Carbon was built in Belgium in 1889 by Société Anonyme Usines Métallurgiques du Hainaut - Locomotives Couillet. This locomotive builder is normally known by the abbreviated name Couillet.

Although not well known in Australia, in Europe Couillet was a significant builder of steam locomotives of many different gauges and sizes over a long period of time.

Although a number of similar locomotives still exist, as far as is known Carbon is the only one still operating in its original condition.

The locomotive weighs approximately seven tons. It has the Couillet builder's number 986. It was built for Decauville & Cie. of Paris, suppliers of portable and industrial railway equipment, and has their serial number of 90 of 1886.

The locomotive was supplied new by Decauville to the Metropolitan Gas Company Ltd, Melbourne, for use at their gasworks in West Melbourne, where it was named Carbon.

Another locomotive of the same type had been supplied in 1886 (Couillet builder's number 861, Decauville serial number 43). It was named John Benn, after the Company’s chairman.

 

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Carbon takes water at Lakeside, on 29 April 2007, on the Gasworks Trifecta Part 1. This was the last occasion Carbon ran, before going into the workshops for boiler work.

Carbon at Gembrook, on the occasion of the 120th birthday of Locomotive 861 - 17 September 2006. The locomotive has the Belgian and Australian flags.

Carbon at Gembrook, 17 September 2006.

Carbon at Fielder, on 29 April 2007, on the Gasworks Trifecta Part 1.

Carbon at Fielder, on 29 April 2007, on the Gasworks Trifecta Part 1.

Carbon at Gembrook on 29 April 2007, on the Gasworks Trifecta Part 1. On the back of the cab the portable air-brake equipment can be seen, which is powered by a small petrol engine. The petrol engine is only used intermittently.

Carbon takes water at Lakeside, on 29 April 2007, on the Gasworks Trifecta Part 1.

Carbon was built by the Belgian Couillet company, for sale by the Decauville company of Paris. Carbon now bears a replica of the plate which was originally fitted to Metropolitan Gas Company's first Couillet locomotive, John Benn.

Prior to coming to the Puffing Billy Railway, from 1968 to the mid-1970s Carbon worked on the "Whistle Stop" amusement park railway, near Frankston, Victoria, where it is seen in the photograph above.


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All photographs Copyright Frank Stamford who may be contacted by email at: frank.stamford@bigpond.com

Last updated: 2 April 2016