Commonwealth Railways NM class

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Commonwealth Railways NM class
NM 34.jpg
Preserved NM34 at the National Railway Museum in October 2010
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
BuilderThompson & Co, Castlemaine
Build date1925-1927
Total produced22
 • Whyte4-8-0
Gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Fuel typeCoal
 • Firegrate area
18.5 sq ft (1.72 m2)
Boiler pressure160 psi (11 bar; 1,100 kPa)
Cylinder size17 in × 22 in (432 mm × 559 mm)
Performance figures
Tractive effort18,085 lbf (80.45 kN)
OperatorsCommonwealth Railways
First runJune 1925
PreservedNM25, NM34
Current ownerNational Railway Museum
Pichi Richi Railway
Disposition2 preserved, 20 scrapped

The Commonwealth Railways NM class locomotive was a class of 4-8-0 locomotives of the Commonwealth Railways, Australia. The class operated on 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) narrow gauge lines in South Australia and the Northern Territory.


Between June 1925 and December 1927, the Commonwealth Railways took delivery of 22 locomotives built to the same design as the Queensland Railways C17 class for use on the Central Australian Railway, but with larger tenders and vacuum rather than air brakes. All were built by Thompson & Co, Castlemaine.[1][2]

The final locomotive was despatched to the North Australia Railway, returning south in September 1941.[2]

Eighteen were converted to burn oil during the 1949 coal strike, being converted back to coal burning after the strike ended. All were withdrawn between 1954 and 1956 as the NSU diesel locomotives entered service.[1]

Two have been preserved, NM25 in operational condition at the Pichi Richi Railway[3] and NM34 at the National Railway Museum, Port Adelaide.[4]



  1. ^ a b Oberg, Leon (1984). Locomotives of Australia 1850s-1980s. Frenchs Forest: Reed Books. p. 129. ISBN 0 730100 05 7.
  2. ^ a b Narrow Gauge NM Chris's Commonwealth Railways Pages
  3. ^ Commonwealth Railways NM class locomotives Pichi Richi Railway
  4. ^ NM-class 4-8-0 Steam Locomotive No 34 National Railway Museum


  • Fluck, Ronald E; Marshall, Barry; Wilson, John (1996). Locomotives and Railcars of the Commonwealth Railways. Welland, SA: Gresley Publishing. ISBN 1876216018.

External links[edit]

Media related to Commonwealth Railways NM class locomotives at Wikimedia Commons