Commonwealth Railways GM class
Three Genesee & Wyoming Australia GM class locomotives in April 2008
The GM class are a class of diesel locomotives built by Clyde Engineering, Granville for the Commonwealth Railways in several batches between 1951 and 1967. As at January 2014 some remain in service with Genesee & Wyoming Australia and Southern Shorthaul Railroad.
The design was based on the Electro-Motive Diesel EMD F7 locomotive. The first 11 were delivered with EMD 16-567B, 1119 kW engines and four powered axles with the remainder having 16-567C, 1305 kW engines and six powered axles. The final 11 were fitted with dynamic braking.
Delivered to operate on the standard gauge Trans-Australian Railway, the first entered service in September 1951. Further orders saw 47 in service by December 1967. They operated on all of Commonwealth Railways's standard gauge lines including those to Broken Hill, Alice Springs and Adelaide when converted to standard gauge in 1970, 1980 and 1982 respectively.
In July 1975 all were included in the transfer of Commonwealth Railways to Australian National. In 1979 a few operated to Lithgow, New South Wales on trials, while in October 1983 three (23, 24 & 28) were hired to V/Line returning in October 1985.
The GM class were manufactured for standard gauge use, some of the locomotives were converted to operate on 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) broad gauge for some of their lives.
Apart from one destroyed in an accident in 1985, withdrawals began in 1988. GM1 was placed on a plinth in Port Augusta, GM2 was donated to the National Railway Museum, Port Adelaide and GM3 to Clyde Engineering, Kelso. By October 1994 only 15 remained in service. A locomotive shortage saw Australian Southern Railroad return GM1 to service in December 1997.
In 1998 Great Northern Rail Services purchased 12 from Australian Southern Railroad. Most were scrapped for parts with only three returning to service seeing use in Melbourne and Sydney. Following Great Northern ceasing operations in 2003, these were sold to Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia before being resold to Southern Shorthaul Railroad.
In November 2010 the Department for Infrastructure & Transport placed GM1 in the custody of Rail Heritage WA. In May 2012 Clyde Engineering sold GM3 to Southern Shorthaul Railroad and it was transferred to their Lithgow State Mine Heritage Park & Railway workshop for overhaul.
As at September 2015 most of the Genesee & Wyoming Australia units are stored servicable due to more modern power available for freight services in South Australia while the Southern Shorthaul Railroad units are used on infrastructure trains in New South Wales.
|Locomotive||Entered Service||Current Owner||Livery||Status|
|GM1||September 1951||Rail Heritage WA||CR Maroon/Silver||Stored, Dry Creek|
|GM2||November 1951||National Railway Museum||CR Maroon/Silver||Static Display|
|GM3||December 1951||Southern Shorthaul Railroad||CR Maroon/Silver||Stored, Lithgow State Mine Heritage Park & Railway|
|GM10||June 1952||Southern Shorthaul Railroad||SSR Yellow||Operational|
|GM12||October 1955||Greentrains||AN Green||Stored, North Bendigo|
|GM19||May 1957||Railpower||AN Green||Overhaul, Goulburn Rail Heritage Centre|
|GM22||July 1962||Southern Shorthaul Railroad||SSR Yellow||Operational|
|GM25||October 1962||Braidies Tavern Bendigo||AN Green||Stored|
|GM27||January 1963||Southern Shorthaul Railroad||SSR Yellow||Operational|
|GM28||February 1963||Seymour Railway Heritage Centre||CR Maroon/Silver||Under overhaul|
|GM34||April 1965||Genesee & Wyoming Australia||AN Green||Scrapped|
|GM36||May 1966||Seymour Railway Heritage Centre||CR Maroon/Silver||Stored|
|GM37||June 1966||Genesee & Wyoming Australia||GW Orange||Operational|
|GM38||June 1966||Genesee & Wyoming Australia||AN Green||Stored|
|GM40||January 1967||Genesee & Wyoming Australia||AN Green||Stored|
|GM41||February 1967||-||-||Scrapped, cab preserved|
|GM42||February 1967||Genesee & Wyoming Australia||GW Orange||Stored|
|GM43||March 1967||Genesee & Wyoming Australia||GW Orange||Operational|
|GM44||April 1967||Genesee & Wyoming Australia||GW Orange||Stored|
|GM45||May 1967||Genesee & Wyoming Australia||GW Orange||Operational|
|GM46||June 1967||Genesee & Wyoming Australia||AN Green||Stored|
|GM47||December 1967||Genesee & Wyoming Australia||GW Orange||Stored|
- GM1-class A1A-A1A diesel-electric locomotive No.2 National Railway Museum
- Oberg, Leon (1980). Diesel Locomotives of Australia. Sydney: AH & AW Reed. p. 283. ISBN 0 589 50211 5.
- Bromby, Robyn (1988). Australian Rail Annual 1988. Sutherland: Sherbourne Sutherland Publishing. pp. 10/11. ISBN 1 86275 004 1.
- "Victorian Standard Gauge Report" Railway Digest July 1985 page 201
- "GM3" Railway Digest November 1990 page 395
- "South Australian Motive Power Update" Railway Digest October 1994 page 14
- "SA Snapshot" Railway Digest February 1998 page 31
- "Great Northern Puts Faith in GM Chant" Railway Digest November 1998 page 16
- Issue 104/10 West Australian Railscene e-mag 11 October 2010
- GM1 Rail Heritage WA 2 November 2010
- Standard Gauge GM Chris' Commonwealth Railway Pages
- GM Class (GM1 to GM11) Railpage
- GM Class (GM12 to GM47) Railpage
- GM Class Vicsig