42105 Returns to the Rails

ECHR are proud to have recently partnered with Chumrail to assist in the recommissioning process for loco 42105, which recently made its triumphant return to the rails after a 3 year restoration. The vintage bulldog streamliner was officially relaunched on the October Cockatoo Run, and Channel 9 even came along for the ride!

Owned by Chumrail, ECHR ran 42105's reactivation trials after its restoration, followed by two Cockatoo Runs in September - October 2023 (Photo: Callum Bracht)
42105 and 42101 lead the October Cockatoo Run through Ocean View.
Photo: Callum Bracht

The sister unit to our very own 42101, 42105 entered service in 1966 and after 20 years on the Government Railways was sold to Northern Rivers Railroad, operating out of Casino during the late 90s and 2000s, including the Ritz Rail tourist trains on the Murwillumbah branch. Under NRR ownership it was painted in a striking livery of yellow, orange and blue, before the company was renamed Interail in 2002 and later rolled into the QR National brand.

In QR National service, 42105 operated as an assistant engine on east coast intermodal freight services until late 2012. The engine was transferred to storage in Ettamogah in January 2013 in a spectacular movement along with 8 other ‘bulldog’ streamliners, and moved to Goulburn for further storage in May 2014. 42103 and 42105 were acquired by Craig Prior of Chumrail in August 2017, and after the former’s return to service the restoration of 42105 kicked into full swing in 2020. A 3-year restoration ensued, with significant help from Adam Sayer, recognised in the loco’s new name ‘Chumsayer’.

After a successful light engine trial from Goulburn to Medway on 31st August in company with ECHR’s X54 and 42101 (the latter also under testing after repairs), the two 421s ran light engine to Sydney for further trials. 42105 underwent a load trial to Waterfall with 42101 and the ECHR consist on 17th September, and after completing this the final test was a turn with 42101 on The Cockatoo Run on 24th September, which it passed quite literally with flying colours! The engine was officially welcomed back into revenue service on the 15th October Cockatoo Run, and has been busy since then on heritage trips around NSW with various operators.

42105 and 42101 battle uphill through Farmborough Heights on the September Cockatoo Run. Photo: Brenden Grace
42105 and 42101 power the October Cockatoo Run home through Engadine.
Photo: Ethan Yiu

We anticipate that 42105 will continue to be an occasional feature on future Cockatoo Runs, so keep an eye out on our social media channels to see when you can next take a ride behind it!

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