3830 (pronounced Thirty-eight thirty) is one of Australia's best known steam locomotives. It was designed to haul express trains for the New South Wales Government Railways, (NSWGR). It is owned and maintained by the Powerhouse museum. It is based at NSW Rail Transport Museum, Thirlmere, NSW.
Built in 1949 by New South Wales Government Railways, Eveleigh workshops at Redfern, NSW, 3830 was the last of thirty 38 class locomotives built to haul express trains and replace the lower powered 36 class on main line working. As such, 3830 has the distinction of being the last steam locomotive built in New South Wales. The first five of the class, road numbers 3801 - 3805 were built in Sydney by Clyde Engineering at Granville to a streamlined design, whilst the later 25 locos in the class, which included 3830, were built by the NSWGR and were unstreamlined. 3830 and the more famous 3801 are the only remaining operating locomotives of the class still in operation. One more of the Class, 3820 was the last 38 class steam locomotive in full service with the NSWGR, has been preserved as a static exhibit at the NSW Rail Transport Museum. The 38 class were first conceived in 1938. They suffered many delays during construction - mostly due to the Second World War. 3830 was the last engine completed and entered service on 27 September 1949. It went on to haul the first standard gauge "Spirit of Progress" from part of the way from Melbourne to Sydney in 1962. 3830 was attached to the Spirit of Progress at Albury. In 1967 it made its farewell run from Central Railway Station to Wyong and return. After 19 years on the New South Wales Government Railways and having travelled a total of 1,696,796 kilometres, 3830 was withdrawn from service. Set aside for preservation, it was purchased by the Powerhouse Museum from the State Rail Authority of NSW for a nominal fee of $10. By the end of April 1974 all steam trains had been withdrawn from NSW rail lines.
In August 1992, some 25 years after its withdrawal from service, restoration of 3830 began. This was jointly undertaken by the Powerhouse Museum and 3801 Limited. The NSW State Rail Authority provided technical advice and assistance, particularly in relation to the removal of asbestos. Restoration work on the boiler and tender was undertaken at the Hunter Valley Training Company, Maitland. (a Federal Government's Jobskill programme, which provided training for out-of-trade apprentices). Over a five and a half year period, a team of about 12 volunteers, under museum supervision, spent about 21,000 hours working on the locomotive at Eveleigh. 30 years to the day after its farewell run to Wyong, on Wednesday 22 October 1997, 3830 was recommissioned with a ceremony at the Powerhouse Museum and a commemorative trip to Bankstown. The locomotive made its first passenger carrying journey for the public from Maitland to Sydney some days later. Since then, 3830 has been regularly operated for steam trips, both singly and double-heading with 3801 and a few other steam locomotives such as 3112, 3526 and 3642. 3830 was usually stored at Eveleigh, although for a time it was occasionally displayed in the Powerhouse Museum's courtyard when not used for excursions. Since the return to steam, 3830 has become a regular in the Hunter Valley Steamfest 3830 was moved to Thirlmere on 30 November 2008 where it will be reunited with 3801 and the Powerhouse museum's other steam locomotive 3265. The loco is being stored in the new roundhouse as a display item at Thirlmere for the time while a minor overhaul is taking place for a problem that occurred on the RTM triple header run through the Blue Mountains in June 2009. 3830 will be back in service during 2013 just intime for the annual Hunter Valley Steamfest.