NZR DSA class

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The New Zealand Railways DSA class was a class of 0-6-0DM diesel-mechanical locomotives built by W. G. Bagnall, Hunslet, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and Vulcan Foundry for the Drewry Car Co. They were built between 1953 and 1968.

Introduction to service[edit]

Following on from the success of the initial batch of DS class 0-6-0DM shunting locomotives, NZR management decided to acquire further locomotives of this type. These locomotives would be similar to the DS class, and would be allocated to the major centres where they would be used primarily as shunting locomotives. As they would be slightly heavier, these locomotives were allocated the DSA classification.

The first batch of seven DSA class locomotives arrived in 1953 from the Drewry Car Company, with another fourteen coming from that maker the following year. NZR also placed orders in 1954 with W. G. Bagnall and Hunslet for a further ten and fifteen locomotives respectively, which were delivered in 1956-57 by Bagnall and 1954-58 by Hunslet. After this, no further DSAs were purchased until NZR placed an order with Mitsubishi Heavy Engineering for a further ten locomotives in 1967, all of which were delivered later that year.

The DSA class locomotives[edit]

Drewry Car Company[edit]

Road numbers DSA 216-235 (TMS DSA 209-401)
Maker's Nos. 2414/D163-2433/D182

Designated as maker's model A-2, these locomotives were built by the Vulcan Foundry of English Electric for the Drewry Car Company. They weighed 29.5 tons ready for service, and were powered by a Gardner 8L3 diesel engine producing 204 hp. The driving wheels were 39¾", the same size as that of the DS class. All entered service between November 1953 and June 1954, and were based mostly in the North Island. However two locomotives, DSA's 218 and 234, were reallocated to the South Island and were noted in January 1977 as being based at Invercargill.[1]

Visually, the Drewry DSA was very similar to the earlier DS class, although the upper half of the cab tapered inwards as opposed to the straight-sided cab of the DS. Most retained their original red livery to the end of their service with NZR although two, DSA 265 (pre-TMS DSA 221) and DSA 401 (pre-TMS DSA 235) did receive the International Orange livery at NZR Otahuhu Workshops in 1982 and 1983 respectively.[2]

W. G. Bagnall[edit]

Road numbers DSA 240-249 (TMS DSA 414-510)
Maker's Nos. 3079-3088

These ten locomotives were standard Bagnall 0-6-0DM shunting locomotives, similar to those supplied to Tasman Pulp and Paper in 1954 (one locomotive) and Wilsons Portland Cement in 1958 (two locomotives). They weighed 30.6 tons ready for service, and were originally powered by a National M4AA6 diesel engine producing 240hp connected to a Vulcan-Sinclair fluid coupling and Wilson five-speed epicyclic gearbox.[3] They had 39¾" wheels and a top speed of 52 km/h as built, later reduced to 39 km/h after re-powering. All were exclusively based in the North Island, and in 1977 it was noted that DSA's 240-247 were based in Wellington while DSA's 248 and 249 were based at Palmerston North. Later, several migrated to Gisborne where they finished their NZR service.

Due to issues with the M4AA6 engine, NZR decided to refit the locomotives in 1968 with more reliable 315 hp Caterpillar D343T diesel engines and Twin Disc torque converters. This resulted in the cosmetic appearance of the locomotive changing with a new housing mounted on the left-hand side running board to protect the torque converter while several hood panels were fitted with large mesh sections to improve cross-ventilation.

Most of the locomotives were eventually repainted into the International Orange livery. One notable variant of this was DSA 470 (pre-TMS DSA 245) after it was involved in an accident which destroyed the original hood-front. A new one was fabricated from sheet metal, giving 470 a more austere look with its flat-faced hood. This locomotive spent its last years working out of Gisborne and was withdrawn in April 1990.

W. G. Bagnall for industry[edit]

Road numbers 3079 (maker's number), WPC 10-11
Maker's NO's 3079, 3132, 3144

A further three 0-6-0DM locomotives were built by W. G. Bagnall for industrial service in New Zealand. The first, Bagnall 3079 of 1954, was delivered to Tasman Pulp & Paper for use at their Kinleith paper plant in the Bay of Plenty. The other two, maker's nos. 3132 and 3144 of 1958, were delivered to Wilsons Portland Cement for use on their private quarry railway at Portland, just south of Whangarei. All three were exactly the same as the ten NZR locomotives which were built to the same pattern as Bagnall 3079. They were initially equipped with National M4AA6 diesel engines producing 240 hp.

All three were later re-powered by A & G Price at their Thames workshops; Bagnall 3079 with a 315 hp Caterpillar D343T diesel engine and Twin Disc torque converter, while the two Portland locomotives, numbered WPC 10 (3132) and WPC 11 (3144) received 204 hp Gardner 8L3 diesel engines which were used in the DS and Drewry DSA class locomotives. Bagnall 3079 was also later fitted with extra ballast weight to increase its power output

Bagnall 3079 was withdrawn in 1989 due to the increased shunting being beyond its capabilities. Replaced by chop-nosed DA 512, it was provisionally sold to the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway who planned to have it towed by rail to their Kawakawa depot. Unfortunately NZ Rail Ltd was concerned that the tyres needed reprofiling and wanted the locomotive to be road transported to Westfield depot in Auckland for this work to be carried before it could be moved by rail. Unable to meet the cost of transporting the locomotive and reprofiling the tyres, the BoIVR were unable to move the locomotive and it was later scrapped at Kinleith in 1990.

WPC 10 and 11 were retired in 1990 when the Portland quarry railway closed. Both were sold to Kamo Engineering and were moved to their yard where the Gardner 8L3 engines were removed and fitted in a ship. After being stored in the yard for 15 years both were sold in 2005:

  • WPC 10 was purchased by the Whangarei Steam & Model Railway Club and moved to their short line at the Whangarei Museum, Kamo in 2005. It has been cosmetically overhauled pending the arrival of a replacement Gardner 8L3 or similar low-revolution diesel engine. Its current livery is that of Wilsons Portland Cement Ltd, but with a darker shade of blue used in place of the original.
  • WPC 11 moved to the Waitara Railway Preservation Society depot at Waitara Road (Brixton) in 2005. It stayed here for five years before moving to the Taranaki Flyer Trust's depot in the former Stratford goods shed. Since the trust folded this has returned to Waitara. Bagnall 3144 has not been restored and retains its original Portland Blue livery, albeit heavily faded and rust-streaked. A Gardner 8L3 engine has been acquired for this locomotive when restoration commences.

Hunslet Engine Company[edit]

Road numbers DSA 250-264 (TMS DSA 523-510)
Maker's NOs. 4528-4537, 4697-4701

These fifteen locomotives were standard Hunslet 0-6-0DM diesel shunting locomotives, similar to the British Rail Class 2/8 and 2/9 class shunting locomotives. They weighed 30.5 tons ready for service and had 39¾" wheels. The initial batch of ten locomotives were fitted with National M4AA6 diesel engines developing a slightly higher 250hp powering a Hunslet friction clutch and four-speed gearbox but this gave trouble and the last batch were fitted with hydraulic transmissions, again powered by the 250hp M4AA6.

All of the Hunslet locomotives were based exclusively in the South Island and came in three batches - the first in 1954-55 (DSA's 250-254, 257), the second in 1956 (DSA's 255, 258) and the third and final batch in 1957-58 (DSA's 256, 257, 259-264). At an early stage five were repowered with 204hp Gardner 8L3 diesel engines but all were eventually repowered with 315hp Caterpillar D343T engines.

Mitsubishi Heavy Engineering[edit]

Road numbers DSA 265-276 (TMS DSA 699-822)
Maker's NO's. 1460-1471

These eleven locomotives were the last DSA class locomotives to enter service and the most modern. They weighed 38.1 tons ready for service and had 39¾" wheels. All were fitted with 315 hp Caterpillar D343T diesel engines with Twin Disc torque converters. All were exclusively confined to the South Island pre-1991. The class was regularly allocated to Timaru and at least three locomotives of this type were allocated here in the 1980s.

Withdrawal and preservation[edit]

With the rationalisation of New Zealand Railways Corporation in the 1980s, the need for the DSA class was reduced, with the first locomotives of this class being withdrawn early in this decade. The entire class was withdrawn by 1990 with the exception of two locomotives; Hunslet DSA 551 (DSA 253) which was owned by Railways but used as the shunting locomotive for the Kingston Flyer at Kingston, and Mitsubishi DSA 782 (DSA 273) which had been overhauled and moved to Poverty Bay for use at Wairoa as a shunting locomotive.

Due to the number of DSA class locomotives and their higher power rating, these locomotives were purchased in large numbers by industrial users. A fewer number of locomotives were purchased direct from Railways as they were withdrawn.

Return to service[edit]

In the 1990s, New Zealand Rail Ltd. and its successor Tranz Rail took two DSA class locomotives back into their stock list - Hunslet DSA 551 (DSA 253) and Mitsubishi DSA 782 (DSA 273).

In 1991, DSA 782 was returned from loan to Rail Base Systems after the conclusion of track recovery beyond Middlemarch on the Otago Central Railway. Although obsolete, the DSA was overhauled and dispatched to Wairoa on the Palmerston North-Gisborne Line for use as a shunting locomotive in 1995. It retained its "International Orange" livery but with Frutiger-script numbers on the cab. The locomotive was later on-sold to the Northland Dairy Company and used to shunt their plant at Kauri.

In 1999, former Kingston Flyer shunting locomotive DSA 551 was replaced by a TR class loco. The DSA was then trucked to Dunedin and overhauled at Hillside Workshops, during which time it was repainted in a variant of the Tranz Rail "Cato Blue" livery. It was returned to service in 2001, before moving to Awatoto in 2003 to replace Mainline Steam-owned DSA 258 (DSA 617) at Ravensdown Fertiliser Awatoto. The locomotive was later sold to Ravensdown for use as their plant shunter.

Class register[edit]

Key: In service Out of service Auckland Transport service Preserved Overhaul/Repair Scrapped
Original no. TMS no. Builder Introduced Withdrawn Livery Notes
216 209 Drewry November 1953 March 1981 NZR Midland Red Formerly diplayed at a park in New Plymouth.
217 211 Drewry November 1953 April 1984 Baymilk White Formerly known as "Lady Di". Used by Baymilk for their Edgecumbe plant until March 1987 when the 1987 Edgecumbe Earthquake struck. Scrapped in 1994 after being surplus to their requirements.[4]
218 224 Drewry December 1953 August 1982 NZR Midland Red Owned by the Ashburton Railway & Preservation Society and is awaiting restoration at The Plains Vintage Railway & Historical Museum.
219 237 Drewry December 1953 April 1984 NZR Midland Red
220 252 Drewry December 1953 March 1981 NZR Midland Red
221 252 Drewry December 1953 August 1986 International Orange
222 278 Drewry March 1954 April 1984 Non-standed white In storage at the East Coast Museum.
223 280 Drewry March 1954 December 1985 NZR Midland Red Owned and operated by the Museum of Transport and Technology.
224 280 Drewry March 1954 April 1984 NZR Midland Red
225 305 Drewry March 1954 August 1986 Non-standed green. Owned and operated by the Cable Bay Railway.
226 318 Drewry April 1954 December 1983 NZR Midland Red
227 320 Drewry December 1953 February 1982 NZR Midland Red Owned and operated by the Feilding and District Steam Rail Society.
228 333 Drewry March 1954 April 1982 NZR Midland Red
229 346 Drewry February 1954 March 1981 NZR Midland Red
230 Drewry January 1954 September 1978 NZR Midland Red Formerly owned by the Glenbrook Vintage Railway. Scrapped in 1990 due to shunting damage.[5]
231 359 Drewry December 1953 October 1986 NZR Midland Red On display at Minogue Park, Te Rapa.
232 361 Drewry February 1954 April 1982 NZR Midland Red
233 374 Drewry March 1954 March 1981 NZR Midland Red
234 387 Drewry June 1954 March 1981 NZR Midland Red Owned by Harry Andrew and is operated by the Oamaru Steam and Rail Restoration Society.
235 401 Drewry June 1954 August 1986 NZR Midland Red
240 414 Bagnall December 1956 March 1990 International Orange Owned by the Waitara Railway Preservation Society. Currently stored.
241 427 Bagnall January 1957 December 1988 International Orange
242 442 Bagnall February 1957 December 1988 International Orange
243 455 Bagnall September 1956 December 1988 NZR Midland Red Owned and operated by the Glenbrook Vintage Railway.
244 468 Bagnall February 1957 April 1990 International Orange
245 470 Bagnall February 1957 April 1990 International Orange
246 483 Bagnall March 1957 April 1990 Non-standered green Owned by Winstone Pulp & Paper for use as a shunting locomotive at their Karioi factory. Currently stored.
247 496 Bagnall October 1956 December 1988 International Orange
248 508 Bagnall October 1956 December 1988 International Orange
249 510 Bagnall September 1956 September 1989 International Orange
250 523 Hunslet November 1954 March 1981 NZR Midland Red
251 536 Hunslet November 1954 September 1982 NZR Midland Red Formerly used by PPC at their Burnside plant.
252 549 Hunslet November 1954 September 1982 PPC Blue Owned by PPC Burnside. On loan and operated by the Ocean Beach Railway.
253 551 Hunslet November 1954 Tranz Rail Blue Latest withdrawal date unknown. Withdrawn in April 1985. Returned to service on 10 April 2001. Owned and operated by Ravensdown at their Awatoto plant.
254 564 Hunslet July 1955 November 1982 NZR Midland Red
255 577 Hunslet March 1956 November 1982 NZR Midland Red
255 577 Hunslet March 1956 November 1982 NZR Midland Red Formerly used by NZ Cement at their Burnside plant.
256 592 Hunslet September 1955 August 1986 International Orange Owned by the Ocean Beach Railway. Currently in outside storage.
257 604 Hunslet January 1956 March 1981 NZR Midland Red
258 617 Hunslet January 1956 August 1985 Mainline Steam Red Formerly owned by the Mainline Steam Heritage Trust. Scrapped in 2004 due to shunting damage.[6]
259 632 Hunslet May 1957 November 1987 International Orange Formerly used by NZ Cement at their Burnside plant.
260 645 Hunslet June 1957 November 1982 NZR Midland Red
261 658 Hunslet June 1957 April 1985 Ravensdown White Owned by a Dunedin local and is currently under restoration.
262 660 Hunslet June 1957 April 1985 NZR Midland Red Owned and operated by the Nelson Railway Society.
263 673 Hunslet June 1957 March 1981 NZR Midland Red
264 686 Hunslet March 1958 November 1987 International Orange Formerly used by NZ Cement at their Burnside plant.
265 699 Mitsubishi September 1967 February 1988 International Orange
266 700 Mitsubishi September 1967 February 1988 International Orange
267 713 Mitsubishi September 1967 February 1988 International Orange
268 726 Mitsubishi September 1967 February 1988 International Orange
269 739 Mitsubishi October 1967 February 1988 International Orange
270 741 Mitsubishi September 1967 February 1988 International Orange
271 754 Mitsubishi September 1967 August 1989 International Orange
272 767 Mitsubishi August 1967 February 1988 NZR Midland Red
273 782 Mitsubishi September 1967 February 1988 NZR Midland Red Owned and operated by Fonterra at their Kauri factory.
274 795 Mitsubishi September 1967 February 1988 NZR Midland Red
275 807 Mitsubishi October 1967 February 1988 International Orange
276 822 Mitsubishi September 1967 February 1988 NZR Midland Red Owned and operated by the Weka Pass Railway.

Preservation[edit]

Drewry[edit]

  • DSA 218 (TMS DSA 224) was sold in 1982 to the Ohai Railway Board and was painted in their yellow livery. It was sold to the Oamaru Steam and Rail Restoration Society in 1989 along with the remains of DSA 234, who then used the two locomotives as a swap for a Hudswell Clarke saddle tank locomotive owned by the Alliance Freezing Works at Pukeuri. DSA 224 remained as the main shunt loco until it became mechanically unreliable and was replaced by DSC 2067 in 2007. The DSA was sold to the Ashburton Railway & Preservation Society in January 2014 and arrived at Tinwald in April. It is now pending restoration.
  • DSA 222 (TMS DSA 278) was purchased directly from NZR service in 1984 by Gisborne City Vintage Rail. It was then onsold to the East Coast Museum of Technology in 1998, and moved to their Makaraka site outside of Gisborne, where it is currently stored.
  • DSA 223 (TMS DSA 280) was purchased directly from NZR service in 1985 by MOTAT. It is based at their 'MOTAT 2' site at Meola Road, and is currently operational.
  • DSA 225 (TMS DSA 305) was purchased from NZR in 1986 and moved to Steam Incorporated's Paekakariki site. In 1994 it moved to the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway, and remained there for several years in storage for the owner. DSA 305 was later moved to the private Cable Bay Railway, where it was restored and later revealed in 2009.
  • DSA 227 (TMS DSA 320) was sold by NZR to Richmond for use at their Oringi freezing works in 1982. It worked there until the late 1990s, when it was moved to the Palmerston North locomotive depot for storage. The DSA was then sold to the Feilding and District Steam Rail Society in 2001 and is currently the main shunting locomotive at the F&DSR depot.
  • DSA 231 (TMS DSA 359) was purchased from NZR in 1986 and placed on display in Frankton Junction, near the site of the old Hamilton railway station, minus its engine and under an open-sided shelter. In 2004, the locomotive and shelter were relocated to Minogue Park in Te Rapa, home to the Hamilton Miniature Engineers' Society and adjacent to the then-Toll Rail railway yards and locomotive depot.
  • DSA 234 (TMS DSA 387) was sold in 1981 to the private Ohai Railway Board for use as a source of spare parts for their other DSA, DSA 224 (formerly DSA 218). The hulk of the locomotive was then sold to the Oamaru Steam and Rail Society in 1989 before being sold on later that year to the Alliance freezing works at Pukeuri again as a source of spare parts. It was purchased by OS&R member Harry Andrews in 1999, and was stored until restoration began in 2004 using the parts from Drewy DS 214 to make it operable again. DSA 234 returned to service in 2008.

Bagnall[edit]

  • DSA 240 (TMS DSA 414) was sold to the Kiwi Dairy factory in 1990 and replaced DS 209 at their Hawera factory. It was then moved on to the Whareroa factory, where it was replaced in 1999 by Tranz Rail locomotive DAR 517. The DSA was then on-sold to Farmer's Fertiliser for use at their New Plymouth depot, where it was repainted into Farmer's yellow livery some time after 2005. After being replaced by a DSC class locomotive in 2007, the locomotive was stored at the nearby New Plymouth locomotive depot, before being donated to the Waitara Railway Preservation Society in 2008. Wearing an all-over yellow livery, DSA 240 is currently being restored.
  • DSA 242 (TMS DSA 442) was sold in 1990 to Gisborne City Vintage Rail with the Caterpillar D343T engine and torque converter to be returned to NZ Rail. The locomotive was then dismantled for parts to restore steam locomotive WA 165, which was restored using the cab roof and some of the brake pipes from the DSA. GCVR still owns the driving wheels, side rods, brake gear, and hood panels, while the cab controls and transmission are owned by the East Coast Museum of Technology. The remains of the cab and the locomotive frame were sold for scrap to finance the restoration of the WA.
  • DSA 243 (TMS DSA 455) was sold to the Glenbrook Vintage Railway in 1990 to replace Drewry DSA 230 which had been damaged after it was towed in gear. The locomotive became GVR No 10, and was overhauled in 2008. It is currently operational and is painted in NZR Red.

Hunslet[edit]

  • DSA 252 (TMS DSA 549) was sold to PPCS for use as their Burnside Freezing Works (Dunedin) shunter in 1982 and was one of five Hunslet-built DSA class locomotives used by industries in Burnside. On 5 February 2005, the locomotive was leased to the Ocean Beach Railway on the proviso it would be returned if so requested. The locomotive still carries its PPCS blue and white livery as a part of this and is currently operable.
  • DSA 256 (TMS DSA 592) was sold in 1986 to the Fiordland Steam group and was stored at Wairio until 2000. It was then moved to the Ocean Beach Railway, and has since been transferred to the OBR. The locomotive retains its TMS identity of DSA 592 and is still painted in the International Orange livery. Currently the stripped remains of the DSA are held in open-air storage and there are no immediate plans for its restoration to working order.
  • DSA 261 (TMS DSA 658) was sold in 1985 to Ravensdown Fertiliser and used as their resident shunting loco at their Hornby (Christchurch) fertiliser plant, in the process displacing an A & G Price-built shunting loco, Maker's NO 198, which was then donated to the Weka Pass Railway. It was later withdrawn due to motor failure and in 2002 was donated to Mainline Steam, who moved it to their Sockburn depot further along the Main South Line. The loco, still painted in Ravensdown's white livery, was later sold in 2009 to a private individual near Dunedin who has had it restored and painted in a similar shade of red as used by NZR.
  • DSA 262 (TMS DSA 660) was sold directly from NZR service in 1985 to the Nelson Railway Society. Repainted in NZR Red with 'wasp stripes' on the headstocks, the DSA is the Society's main locomotive and runs regularly at Founder's Park in Nelson.

Mitsubishi[edit]

  • DSA 276 (TMS DSA 822) was sold in 1988 to Rail Base Systems, the contractor who was responsible for dismantling the Otago Central Railway. Repainted in an all-over pink livery and nicknamed "The Pink Panther", the locomotive was loaned to the Weka Pass Railway in 1992 after dismantling of the OCR beyond Middlemarch was completed, and was later purchased by the WPR. DSA 276 has since been repainted in NZR Red and is used by the WPR to haul work trains and shunt the Waipara yard.

Industrial users[edit]

Bagnall[edit]

  • DSA 246 (TMS DSA 483) was purchased by Winstone Pulp & Paper in 1990 for use as a shunting locomotive at their Karioi factory, replacing a Hillside Workshops-built TR. Painted in an all-over green livery but retaining its TMS number, DSA 483 is now in storage.

Hunslet[edit]

  • DSA 253 (TMS DSA 551) was withdrawn in 1985 but was instead retained and used by the NZR as the resident Kingston shunt locomotive for the Kingston Flyer until its replacement in 2001 by TR 350. Tranz Rail returned the DSA to its stock list and it was overhauled at Hillside Workshops for use as a shunting locomotive, most recently at Ravensdown in Awatoto. It was later purchased by Ravensdown and wears a variant of the "Cato Blue" livery.

Mitsubishi[edit]

  • DSA 273 (TMS DSA 782) was purchased in July 1995 by the Northland Dairy Company for use as a shunting locomotive at their Kauri base. Now owned by Fonterra, DSA 782 was transported to Hutt Workshops in late 2012 for overhaul, during which time it was repainted in NZR 'Midland Red' and renumbered as DSA 273. It returned to Kauri in late 2013.

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Palmer, A. N and W. W. Stewart, Cavalcade of New Zealand Locomotives, Reed 1956, second ed. 1965.
  • McGavin, T. A, NZR Locomotives and Railcars 1977, NZR&LS 1977.