Nearly 4 years after the last regular Newcastle suburban service was operated by a 620/720 set lifelong “Newcastle” pair 626/726 has finally left its Broadmeadow home and commenced its final journey to preservation.
Suffering from various problems, 626/726 was the first of the refurbished “Cityrail” sets to be withdrawn from regular operations as the era of the “Hunter” railcars dawned. During recent years 626/726 has sat neglected on the wheel lathe spur road, surrendering some components to keep in service sister units running.
For reasons known only to the RailCorp heritage managers, 626/726’s internal ownership allocation and value changed several times after withdrawal and the unit was offered and withdrawn from multiple sale processes until finally being awarded for purchase by Goodwin Alco .
Although 626/726 will never run on NSW metals again its acquisition will provide continued support to keep its sister heritage units running and the car bodies will ultimately be preserved in a static private railmotor display.
Due to time, accreditation and logistical restrictions 626 & 726 were removed by Australian Train Movers from Broadmeadow by road on the 4th & 5th of April being craned off their bogies and then hauled out along the “Fitton Highway” before a final high speed fling down the F3 for storage and stripping.
Already 626 & 726’s sacrifice has yielded many valuable spares including engines, transmissions, bogies and air system equipment as well as multiple body and internal fittings.
Its always sad to see a unit condemned to a static existence but in this case the benefits will be long term, far reaching and 626 & 726 will enjoy a long rest with care after so many years of service.