Number Plate - B17 Locomotive No.690

Production date
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Object detail

A rectangular shaped cast brass plate. The border and numerals are raised polished brass with the background painted red. The corners are scalloped with a screw hole at each corner.
TRANSPORT Railways locomotive number plate
Production date
L461 x W177 x H22mm
Media/Materials description
Cast brass, paint
No. 690
History and use
B17 class locomotives were built by Queensland Government Railways with a vision of using them on larger Sydney Mail train services. The 4-6-0 locomotive was designed in-house and a prototype (No.538) was built at the Ipswich Railway Workshops in 1911. Chief Draftsman for QGR, Latham W Piggott, led the project. The new design, featuring 17 x 23 inch cylinders, 48 inch driving wheels and a boiler with a 16% greater heating surface compared to C16 locomotives, were considered a significant increase in power from the PB15 and C16s already in the fleet.

With the B17 design declared a success, more were ordered soon after the testing of No.538. Between 1911 – 1914 a further 21 B17s were constructed at the Ipswich Railway Workshops. As the lines in Queensland were strengthened and expanded, the use of B17s was expanded throughout the state. As well as being used in the Southern Division for suburban and country passenger services, they were also used to haul goods trains. The expansion of the North Coast line saw them operating in the Central and Northern Divisions as well.

B17 No.690 was built at the Ipswich Railway Workshops (works number 67) in 1914 and entered service in April of the same year. It was written off in November 1960. Along with No.689, they were the last of B17s in service to be scrapped.
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