New South Wales 42 class locomotive

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New South Wales 42 class
4201 leading a New South Wales Rail Transport Museum train at Moorabool in April 2007
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder Clyde Engineering, Granville
Serial number 55-74, 55-75, 55-79, 56-87, 56-92, 56-100
Model Electro-Motive Diesel A7, later model A16C
Build date 1955/56
Total produced 6
UIC classification Co-Co
Gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Wheel diameter 40 in (1,016 mm)
Length Over headstocks:
58 ft 0 in (17.68 m),
Over coupler pulling faces:
62 ft 3 14 in (18.98 m)
Width 9 ft 9 in (2.97 m)
Height 14 ft 0 in (4.27 m)
Axle load 20 tons 0 cwt (44,800 lb or 20.3 t)
Locomotive weight 120 tons 0 cwt (268,800 lb or 121.9 t)
Fuel type Diesel
Fuel capacity 1,500 imp gal (6,800 l; 1,800 US gal)
Lubricant capacity 165 imp gal (750 l; 198 US gal)
Coolant capacity 175 imp gal (800 l; 210 US gal)
Sandbox capacity 16 cu ft (0.45 m3)
Prime mover EMD 16-567C
Engine RPM range 275-835
Engine type Two-stroke diesel
Aspiration Roots blower
Generator EMD D12
Traction motors EMD D37, 6 of
Cylinders V16
Cylinder size 8.5 in × 10 in (216 mm × 254 mm)
Top speed 71 mph (114 km/h)
Power output Gross: 1,750 hp (1,305 kW),
For traction: 1,600 hp (1,193 kW)
Tractive effort Continuous: 61,250 lbf (272.45 kN) at 9 mph (14 km/h)
First run 28 November 1955
Withdrawn 1983
Preserved 4201, 4204, 4206
Disposition 3 preserved, 1 static, 2 scrapped

The 42 class were a class of diesel locomotives built by Clyde Engineering, Granville for the New South Wales Government Railways in 1955/56.


4202 and 4206 depart Junee with a northbound freight train
4202 operating wrong road at Yass hauling the Intercapital Daylight
4204 at Albury in 1977

The design was based on the Electro-Motive Diesel EMD F7 locomotive and were very similar to the GM 12 class then being built by Clyde Engineering for the Commonwealth Railways.

They initially worked express passenger services including the Brisbane Limited, Intercapital Daylight and Melbourne Limited and later the Southern Aurora and Spirit of Progress.[1][2] As newer locomotives arrived they were concentrated on the Main South line operating freight services.

By April 1978 the Australian Federated Union of Enginemen placed a ban on the 42 class operating as lead engines due to cab conditions. In 1980 4201 had its cab upgraded during overhaul to overcome these issues, but with their replacement imminent it was decided not to treat the rest of the class. All were withdrawn in 1983.


Three have been preserved:

  • 4201 was acquired by the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum.[3] It has been used extensively on charters across the state and ventured interstate to Melbourne. It retains the green and yellow livery it received for the 125th anniversary of NSW railways in 1980. As of 2014 it has been undergoing repairs at Maintrain, Auburn.
  • 4203 was acquired by a caravan park and placed on display at the entrance to the park as a gate guardian. It was later sold and the body was cut into three sections; while the central section was scrapped, O'Donohughes Irish Pub in Emu Plains brought the cab and rearmost section of the body and welded them together for use as playground equipment. The bogies and fuel tank were sold to enthusiast groups for use as spare parts.
  • 4206 was acquired by the Dorrigo Steam Railway & Museum.[6] After being used extensively on the Dorrigo line hauling infrastructure and stock trains from Glenreagh, it was withdrawn when the line closed and placed in open storage at Dorrigo, where it remains today as a static exhibit.
Locomotive Serial No Entered Service Current Owner Livery Status
4201 55-74 Nov 1955 New South Wales Rail Transport Museum Green & yellow Repairs, Maintrain
4202 55-75 Dec 1955 - - Scrapped
4203 55-79 Jan 1956 O'Donohugue's Pub - Emu Plains
4204 56-87 Mar 1956 Lachlan Valley Railway Indian red Operational
4205 56-92 May 1956 - - Scrapped
4206 56-100 Aug 1956 Dorrigo Steam Railway & Museum Indian red Preserved


  1. ^ Oberg, Leon (1980). Diesel Locomotives of Australia. Sydney: AH & AW Reed. p. 283. ISBN 0 589 50211 5. 
  2. ^ 42 Class Railpage
  3. ^ "RTM" Railway Digest February 1984 Page 69
  4. ^ "LVR" Railway Digest February 1984 Page 69
  5. ^ "Western Report" Railway Digest September 1986 Page 281
  6. ^ "Locomotives" Railway Digest April 1984 Page 114

Further reading[edit]

  • "The 42 Class of NSW" Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin January/February 1985 pages 1–24;26-43
  • New South Wales Rail System Locomotives. Sydney: Archives Section, State Rail Authority of New South Wales. 1984.