Troubled Australian museum to reopen with big steam

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CANBERRA, Australia -- The largest steam locomotive operating in the Southern Hemisphere, Beyer Garratt No. 6029, a 4-8-4 + 4-8-4, will make a return visit to the Canberra Railway Museum Sept. 1 and 2 to help celebrate the reopening of the once-troubled museum.

No. 6029 was owned by the museum until last year, when the museum was forced to liquidate two-thirds of its equipment to stave off bankruptcy. The museum has downsized and reorganized, setting up a separate holding company to own its remaining heritage equipment.

About 70 volunteers have been working at the museum site in suburban Canberra to spruce up the remaining equipment, scrubbing away graffiti and trimming weeds and grass, though museum officials believe at least 150 volunteers are really needed to keep up the museum. No. 6029 will be kept at the museum during its weekend in Australia's capital region. No. 6029 will run to the museum under its own steam from the New South Wales Railway Museum at Thirlmere, south of Sydney.

On Sept. 1, No. 6029 and its train will make four one-hour round trips from Canberra to Queanbeyan and one trip to Bungendore, and on Sept., there will be three trips from Canberra to Bungendore.
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