New Zealand DH class locomotive

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New Zealand DH class (1978)
DH 2868, DL 9095 and DL 9135.jpg
DH 2868 shunting two DLs at Port of Auckland.
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-Electric Shunter
BuilderGeneral Electric, United States
Build date1978
 • UICBo-Bo
Length11.2 m (36 ft 9 in)
Loco weight54 tonnes (53 long tons; 60 short tons)
Prime moverCaterpillar D398
RPM range1300 rpm
Engine typeV12 Diesel engine
GeneratorGe neral Electric GT-601
Traction motorsFour General Electric 761
Cylinder size159 mm × 203 mm (6 in × 8 in)
Performance figures
Maximum speed112 km/h (70 mph)
Power output672 kW (901 hp)
Tractive effort146 kN (33,000 lbf)
Number in class6
Numbers900 - 905 (original)
2816 - 2868 (TMS)
LocaleUpper North Island, mainly around Auckland
First run1978
DispositionAll in service

The New Zealand DH class is a type of diesel-electric heavy transfer/shunting locomotive in New Zealand. The class consists of six heavy shunt U10B type locomotives built by General Electric in the United States in 1978. Five of the class are used in the Auckland area for heavy shunting duties, including services to the Port of Auckland, while one is based at the Port of Tauranga.


Originally an order for Philippine National Railways 2500 Class, the six locomotives were purchased as by coincidence NZR needed a heavy shunter for Auckland container port transfer work. At the time two DSC class shunters were linked in tandem to perform this task. The DH class are actually a light locomotive which are geared to run at 100 km/h (62 mph). They saw occasional service on the then under-used suburban passenger network, performing well, but NZR focused them on their intended purpose - heavy shunting. In the late 1980s NZR provided a DH unit to the Tasman Pulp and Paper mill in Kawerau to trial for sale as a heavy shunter in the mill's rail yards. The mill turned down the offer, instead purchasing a DA class locomotive to perform duties.


The class should not be confused with the English Electric DH class of 1956; as all of the old DHs had been reallocated DG in 1968, the classification was re-used.

Class register[edit]

Key: In service On lease Out of service Preserved Overhaul or repair Scrapped
TMS No. Original No. Introduced Current Livery[1] Status Allocated to Notes
DH 2816 900 May 1979 KiwiRail In service North Island
DH 2822 901 November 1978 KiwiRail In Service North Island
DH 2839 902 December 1978 Toll Rail ("Corn Cob") In service North Island
DH 2845 903 September 1978 KiwiRail In service North Island
DH 2851 904 November 1978 Toll Rail ("Corn Cob") In service North Island
DH 2868 905 March 1979 KiwiRail In service North Island

Other users[edit]

GE U10B of Ferrocarril Belgrano Sur

The Hedjaz Jordan Railway has three GE U10B locomotives of 1,050 mm (3 ft 5 1132 in) gauge. These are of A1A-A1A wheel arrangement. Another user is the Belgrano Sur Line (Buenos Aires), Argentina. The Bogotá Savannah Railway has two GE U10B locomotives


  1. ^ "New Zealand RailTrack". Retrieved 2008-10-22.
  • McGavin, T A (1983). NZR Locomotives and Railcars 1983. Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society.
  • McClare, E J. New Zealand Railway Diesels. Wellington, New Zealand: Southern Press.