Although this tank locomotive has no direct relevance to the Pichi Richi Railway, it is a design variation on the South Australian Railways Y class which has strong links with the railway through the Pichi Richi Pass.

BHP No. 3, the second Broken Hill Proprietary Co. (BHP) locomotive to carry the number 3, was built by Beyer Peacock in 1890 for the Silverton Tramway Co. of Broken Hill. In Silverton Tramway service it was numbered Y5. It was transferred to the Sulphide Corporation in 1901 where it operated at the Central Mine as No. 5. It was sold to BHP Whyalla in December 1940, and entered service with BHP in late 1941.

With the assistance of a trailing pony truck, the locomotive could operate with a self-sufficient supply of water in side tanks and coal in a rear bunker.

It was withdrawn from service in May 1962 and stored prior to display in a Whyalla playground.

During 1983 the Whyalla City Council accepted a Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society offer of $1,000 worth of playground equipment in exchange for BHP No. 3, which was being vandalised in its playground location. It was transported to Quorn and placed into storage.

Technical specifications

Wheel arrangement 2-6-2T
Weight 34 tons 34.5 t
Tractive effort 13,289 lbs 59.1 kN
Boiler pressure 145 psi 1000 kPa
Driving wheels 3 ft 2¾ in 984 mm
Cylinders 14½ x 20 in 370 x 510 mm
Valve gear Stephenson
Grate area 13.67 ft² 1.27 m²
Coal capacity    
Water capacity    

Representatives in the Pichi Richi Railway collection

BHP No. 3 (second)

Builder Beyer, Peacock and Company
Entered service 1890 (STCo.)
Builder’s number 3170
Withdrawn from service May 1962 (BHP, Whyalla)
Distance travelled in service  
Acquired by PRRPS 1983
Notes Transferred to Sulphide Corporation in 1901, operated as No. 5
Sold to BHP Whyalla in December 1940, operated as (second) No. 3
Entered service with BHP at Whyalla in late 1941
PRRPS operational status Not operational, in storage