MeMysons International Steam Locomotive Preservation Society Pty. Ltd. was formed in response of a desire of Michael Barclay to save steam locomotives from around the globe that were in danger of being lost forever. As a boy he worked on steam locomotives within the railway museum in North Williamstown, an inner suburb of Melbourne, Australia. This initiation of cosmetically restoring locomotives, fuelled his desire to eventually one day own one.
In 2014, his financial position now secure he began to pursue his lifelong dream of owning a steam locomotive. Inspired by the likes of Jeremy Hoskins in the United Kingdom, casual trolling of the internet found that Transnet had already placed several examples of their redundant steam power up for sale through an auction house.
He immediately contacted them to be included on the second round of auction items. Luck would have it that Transnet suspended all sales until a full inventory and historical status could be conducted.
This opened the door for another opportunity. Having recently returned from the UK to his tourist railway home, the Bellarine Railway. Meeting up with an old friend, over a BBQ; the idea of “The Q Train” was born. Between the two partners they saved 24 former “M” series carriages from Queensland rail due to end up in the scrap metal bin. Transporting each carriage personally the 1600 kilometres from Ipswich to Queenscliff Victoria they have now been converted to the only multiple award-winning restaurant on rails in Australia.
This follows on from his previous interaction with restoring steam locomotives. During his time as a driver on the Victorian Railways, as part of the drivers and firemen employed at the South Dynon locomotive depot he assisted in restoring the former Victorian Railways “R” class locomotive number 707. R707 still operates on the mainline to this day.
At the same time he was involved as a driver on the Bellarine Tourist Railway and was one of the four individuals that formed the core group initiating the restoration of former Western Australia railways V1209.
Today “The Q Train” is experiencing success that exceeds his projections and astounds many. It is currently in the running for numerous awards including, “The Golden Plate”, a finalist in the “Telstra Business Excellence”, “Geelong Business Excellence” and “Age Good Food Guide People’s Choice” awards.
Now our focus has turned to saving examples of South African steam locomotives in danger of being lost forever. The trust is already in the process of securing the purchase of some, but we are unable to save everything through outright ownership. A lend/lease arrangement would free up capital that can then be used for the restoration of the locomotives listed bringing about their return to operation far sooner.