Historical information

Rail tractors were popular with Victorian sawmillers. They were generally cheaper than a steam locomotive, required no special qualifications to drive, and used proven power plants for which spares were available locally. The tractor was constructed by Day’s Engineering of South Melbourne which, although better known for its pumping equipment, built more than fifty rail tractors for Victorian sawmillers and other industrial tramway users. W. Day & Sons is believed to have constructed its first light railway locomotive in 1926. From then until the mid 1940s, the firm appears to have built at least fifty locomotives at its premises in South Melbourne, of which roughly half were four-wheel locomotives and roughly half were six-wheel locomotives like the restored Day’s rail tractor formerly operated by Ruoak Timbers. Of the four-wheel locomotives, ten were 2-ft (610mm) gauge locomotives similar to this one. Today, only two survive, a complete example at the Puffing Billy Railway Museum at Menzies Creek, and one at Alexandra Timber Tramway Museum

This 2-ft gauge 4wPM locomotive is believed to have been one of two Day's Petrol Rail tractors formerly used by Cheetham Salt, possibly at the Moolap works near Geelong.

Service History :owned by
Cheetham Salt, Moolap ( dates unknown )
Geelong Steam Preservation Society , Belmont 1973 ?
Puffing Billy Steam Museum , Menzies Creek


Historic - Industrial Narrow gauge Railway - Rail Tractor used by Cheetham Salt Company works at Laverton, Moolap and Geelong, Victoria , Australia

Physical description

Petrol Rail Tractor made of Iron , wrought iron, steel