A LITTLE black steam engine that arrived for work in Newcastle circa 1870 made a spectacular return to the city yesterday.
The restored train, decommissioned only decades ago, was moved to the new Newcastle Museum site at Honeysuckle.
A crane lifted the 32-tonne steam engine into place.
Coincidentally, the museum is being built inside the former headquarters of the Great Northern Railway, which once operated the engine.
The steam engine, which is on long-term loan from the Rail Heritage Museum, later pulled coal between Newcastle and Richmond Vale.
Newcastle museum director Gavin Fry said the engine spanned a period from the American Civil War to The Beatles.
Yesterday was a homecoming for the train, which spent its working life around Newcastle and the Hunter.
It will become a permanent exhibition when the museum opens in May.
Governor-General Quentin Bryce will officially unveil the steam engine on October 22.