South African Class 35-600

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South African Class 35-600
SAR Class 35-600 35-662.JPG
No. 35-662 at Vryheid Yard, 15 August 2007
Type and origin
Power type Diesel-electric
Designer General Motors Electro-Motive Division
Builder General Motors South Africa
Serial number 103-1 to 103-50 (35-601 to 35-650)
110-1 to 110-50 (35-651 to 35-700)
111-1 (Columbus 4) [1][2]
Build date 1976-1978
Total produced 101
AAR wheel arr. C+C
UIC classification Co'Co' (Co+Co interlinked bogies)
Gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge
Bogies 3.302 m (10 ft 10 in) wheelbase
Wheel diameter 915 mm (36 in)
Wheelbase 12.675 m (41 ft 7 in)
Length 16.485 m (54 ft 1 in)
Width 2.819 m (9 ft 3 in)
Height 3.924 m (12 ft 10.5 in)
Axle load 13,720 kg (13.5 long tons)
Locomotive weight 82,000 kg (80.7 long tons) average
82,320 kg (81.0 long tons) maximum
Fuel type Fuel oil
Fuel capacity 3,400 litres (900 US gal)
Prime mover GM-EMD 8-645E3 2 stroke V8
Engine RPM range 250 rpm low idle
315 rpm idle
900 rpm maximum
Engine type Diesel
Aspiration GM-EMD E-8 turbocharger
Displacement 10.570 litres (645.0 cu in)
Generator DC 8 pole GM-EMD D25
Traction motors Six GM-EMD D29CCBT DC 4 pole
* 485A 1 hour
* 450A continuous at 15 km/h (9.3 mph)
Transmission 57/16 gear ratio
Multiple working 4 maximum
Performance figures
Maximum speed 100 km/h (62 mph)
Power output 1,195 kW (1,603 hp) starting
1,065 kW (1,428 hp) continuous
Tractive effort 201 kN (45,000 lbf) starting
161 kN (36,000 lbf) continuous at 19 km/h (12 mph)
Factor of
25% starting
20% continuous
Locomotive brake 28-LAV-1
Dynamic brake peak effort:
138 kN (31,000 lbf) at 28 km/h (17 mph)
65% ratio at 345 kPa (50.0 psi) brake cylinder pressure
Train brakes 800 litres (210 US gal) main reservoir
Compressor capacity at idle:
0.021 m3/s (0.74 cu ft/s)
Exhauster capacity at idle:
0.098 m3/s (3.5 cu ft/s)
Safety systems Vigilance control
Operator(s) South African Railways
Columbus Stainless
Transnet Freight Rail
Class Class 35-600
Number in class 101
Number(s) 35-601 to 35-700, Columbus 4
Delivered 1976-1978
First run 1976 [3]

The South African Class 35-600 of 1976 is a South African diesel-electric locomotive from the South African Railways era.

Between September 1976 and June 1978 the South African Railways placed one hundred Class 35-600 General Motors Electro-Motive Division type GT18MC diesel-electric locomotives in branchline service. In 1977 one Class 35-600 locomotive was also built for Columbus Stainless in Middelburg, Transvaal.[2][3]


The Class 35-600 type GT18MC diesel-electric locomotive was designed by General Motors Electro-Motive Division (GM-EMD) and built in two batches for the South African Railways (SAR) by General Motors South Africa (GMSA) in Port Elizabeth. Fifty were delivered between September 1976 and May 1977, numbered in the range from 35-601 to 35-650, and another fifty between May 1977 and June 1978, numbered in the range from 35-651 to 35-700.[1][2][3][4]

In addition, another single Class 35-600 GT18MC locomotive was built new in 1977 for Columbus Stainless, a large stainless steel plant that was established in Middelburg, Transvaal in 1965.[2]

Class 35 series[edit]

GE and GM-EMD designs[edit]

The Class 35 locomotive group consists of four series, the General Electric (GE) Classes 35-000 and 35-400 and the GM-EMD Classes 35-200 and 35-600. Both these manufacturers also produced locomotives for the South African Classes 33, 34 and 36.[3]

Distinguishing features[edit]

With the GM-EMD Class 35 locomotives, the Class 35-200 and 35-600 are visually indistinguishable from each other.[3]


The Class 35 family is South Africa’s standard branchline diesel-electric locomotive. The GM-EMD Class 35-600s were designed for light rail conditions and they work on most branchlines in the central, eastern, northern and northeastern parts of the country.[4]

Works numbers[edit]

The Class 35-600 builder’s works numbers are shown in the table.[2]

Class 35-600, GM-EMD type GT18MC

Liveries illustrated[edit]

The main picture shows number 35-662 in Spoornet orange livery at Vryheid in Kwa-Zulu Natal on 15 August 2007. An overhead view and some other liveries that were applied to Class 35-200 locomotives are illustrated below.

See also[edit]


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  1. ^ a b EMD Exports - South African Railways GT18MC
  2. ^ a b c d e Middleton, John N. (2002). Railways of Southern Africa Locomotive Guide - 2002 (as amended by Combined Amendment List 4, January 2009) (2nd, Dec 2002 ed.). Herts, England: Beyer-Garratt Publications. pp. 38, 42–43, 46. 
  3. ^ a b c d e South African Railways Index and Diagrams Electric and Diesel Locomotives, 610mm and 1065mm Gauges, Ref LXD 14/1/100/20, 28 January 1975, as amended
  4. ^ a b Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. pp. 141–142. ISBN 0869772112.