Built by Hudswell Clarke & Co. in Leeds, England in 1939, this locomotive worked at the CSR (Colonial Sugar Refinery) Hambledon Mill in North Queensland. It was then transferred to CSRs' Victoria Mill at Ingham, North Queensland. Victoria Mill loco's were mostly named after Australian Eastern cities.
The locomotive was donated to the Illawarra Light Railway in 1978 and after an overhaul began active duties at Albion Park in 1979. Since its arrival at Albion Park, "Cairns" has generally been in regular service hauling passenger trains on running days.