Builder's Plate - AC16 Locomotive
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Dia235 x D22mm
Originally hoping to purchase more C17s, Queensland was told by the federal government that they had to cooperate with the Commonwealth Land Transport Board which had been formed to help coordinate Australia’s war-time transport issues.
Numerous countries were reliant on American-produced engines during this time, and as a result, Queensland were required to accept a 2-8-2 locomotive, rather than a C17 like 4-8-0 arrangement, which could be used on various railways around the world.
Five American builders produced this locomotive design for both 3ft 6 inch and metre gauge railways. Over 20 countries including India, Ghana, Nigeria, the Philippines and Australia were all supplied with locomotives during the war through Lend Lease programs.
The locomotives were often referred to as ‘MacArthurs’ instead of the commonly used name ‘Mikados’, a title bestowed on a Japanese Emperor, which had previously used to name locomotives with 2-8-2 arrangements.
Baldwin Locomotive Company supplied the 20 AC16s that were allocated to Queensland. The order for AC16s was originally larger, but after the Commonwealth Land Transport Board decided to produce the Australian Standard Garratt, orders for American-produced AC16s were reduced.
The AC16s begin to arrive in Australia in batches in 1943. ‘A’s’ were added to the running numbers in Queensland to differentiate them from existing QR locomotives with the same numbers.
This builder’s plate is from locomotive No.222A. The Baldwin works number for this locomotive was 69457 with a build date of April 1943. No.222A was put into service in Queensland in September 1943 and was written off in March 1967.
AC16 locomotives were often referred to as 'Yanks' by Queenslanders.