PICT0015 861 approaching Gembrook 2007-close-up

"J.C. Rees" approaching Gembrook in 2007.

No. 861 or "J.C. Rees" is a privately owned 0-4-0ST (saddle tank) steam locomotive that runs on the Puffing Billy Railway in Australia.


No. 861 was built in 1886 for the West Melbourne site of the Metropolitan Gas Company. Much the same reason the locomotive was built. When it was built it was named "John Benn". In the 1930's is was withdrawn from service. Then, in 1962, it was sold privately. Afterward, the locomotive was rebuilt by its new owners into the style of an American 1880's locomotive. It was used in Walhalla, south-east of Melbourne, Victoria, and has now been renamed "J.C. Rees" and is used for teaching people how to drive steam locomotives under the name "861 Footplate Experience".


  • No. 861 started out as a four-wheel pannier-tank locomotive, very much similar to PBR No. 986 "Carbon".