys. These works were done to 93 B15s between 1901-1929 at the major workshops in Ipswich, Rockhampton and Townsville and also in Cairns. After these modifications, the engines became known as the B15 Converted type.
B15 No.297 was from the Yorkshire Engine Company order (works number 539). It entered service in July 1897, was converted in September 1908 and written off in September 1961.
No.297 was involved in a maritime accident when the ship delivering it (along with No.296 & 298), the Duke of Devonshire, ran aground on Friday Island in the Torres Strait. The locomotives had rust damage but all were salvaged and put into service in 1897.