Below are a few scenes from a recent visit to Pothana Lane in the NSW Hunter Valley (near Branxton).
CFCL Australia have accepted the first delivery of their new “CM Class” locomotives from MotivePower Inc. The first of the class, CM3301 “Red Handed” was delivered by FL220 to Goulburn on July 27th, 2013, having been unloaded at Port Kembla the day before. Running as train number 9271, FL220 hauled a covered CM3301 and wagon NOGF 5251. The train departed Port Kembla Inner Harbour at 1700, bound for Goulburn via Unanderra and Moss Vale. CM3301 is not the first of CFCLAs locomotives to carry the name “Red Handed”, with this name previously being carried by RL301.
This was not the first interesting train to traverse that line today, with 3642 having hauled a tour train to Robertson earlier in the day. The newest, and one of the oldest locomotives in the state passing through the same town within a matter of hours? Couldn’t plan that better if you tried!
Click on any image below to view a larger size (link opens in a new window).
With thanks to Richard Whitford for his assistance.
442 Class – A Story of Survivors
The 442 Class, or “Jumbos” as they are often known, are an excellent example of how former Government owned locomotives that were withdrawn and set aside have found a new lease of life in the brave new world of private rail operators. Many of the surviving class members have seen their fair share of operators come and go, and yet they have survived them all, and the majority will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Introduction & Government Service
The 40-strong 442 Class was introduced as a replacement for the NSW Government Railways fleet of 40 Class locomotives. The 40 Class had originally entered service in 1951, an almost off the shelf American Locomotive Co. (ALCo) design, modified for NSW conditions and loading gauge. By the late 1960s, the 40 Class were beginning to become unreliable and a rebuild of the class to keep them in service would be uneconomical. The concept of trading-in older locomotives to offset the cost of new locomotives was proving to be a popular concept in the United States of America, leading to the New South Wales Government Railways (NSWGR) signing a tender with A. E. Goodwin Ltd to accept the 40 Class units as trade-ins on twenty new main line diesels. This concept would prove to be too ambitious, with only limited parts (traction motors, compressors, auxiliary generator, eddy current clutch and power take-off) being re-used. Whilst the initial order of twenty was being built, a further twenty were ordered to ensure the entire state could be dieselised, pushing out the last strongholds of steam in NSW.
Sadly, a planned article on the closure of the Zig Zag Railway at Lithgow is not yet completed – instead, the Australian Motive Power page has been expanded to provide some background information on the various EMD locomotives still in commercial service in NSW. From the veteran GM1 class to the new GT46-ACe models being delivered by Downer EDI, there is something for every enthusiast. Once again, not all locomotive classes have been covered, as this page is intended to sit alongside my photo gallery on Flickr – no point covering locomotives if they have no photos to go with them!
As is common in this industry, things are often out of date as soon as they are “printed”, so expect a few minor tweaks to be made to the page in the coming days.
Once again, shift work has conspired to eat into the available time for writing new and “interesting” articles for this website, I instead offer an update to the Australian Motive Power page to include a section on General Electric motive power. As with ALCo before it, I have focused on locomotives that operate within NSW – if you notice any “gaps”, this is likely because I have not yet photographed the classes in question, and/or that they do not operate within NSW (and as a result, a field trip would be required to track them down). Hopefully there are no glaring omissions!