Australia’s most famous and widely-travelled steam locomotive is the green, streamlined, cat-whiskered 3801 from New South Wales. She’s the only locomotive to have travelled to every mainland state and territory, and even got a mention from the state premier about the importance of restoring her again after years of boiler problems. I hope they’re able to.

But the 3801 still plays runner up to my favourite, the Victorian Railways R-761. There’s something about her styling and clean lines that even as a kid I thought looked futuristic and cool. For someone growing up with Thomas, her distinctive red smoke deflectors almost looked like ears. And the detail of the SCOA-P wheels are like nothing I’d seen before.

Both even steamed alongside the 4472 Flying Scotsman during Australia’s Bicentennial celebrations in 1988. I was alive at the time, but I wouldn’t have remembered or known what was going on even if I’d seen it, gah!

Anyway today I noticed you can get an HO-Scale locomotive from Eureka Models for AU $759.00, complete with sounds! She looks amazing:

A decade ago I would have looked at that price and said hell no! But now I can appreciate why; these would take so much care and attention to make, and they wouldn’t exactly be recouping money with economies of scale. Economies of HO scale! AHAHA! Haha! Hah.

They’re out of stock right now, and I doubt I’d ever be buying one at that price point. But she’s going on the wishlist on the absolute off chance that someone is generous :).