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New South Wales Railways

NSWGR locomotives are classified by a 1924 convention, in which the number of driving wheels is given as the first letter (C = 6-coupled, D = 8-coupled), and the class is given as the leading two digits of the road number. All road numbers were four digits, and where the class number more than 99 locomotives, the road number carries into the second digit. However, the locomotive still belongs to the base class. Thus 5469 is a "D53" class, and is engine number 169 of that class.

In practice, the letter prefix was dropped. Many classes were still commonly referred to by their pre-1924 classification, so that, for example, the 32 class were often called "P" class.

There are several indiosyncracies to this system. For example, the Garratts (AD60) class had an additional "A" to indicate that they were Articulated.

This part of the photo collection is the most extensive, mainly because I lived in Sydney during the years 1970 to 1973, and travelled on many of the last steam runs while steam was still in revenue service on the NSWGR.

Miscellaneous New South Wales Railway Items

Some stuff that didn't seem appropriate to catalogue elsewhere!

10 class

  • Image : dir=nsw/ page=index 69305 bytes, 600x632 pixels
  • Date : 1965, catalogued 26 Aug 2021
  • Photographer : Graeme Skeet
  • Medium : email digital image, image location 1034 Eveleigh
  • Description : Steam crane 1034 ready for action at Eveleigh.


Z12 Class 4-4-0 (pre 1924 C79 class)

Built by Beyer Peacock, Manchester, and closely related to the Z13 class .

Z13 Class 4-4-2T (pre 1924 CC79 class)

Built by Beyer Peacock, Manchester, as 4-4-0 locos (see Z12 class ) and converted to tanks to run the Sydney suburban services.

Z17 Class 4-4-0 (pre 1924 H373 class)

12 of these locos were constructed by the Vulcan Foundry, and they entered service in 1887. Most were scrapped quite early on, by 1948 in fact, but one, 1709, has survived well into the seventies, because of its use on the "Vintage Train".

Z19 Class 0-6-0 (pre 1924 A93 class)

These diminutive locos survived into the early seventies, working on shunting duties in the major yards. They also saw service on steeply graded and tightly curved lines, due to their short wheelbase. A 19 class was the first NSWGR steam locomotive that I ever saw. The occasion was in August 1970, when, while on my way to the theatre (to see Hair), I saw a 19 class shunting on the bridge over Ultimo Road. Unfortunately, it was dark, the engine was dirty, and I couldn't make out the number. I now kick myself that I didn't follow up on that opportunity and start chasing trains in more earnest while they were still in revenue service.

As it is, I only have views of the LHS of the two locos in this gallery.

20 class

  • Image : dir=nsw/ page=index 75541 bytes, 800x580 pixels
  • Date : 1965, catalogued 26 Aug 2021
  • Photographer : Graeme Skeet
  • Medium : email digital image, image location 2029
  • Description : Survivor 2029 in regular service 1965 sits at Campbelltown waiting for her turn.

Z24 Class 2-6-0 (pre 1924 B55 class)

25 of these locos were built by Dubs and Co, Glasgow, following the success of the B205 class, an earlier, similar designed loco. The B55s were 9 tons heavier, but operated similar services. As the T class appeared, the B55s were displaced to light branch lines and shunting duties.

From 1940 onwards, they were scrapped or sold off, and one went to the Bunnerong Powerhouse, where it is seen in steam in 1973 in the photos shown here.

Z27 Class 2-6-0 (pre 1924 G(1204) class)

The 27 class were originally built in 1913 by the Hunslet Co. of Leeds, England, as construction engines for the Public Works Department. The 8 engines were taken over by the New South Wales Railways in 1917, and became the G(1204) class.

They are unique in having Walschaert's valve gear driving flat D-slide valves

Between 1929 and 1938 they were given 25 class boilers and obsolete D50 tenders. 2705 is preserved, but the rest were all scrapped by the end of 1966.

C30 Class 4-6-4 Hudson Tanks and C30T 4-6-0 Tender Locos

The C30 locos were built to cater for the Sydney suburban network, but were gradually displaced with the advent of electrification in the 1920's (1926/27, according to correspondent Peter Brigden, who remembers seeing these dates on early power cars in use as late as the 60's and 70's). Many were converted into 4-6-0 tender locomotives (the C30T Class), but some survived for use as shunters, and on short country branches.

The "T" classification suffix for the tender version is somewhat unfortunate, as it conflicts with usage elsewhere in the world. Road numbers were not changed on conversion.

Terry Bell writes:

Having watched steam locos at Thirroul marshalling yards as a lad I remember the 30 class locos as a tanker being used on the "workers trains " from Pt. Kembla North station to Thirroul till the early 60s, also I could watch them trying to get up out of the Newbolds Bricks siding with waggons of bricks - priming all over the local washing.

A great site - my grandfather Claude Bell was Stationmaster at Helensburgh station in the 50s and I could tell every loco by its exhaust note climbing through through the cutting, my biggest thrill - as a 12 year old hopping a lift on a 30 class while it changed direction at Helensburgh station and trying to pull the throttle lever down!

C32 Class 4-6-0 Ten Wheelers

Widely known as the "P" class (due to their classification in the pre-1924 system) by enginemen and railfan alike, the 32 class were highly regarded locomotives. Designed by William Thow, the class were used on lighter express passenger trains right up until the end of steam hauled passenger services. Indeed, 3246 was still running the Singleton-Newcastle service in 1971. (Thanks to Darren Yates for this this snippet.)

C35 Class 4-6-0 Ten Wheelers

There were 35 35 class locos built! They entered service from 1914 to 1923, and were originally known as the NN class before the 1924 renumbering. Because of this, they were still often called "nannies" right up until they were retired, the last to be scrapped being 3501. 3526 is the only preserved example.

C36 Class 4-6-0 Ten Wheelers

The 36 class grew out of the successful 35 class, and if anything, was more successful. A total of 75 units were built from 1925-1928, the first 10 at Eveleigh Railway Workshops, and the rest at Clyde Engineering Co. Initially used on express passenger trains but more latterly on goods, they saw service almost to the end of steam. The last unit was withdrawn in 1969 after it and 5 others were upgraded late in their lives, owing to a severe locomotive shortage in the late 60's.

Unfortunately, most of the 36 class had disappeared by the time I came to NSW, so these pages only include photos of 3642, one of the three preserved examples (the others are 3609 and 3616). All of these are at the NSW Rail Transport Museum.

C38 Class 4-6-2 Pacifics

This class were the premier express passenger locomotive of the post WWII steam era. Built from 1945, most of the class lasted well into the 60s. 3801, the class leader, has travelled the entire standard gauge network of Australia (except for the Melbourne-Adelaide SG line, opened in June 1995), but almost all of this was on railtour specials, post regular steam workings. 3801, 3813, 3820 and 3830 all survive, though only 3801 and 3830 are operational, and 3813 is in pieces.

Diesel Multiple Units

Diesel Multiple Units of the NSW Railways, including CPHs, and DEB sets.

XPT Multiple Units

The XPT (eXpress Passenger Train) is based upon the British HST, but with rerated motive power and changed axle gearing.

D50 Class 2-8-0 Consolidations

There were 35 35 Class and 280 of these 2-8-0s!! The T-524 class (in the pre-1924 numbering scheme) were built to replace earlier 2-6-0 designs, and were so successful that they not only became the largest single class of steam locomotives in Australia, but also their design was used as the basis for no less than 4 other classes of locomotive, and they were also used on the Western Front in WWI. THe other classes were the 53 class , 55 class, Commonwealth Railways K class, and SMR 10 class .

Originally designed by Beyer Peacock, the 50 class had Belpaire fireboxes, and inside Allan straight link valve gear. The second and third driving wheels were flangeless. Members of the class were built by various builders, including Beyer Peacock, Dubs, Neilsen Reid, North British and Clyde Engineering (NSW).

Beyer Peacock built 151, the most of any one builder, and North British were in second place with 84 plus the 10 that went to the War Department's Railways Operating Division in France. To commmemorate that effort, a model of the 50 class can be seen in the Glasgow Museum of Transport

They were gradually rebuilt from the original saturated design to a superheated version, but not all were so treated, and the last one in active service was in fact a saturated loco, 5069, seen here in these pages.

D53 Class 2-8-0 Consolidations

The D53 class were a development of the D50 class , originally incorporating an enlarged Belpaire firebox, tapered boiler, and modified wheels and running gear. During construction, the decision was made to superheat all the class, with all subsequent locomotives built as superheated, and locomotives already constructed were later upgraded. They carried three varieties of tender; original, "Wampu" and turret tenders.

D59 Class 2-8-2 Mikados

I always had a soft spot for 59 class, as they just look like steam locos! It may also be partly due to the fact that a 59 class was the first NSW loco I saw in any detail (19 class episodes notwithstanding). They were built by Baldwin to complement the post-war rebuilding program, and hence are very American looking. Originally intended to have much longer tenders, the tender length was reduced so that they could fit on the standard NSWGR 50' turntable.

AD60 Class 4-8-4+4-8-4 Garratts

The 60 class locomotives were built by Beyer Peacock of Manchester, and delivered to NSW over the period 1952-57. They had a massive tractive effort of nearly 60,000lbs, and were regarded as the most powerful locos in the southern hemisphere. Some were modified to increase their tractive effort to 63,000lbs, and had dual controls fitted to eliminate the need for turning on large turntables.

A dedicated group of volunteers at Canberra is working to restore 6029 to steam - you can read about their efforts at their 6029 Blog Page

40 Class B1B-B1B diesel electric

The 40 class DE loco, were introduced to the NSW Railways as the first mainline diesel locomotives in 1954 (date?). 4001 had the honour of pulling the Royal Tour train in 1954 for the visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. These locos were known by railway enthusiasts as "38 killers", because they were used to displace the 38 class from the main passenger trains of NSW. The 38s did, however, survive for another 14 years.

42 Class Co-Co diesel electric

The 42 class GM loco, built by Clyde, had a V-16 two-stroke 1950hp diesel power plant. The two-stroke engines of this class gave the loco a quite distinctive sound, said to stir the hearts of many a devout steam enthusiast! The locos suffered somewhat from being single ended, necessitating turning at terminii. The later 421 class corrected this.

421 Class Co-Co diesel electric

(to be completed)

422 Class Co-Co diesel electric

The 422 class are a development of the 421 class .

44 Class Co-Co diesel electric

These locomotives were built by A.E.Goodwin of Sydney to the US-based Alco design, and followed the successful introduction of a similar model on the SAR (the 930 class , q.v.). They entered service from mid-1957, and saw service on almost all main lines in the state.

442 Class Co-Co diesel electric

The 442 class are a development of the 44 class .

45 Class Co-Co diesel electric

The 45 class were a continuation of the 44 class , using the same basic engine under a hood body, rather than the streamlined 44 class design. There were 40 of these units, entering service between 1962 and 1964. Like the 44 class, a similar model was introduced on the SAR (the 600 class , q.v.). Intrigingly, I saw very few of them during my years in Sydney, which explains why there are very few photos in this section!

46 Class Co-Co Electric

These 3780HP locomotives were introduced to facilitate working over the steeped graded Blue Mountains route, and started on that service in June 1957. They eliminated double-heading (but see also comment below), particularly on the 1 in 30 grades up to Valley Heights, and once electrification was extended northwards to Gosford as well, were used to ease the task of lifting heavy trains up the Cowan Bank from the Hawkesbury River. They have now all been withdrawn, but a couple are preserved. (Locations? One is at Valley Heights, and Skippy Bingham tells me it is 4601 in tuscan red. Darren Yates says he saw two at Lithgow (near the loco shed) in early March 2004.)

Gordon Shannon has written (14 Jun 2004) to comment:

I found this very informative site while looking for some info on the 19 class steam engines that were used on the Oberon to Tarana line for a fellow railwayman who was an ASM (Assistant Station Master) at Tarana. Curiosity drew me to look at the info on the 46 class loco as I saw them introduced as I was living at Katoomba when the electrification was being under taken. Prior to the full opening on the service,the engines were used as a Pilot or assisting engines on the passengers from Valley Heights to Katoomba replacing the steam pilot. This of course was for driver training for the Valley Heights loco men.

In Feb of 1958 I started work at Katoomba as a Junior Station Assistant aged 15, Previously the position was known as a 'Junior Useful'. A high faluting name for for the general dogsbody at half wages. I worked at almost every station between Emu Plains and Mt Victoria as both a junior and adult until in mid 1962 I did my 'Shunting' course and worked at Katoomba as a Porter-Shunter, i.e., platform duties and shunting as required. This put me up close and greasy with the 46 class.

In the infomation on the 46 class is the comment that their introduction removed the need for 'Double Heading'. This is not correct in as far as the goods service was concerned as Pilots were still in use right up to the late 70's.

I worked both signal boxs at Katoomba and Valley heights as a Relief signalman between '78 and '81 so saw them in use. They even assisted the then newer 86 class electrics on some trains but as the control systems on each class was different, the 'Jumper' cables could not be used so each driver had to control his own locomotive.

I moved back to Wallerawang in 1982 and took very little interest in the workings over the Blue Mountains. I do know for a time that the engines from Valley Heights were going to Penrith and attaching there instead of Valley Heights. But this was when so many changes were happening that what was done one week was altered next week. NB, I use the term 'Pilot' to indicate a locomotive on the front of a train and 'Bank Engine' for those pushing from the rear. I worked in the main signal box in Lithgow (Coal Stage) where we used both on the 4000 tonne coal trains heading to Sydney up the Zig Zag section as it is a very heavy grade.

I quit the railways in 1994 after a dummy spit. I had 36 yrs in and enough was enough. I don't miss the job, only those I worked with, but regretably too many have passed on.

I hope the above is of interest to you, Thanks for an interesting site, with regards, Gordon Shannon

Gordon, thank you for these interesting insights!

48 Class Co-Co diesel electric

The 48 class were introduced by the NSWGR to replace steam working on light branch lines. From September 1959 onwards, a total of 165 units were placed in service, and have been used on virtually all lines on the NSW network. They have an axle load of only 12.5 tones, and their 900 horsepower is well matched to the typical branch line workings. In tandem, they are regarded as equivalent to a single 44 class unit, hence their wide route availablity and utility.

The 48 class design was also used for the 15 units of the 830 class of the South Australian Railways , and for 3 units on the Silverton Tramway.

49 Class Co-Co diesel electric

80 Class Co-Co diesel electric

(Information not yet available)

81 Class Co-Co diesel electric

(Information not yet available)

82 Class Co-Co diesel electric

(Information not yet available)

90 Class Co-Co diesel electric

(Information not yet available)

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