Other British-built Locomotives, DMUs and EMUs Used in NSW
As noted by others, many classes of self-propelled units were built in the UK for export.
This paper supplements my earlier blog, so as to include designs that may not have had a closely similar design operating in Britain. It does not pretend to be a comprehensive list of all such locos imported into NSW, but just a taste of a once great export industry.
More detailed information, including locos from other states, may be found at:
1. NSW Government Railways
R(285)/Z18 Class 0-6-0T
In 1882, Vulcan Foundry delivered six domeless 0-6-0 suburban tank engines. Outclassed by later locos, these engines found further use around loco depots and yards and were reboilered with domed boilers. Some were sold for use in private collieries, such as at Catherine Hill Bay. 1076 saw out its days as a washout loco at Eveleigh Railway Workshops.
These 2-6-0 passenger locos were ordered from Dubs & Co as near-equivalent engines to the Baldwin L(334) class. Delivered with domeless boilers, they later received domed boilers. They were known as “Scotch Yankees”. The last one was scrapped about 1937.
Like most railways, the NSWGR used numerous steam breakdown cranes, many of which were eventually converted to diesel power. Most of them were built in Britain.
Here are two examples.
30 ton accident crane 1048 (Cowans Sheldon 2012/1908), still in service at Goulburn Loco Depot in 1971:
70 ton brakedown crane 1073 (Craven Brothers, 1929) seen here after being converted to diesel power and in use at Broadmeadow Locomotive Depot in 1988.
Hawthorn Leslie Luffing Cranes
From 1914 until 1950, the NSWGR purchased several batches of 0-4-0T locos equipped with “luffing cranes”, so-named because loads were lifted through the movement of the jib. Precision movement to both rotate and lift/lower the jib was achieved with a couple of small donkey engines. Some were also equipped with a turbogenerator for the electromagnet used to lift scrap iron. These little machines worked in such workshops as Eveleigh, Clyde and Cardiff and remained in service until the early 1980s.
Builder’s plate from 1051:
1082, hard at work at Eveleigh Locomotive Workshops foundry in 1981:
In 1892, Dubs & Co delivered this 20-strong class of 2-6-2 mineral saddle tanks. Many components (eg boiler, wheels, valve gear, wheels) were interchangeable with B(55) class 2-6-0s. They worked as bankers, coal haulers and shunters. Water capacity limited their use on main lines.
These locos were ordered from the Hunslet Engine Co by the NSW Public Works Department for use in the construction of new railway lines. When that task was handed over to the NSWGR, the locos were transferred also, being used on branch lines alongside Z24 and Z25 classes. The Z27s differed from the other 2-6-0s in having Walschaert’s valve gear. They were eventually fitted with boilers standard across all three classes.
In 1896, Beyer Peacock delivered the first of many 2-8-0s to the design of William Thow. Beginning as saturated engines, most were eventually superheated. 280 locos were eventually built, not just by BP, but also by Dubs & Co, Neilson & Co, North British Locomotive Company and Clyde Engineering (NSW). Some remained hauling coal until the end of steam haulage in the early 1970s. During the Great War, a batch of 10 under construction at North British were taken over by the British War Office and operated by the ROD. After the war, they were taken over by the Belgo-Nord Railway and worked coal trains in the Meusse Valley.
The NSWGR Chief Mechanical Engineer’s Library, which was located within the Mechanical Branch Laboratory complex at Redfern, held a copy of C.H.Lake “The World’s Locomotives” (Percival Marshall, 1906). On pages168-9 is a feature on Churchward’s GWR 28XX class 2-8-0. In the margin of their copy is a handwritten note signed by (ex-GWR) E.E.Lucy, Thow’s successor: “W.Thow esq. Your T class”. (The 28XX main dimensions are very similar to the T class which had entered service about ten years earlier.)
The T class was further developed locally by Lucy into the TF and K classes, all of which were built in NSW (see below), but which still display their British heritage.
Here is a couple of images of 5069, which remained largely unaltered from delivery to retirement – still hauling coal in the Hunter Valley.
5139, seen here shunting at Lithgow, displays a superheated boiler, turbogenerator, electric lights and high capacity turret tender.
William Thow’s third brilliant standard design for the NSWGR was this 4-6-4 tank loco. The first batch was delivered by Beyer Peacock in 1903. Further engines were supplied by BP and also from the NSWGR’s Eveleigh Workshops. The design was so significant that it featured on pages 194 and 195 of “The World’s Locomotives” (op. cit.).
These locos continued in suburban passenger train service until the late 1960s and some were still active as shunters in Sydney Yard into the 1970s. Here is an image of 3046 at work on those duties on Christmas Eve, 1970.
Sydney’s suburban passenger network was progressively electrified from 1926, making many of the C30s redundant. At the time, many obsolete old locos (especially a strange assortment of Baldwin types and the L classes described above) were still serving on light country branch lines. The opportunity was taken to convert some of the tank engines to tender locos, which retained their old numbers, but with a “T” suffix (for tender). The work was done at both Clyde Engineering (NSW) and at Eveleigh Workshops. Older tenders from scrapped locos or from others that had been re-equipped with larger capacity ones were fitted to them. They continued to serve well in their new duties until the early 1970s.
Here is an image of 3028T on a special train on the NSW South Coast in early 1971:
William Thow’s designs (P, T and S) had all passed through the “teething trouble” stage and were all working very well by the time he retired in 1911. He was succeeded by E.E. Lucy, who had been Assistant CME from 1906. Lucy had come from the GWR and was the uncle of Harold Holcroft – the inventor of the so-called Gresley conjugated valve gear – who had worked under him when Lucy was managing the GWR’s Wolverhampton Works.
When it became necessary to build further 2-8-0s (similar to the T class), Lucy modified the design to include a domed version of the GWR taper boiler, together with a few other changes, including superheating. They were introduced in 1912.
Some of these “improvements” to Thow’s design did not meet expectations, resulting in ultimate replacement of the tapered boiler with a parallel Belpaire boiler standard across T, TF and K class 2-8-0s, as well as reversion to flangeless 2nd and 3rd driving wheels.
All 190 locos were built locally. Examples remained in coal haulage until scrapped in the early 1970s.
Here are three images of late survivors at work on the Newcastle (NSW) coalfields:
For completeness, I include some information about the K class 2-8-0s. These 120 locos, a further development of the T and TF 2-8-0s, abandoned their Allan straight link motion in favour of US Southern valve gear. Introduced in 1918, the last one was retired in July 1967.
Here is an image of 5597, taken during one of her last runs to Newcastle (NSW) before withdrawal:
These locos were ordered from Beyer Peacock just before a decision was made to change from steam to diesel traction. The original order of 50 was amended to 42 complete units, plus parts of another 5 as spares. They entered service in 1952 and the last was withdrawn in February 1973. They were the world’s largest (but not the most powerful) garratts.
Originally intended for use on lightly laid branch lines, they were soon displaced from these duties by new 48 class diesel electrics. Many were then modified to have increased axle loading on the driving wheels and therefore a higher tractive effort. They then saw many years’ work on main lines, hauling heavy mineral trains, some of which required double heading. The sight, smell, sound and feel of such workings – once experienced – is never to be forgotten, especially on such challenging places as the 1 in 42 hills known as Hawkmount or Fassifern Bank. Long before the train became visible, the noise of the twin engine units stammering into and out of synchronisation could be clearly heard. The volcanic exhaust would then be seen, going hundreds of feet into the air. As the engines came near, the earth would shake and the roar would be almost painfully loud. As they passed, cinders would rain down and would seem to do so for a minute or two after they had moved on. The locos would remain audible for about another ten minutes, while we shook the cinders from our hair and clothes.
Such work produced spectacular images, such as these:
This class of ten bo-bo diesel electric locos was one of several small classes purchased to evaluate diesel traction in the early 1950s. (The remainder were US designs.) These locos were plagued with problems, resulting in no more UK diesel purchases until the advent of the XPTs. The design was from BTH, the engines from Paxman and the bodies from Metro-Cammel. They began service in 1953 and the last was retired in 1975.
Here is a step-plate of one of the locos.
The last survivor is 4102, shown here near 3137 at the NSW Rail Transport Museum, Thirlmere:
In 1956, the first of forty 46-class Co+Co electric locomotives began service on the NSWGR’s main western line across the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. These 3400 hp units soon displaced steam traction on this route – and others, as electrification spread north and south of Sydney. They remained in front-line service until freight services were privatised in the early 1990s and the private operators found that the charges levied by Railcorp for use of the overhead electric wires were uneconomic compared with diesel traction.
The locos were built by Metropolitan Vickers and Beyer Peacock & Co.
Here is the builder’s plate from 4601:
Here is an image of triple-headed 46 class locos hauling a heavy goods train through Flemington (NSW) in 1991. The middle loco is still in largely original colours. The first and third locos are in the SRA’s “candy” colour scheme then in vogue.
SD EMU (“Red Rattlers”)
Sydney’s suburban rail network was progressively electrified from 1926. Some timber-bodied cars were built locally for this new service and 50 all-steel coaches were ordered from Leeds Forge Company in England. C3102 is one of a couple of survivors and entered electric service with the very first such train in 1926. It was retired around 1990. It displays the twin entrance vestibules that remained a feature of all suburban electric coaches built subsequently.
The NSWGR was re-organised and restructured in the 1970s and 1980s, becoming the Public Transport Commission of NSW and then State Rail Authority of NSW (SRA). There have been further restructures since then.
In 1982, the first XPTs began service with the SRA. These had a long development from the UK-designed HSTs. A great deal of research and practical trial work was carried out by the SRA Laboratories in consultation with the Mechanical Branch Design Office before the design was settled with Commonwealth Engineering who assembled the vehicles, using “a blend of local and imported components”. Differences included:
- Larger aluminium cooling groups (to cope with higher temperatures)
- De-rated Paxman diesel engines (to cope with higher temperatures)
- Higher capacity air conditioning systems
- No guard’s compartment in the power car
- Welded construction of bogies instead of bolted or riveted
- Fluted stainless steel bodies on trailer coaches – consistent with other long-distance loco hauled coaches
- Increased vertical travel of axleboxes in bogies
- Different spring rates in all bogies
- Lower maximum speed
The units have been a great success and are still in service. On test, they set a new Southern Hemisphere speed record (183 kph) in 1983.
Here is an image of one of the units entering Hornsby (northern Sydney), wearing its original livery:
Here is an image of one of the sets in the second livery on Maldon Curve on the main south line in 1993:
2. Silverton Tramway
Broken Hill, in western NSW, is closer to South Australian ports than those in NSW. For many years it remained isolated from the main part of the NSWGR. The rich silver-lead-zinc mines needed rail transport and the nearest system was the 3ft 6in gauge South Australian system. However the NSW government would not permit the SAR to run their rails into Broken Hill.
The privately-owned Silverton Tramway filled that gap, running narrow-gauge trains from the border to and from Broken Hill. Even after the standard gauge reached Broken Hill, it remained more economic to rail the ore out via South Australia. Most of the designs of Silverton locos were copies of others already running in other states. Here are some examples.
These were also used in Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, Northern Territory, and Western Australia. Most seem to have been built by Beyer Peacock, but some also were built locally. The Silverton locos entered service in 1888.
A Class 4-6-0
These locos were copies of the TGR E class and all 4 were built by Beyer Peacock around 1915.
W Class 4-8-2
This class of four locos was simply a streamlined version of the WAGR W class. They were built by Beyer Peacock and operated from 1951 to the early 1960s.
3. Locos Built for Other Private Railways
Many British manufacturers exported their products around the Empire/Commonwealth. Here are some images of just a few of them that came to NSW.
Associated Portland Cement Co No.3 (Barclay 1234/1911), Portland
“Alison” (Barclay 1738/1923)
Here are details of her varied career: http://www.australia....com/Alison.htm
Richmond Vale Railway 0-6-0ST No.2 (Avonside 1916/1922).
This loco worked for Abermain Seaham Collieries (which was taken over by the Richmond Vale Railway) from 1922 until 1969.
South Bulli No. 4 (Avonside 1574/1909) worked at South Bulli Colliery from 1909 until 1967.
“Marjorie” (Clyde Engineering 462/1938) was a copy of an Avonside design. Here is her biography: http://www.australia...om/Marjorie.htm
South Maitland Railway 2-8-2T
These large locos were essentially a tank version of the NSWGR T(524)/D50 class, also built by BP. The entire class of 14 locos survived into preservation, having worked from their introduction in 1912 until the closure of the Richmond Vale Railway in 1986.
Here are some images of them in regular service:
Hudswell Clarke 2ft gauge cane locos were used in many canefields around NSW and Queensland to haul newly harvested sugar cane to nearby sugar mills. Several of them found a new career on tourist tramways. Here are two of them:
Hudswell Clarke (1862/1953), Timbertown (near Wauchope), NSW
This loco once worked at the Macknade Mill, near Ingham (Qld.).
Hudswell Clarke 1098/1915, Goulburn Steam Museum.
This loco used to work at the Gin Gin Mill, Wallaville (Qld).
Richmond Vale Railway Kitson 0-6-0ST
RVR No.3 (Kitson 2263/1878) was a copy of NSWGR No. 20N (a favourite of the owner, John Brown). It survived to be preserved in the 1970s.
RVR No.4 (Kitson 1620/1870) was originally NSWGR No. 20N (a favourite of the owner, John Brown). It survived to be preserved in the 1970s.
Richmond Vale Railway 2-8-2T
RVR Nos 9 & 10 (Kitson 4567/1908 and 4798/1911) were typical British industrial export tank engines. Locos of similar style, exported to South Africa, can be found in Colin Garratt “Steam Safari” (Blandford, 1974) in plates 11, 12, 18, 29, 34 and 44. These locos remained in service until about 1976 when they were replaced by South Maitland Railway 2-8-2Ts (described above).
“Possum” (Manning Wardle 1802/ 1912) was a steelworks engine that worked in both Lithgow and Port Kembla. Her career is described here: http://www.australia....com/Possum.htm
Stephenson’s Rocket Replica
This interesting replica drew many curious crowds when exhibited in Sydney during 1982 as part of an overseas promotional tour for the National Railway Museum (York).
- C.H.Lake “The World’s Locomotives” (Percival Marshall, 1906)
- J.H.Forsyth: “Steam Locomotive Data” (Public Transport Commission of NSW, 1974)
- Colin Garratt “Steam Safari” (Blandford, 1974)
- Leon Oberg: “Locomotives of Australia” (A.H. & A.W.Reed, 1975) – ISBN 0 589 07173 4
- J.W.P.Rowledge: “Heavy Goods Engines of the War Department, Volume 1, The ROD 2-8-0” (Springmead Railway Books, 1977)
- Alex Grunbach: “A Compendium of NSW Steam Locomotives (ARHS, 1989) – ISBN 0 909650 27 6
- R.G.Preston ”The Richmond Vale Railway (Shepp Books, 1990) – ISBN 0 909862 26 http://www.australia.../nswgrframe.htm