There will be a bunch of great traction and portable engines in action on the rally ground this year. Here’s a list of a few to look out for.

The Ruston

The Ruston, commonly known as the Reverie, is a 8nhp double crank compound 2 speed agricultural traction engine owned by Jim and Lyndle Hawkes of Oberon. It was built in England in 1913 but it was eventually brought to Australia and used in native cypress pine forest sawmills in Grenfell, NSW. It was mainly used for powering (via a flat belt) threshing drums, chaff cutters, sawmills, pumps and land clearing.

This engine is also fitted with a winch that could be used to pull logs out of the bush and itself out of bogs. Water is carried in the rear tender and in a belly tank that is suspended under the boiler. Fuel is carried in the coal bunker that is located at the rear of the engine and timber is carried in the steel basket that hangs over the rear of the engine. New features include a roof and several new drive train gears.

The D Type Roller

Built in 1928 by Aveling and Porter in England, this D Type steam roller has enjoyed a long life and will be driving around on the rally ground at Burton Automotive Hunter Valley Steamfest on 8 and 9 April.

Owned by Joe Collet from Kempsey, the roller boasts a twin cylinder double acting compound and uses a fire tube locomotive. It weights 10 tonnes, can hold 400 litres of water and when operational, was used for the construction of road surfaces around Sydney.

Joe is now a licenced boiler attendant and steam engine driver and he has loved tinkering with the roller since he bought it a couple of years ago. In that time he’s rebuilt the gauge glasses valve, sealed and painted the ash pan, repaired the smoke box door and replaced the chimney with the original type which has the brass ring fitted.

Marshall 72687

This eight nominal horsepower, single cylinder engine was built in England in 1913 but operated mostly in Tasmania around Myrtle Park powering a sawmill before becoming a land clearing engine in different parts of the state.

It was acquired for preservation purposes in 1968 and current owner David Toyne first saw it as an 11 year old at the Launceston Show in 1971. He bought it 25 years later and has worked hard to ensure it remains essentially in original works condition.

The Marshall Portable

The Marshall Portable Steam Engine will be back on the rally ground this year and once again, it’ll be powering the popular corn cooker as part of Burton Automotive Hunter Valley Steamfest.

The process involves steam from the Marshall Portable Steam Engine powering a custom boiler made from a 150 gallon milk cooling vat. This one of a kind piece of steam powered machinery will not only create a tasty snack for you and your family to enjoy, but it also carries on a long history of engineering ingenuity that flourished in the era of steam.

This portable engine was manufactured way back in 1890 and boasts six horsepowers and a single cylinder. During its lifetime it powered things like drove pumps, chaffcutters and other agricultural machinery and these engines were called ‘portable’ because they could be carted easily around the country as needed.

You can see more engines that will be on display here.


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