Australian National EL class

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Australian National EL class
Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia EL class locomotives at Manor in January 2007
Type and origin
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder A Goninan & Co, Broadmeadow
Serial number 8013-07/90-103 to 8013-07/90-116
Model C30-8
Build date 1990-1991
Total produced 14
 • UIC Co-Co
Gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Length 20.5 m (67 ft 3 in)
Fuel type Diesel
Prime mover General Electric 7-FDL12
Engine type V12 diesel
Cylinders 12
Performance figures
Maximum speed 140 km/h (87 mph) (pre 1998)
125 km/h (78 mph) (post 1998)
Power output 2,460 kW (3,300 hp)
Operators Australian National
Number in class 14
Numbers EL51-EL64
First run 1990
Current owner Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia
Disposition 13 in service, 1 scrapped

The EL class are a class of diesel locomotives built by A Goninan & Co, Broadmeadow for Australian National in 1990-1991.


In June 1989 Australian National awarded a contract for 14 Dash 8 locomotives to A Goninan & Co[1] with the first delivered in July 1990.[2] Even though they were the most powerful locomotives to have operated by Australian National, they were fitted with lightweight traction motors which reduced their tractive effort by 33% compared to the preceding DL class locomotives. They were ordered for use on passenger and fast freight services and geared for a top speed of 140 km/h.[3][4]

They regularly hauled The Ghan and Indian Pacific until replaced by CLP class locomotives in 1994. They were transferred to National Rail however following the delivery of the NR class, 13 were returned to Australian National and by November 1997 were stored at Islington Railway Workshops.[5] The 14th had been destroyed in an accident at Mount Christie in February 1997. Six were briefly hired to Australian Southern Railroad in late 1997.[6]

In November 1998, the remaining 13 were sold to Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia.[7] All were overhauled by A Goninan & Co, Bassendean which saw them regeared reducing their top speed to 125 km/h, but resulting in their tractive effort increasing by 19%.[3][8] All have been repainted into Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia's silver, blue and yellow livery and named after famous Australian racehorses. They have been leased to a variety of operators and operated in all states.[9]

Status Table[edit]

Number Name Serial No Date Notes
EL51 Might and Power 8013-07/90-103 Aug 1990 formerly named Bob Brown
EL52 Light Fingers 8013-07/90-104 Sep 1990
EL53 Northerly 8013-07/90-105 Oct 1990
EL54 Bonecrusher 8013-07/90-106 Nov 1990
EL55 Kensei 8013-07/90-107 Dec 1990
EL56 Doriemus 8013-07/90-108 Jan 1991
EL57 Gunsynd 8013-07/90-109 Mar 1991
EL58 Kingston Rule 8013-07/90-110 Apr 1991
EL59 8013-07/90-111 May 1991 Destroyed Feb 1997
EL60 Octagonal 8013-07/90-112 Jun 1991
EL61 Ethereal 8013-07/90-113 Jul 1991
EL62 Archer 8013-07/90-114 Aug 1991
EL63 Saintly 8013-07/90-115 Sep 1991
EL64 Super Impose 8013-07/90-116 Oct 1991


  1. ^ "Goninan wins Dash-8 Contract" Railway Digest August 1989 page 268
  2. ^ "EL51" Railway Digest September 1990 page 325
  3. ^ a b "The EL class locomotives" Railway Digest October 1999 page 40
  4. ^ Oberg, Leon (2007). Locomotives of Australia 1854-2007. Rosenberg Publishing. p. 411. ISBN 1-877058-54-8. 
  5. ^ "ELs Stored then Returned to Service" Railway Digest January 1998 page 36
  6. ^ "SA Snapshot" Railway Digest February 1998 page 31
  7. ^ "ELs Sold to US Bidder" Railway Digest December 1998 page 12
  8. ^ EL Class Locomotive Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia
  9. ^ EL Class Railpage