J class 515 was part the first batch of 30 locomotives built in 1954 and is one of the very few still around. When it was retired by the Victorian Railways in 1984 it was allocated to the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre inc. (SRHC) and is the only steam locomotive operated by the Group.
The SRHC was started by a group of former railwaymen in Seymour with the express desire of operating J515 on special heritage trains and the locomotive has become synonymous with the SRHC and the railway town of Seymour.
The loco has provided sterling service over the years but has now reached the stage where there is a need to perform some major overhaul work to keep it running for many more years.
The SRHC has contributed about $150,000 so far to the work and we are very close to having the job complete. We estimate that only a relative small amount of $22,000 would be needed to finish the work. The SRHC is a registered charity and all donations over $2 are tax deductible for donors in Australia.
The SRHC is asking for your support to help see this iconic steam locomotive back in service .
Today there are still some of the original volunteers donating their time and money to help restore J515 however, there is a limit to how much can be financially contributed by members. We also have more recent members now who volunteer their time and some also donate use of their business resources to assist in the maintenance of the rail depot and a fleet of other historic diesel locomotives and carriages.
The SRHC run a full time work program at our depot for maintenance as well as project work. J515 is a priority but is just one of a number of projects waiting on funds to complete them. Our restored locomotives and carriages (both steel Spirit of Progress circa 1934 and wooden, circa 1912) are used to run historic train tours.
To see what other work is currently in progress at SRHC please visit our blog : http://srhcblog.blogspot.com/
Our web site with a list of upcoming tours can be found at : www.srhc.org.au