NZR DI class

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New Zealand DI Class
Type and origin
Power type Diesel-Electric
Builder English Electric
Rocklea works, Queensland, Australia
Build date 1966
 • UIC Co-Co
Gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm)
Length 13.8 metres (45 ft 3 in)
Axle load 10.16 tonnes (10.00 long tons; 11.20 short tons)
Adhesive weight 61.0 tonnes (60.0 long tons; 67.2 short tons)
Loco weight 61.0 tonnes (60.0 long tons; 67.2 short tons)
Prime mover English Electric 6CSRKT
Aspiration Turbocharged and Intercooled
Traction motors Six English Electric 540/1A
Performance figures
Maximum speed 97 km/h (60 mph)
Power output 755 kW (1,012 hp)
Tractive effort 132 kN (30,000 lbf)
Number in class 5
Numbers 1100 - 1104 (original)
1808 - 1843 (TMS)
Locale All of New Zealand
First run February 1966
Last run May 1989
Disposition 4 scrapped
1 preserved

The New Zealand DI class locomotive was a class of diesel-electric locomotive in New Zealand. They were built by English Electric Australia. The class is very similar to the Queensland Railways 1620 class locomotives. At the time of their introduction, the class was seen as an alternative to the DB class for use on lightly laid secondary and branch lines, more so in the South Island, however the IMF financed introduction of the Japanese built DJ class in 1968 ensured that no further DI class locomotives were purchased by the Railways Department.


Three members of the class originally operated in the South Island, mainly on the Main North Line between Christchurch and Picton, while the other two members started life in the North Island. In 1969, all members were transferred to work in the Bay of Plenty area on the lightly laid track there. After the Kaimai Tunnel opened in 1978, all five members were transferred to the South Island for service in the Dunedin area. The class performed sterling service on the hilly Dunedin - Palmerston section of the Main South Line and were used to haul the Inch Valley branch line stone trains due to their full adhesion Co-Co wheel set arrangement. On occasions, members of the class made trips to Invercargill as the roster allocated and were used on the Otago Central Line as far as Ranfurly. They remained in Dunedin until 1984 - 1985, when they went north to Wellington and Napier. In their latter days the DI class was used mainly for shunting duties.[1]

Withdrawal and preservation[edit]

In February 1988, three members of the class were withdrawn. DI 1808 was withdrawn after a flash-over in its main generator, and was dismantled at Hutt Workshops in 1991. DI 1814 was withdrawn due to an unknown reason, while 1837 was withdrawn after throwing a conrod. 1843 was withdrawn in May 1989 after being damaged in a level crossing accident near Otaki.

DI 1104 was originally selected for preservation by the Diesel Traction Group. The DTG eventually led preserved 1102 instead for preservation, being the best one of the fleet. The locomotive is now under restoration at the Ferrymead Heritage Park and will be mainline certified.

Class register[edit]

Key: In service On lease Out of service Preserved Overhaul/Repair Scrapped
Original number TMS number Introduced Withdrawn Status Notes
1100 1808 April 1966 February 1988 Scrapped
1101 1814 February 1966 February 1988 Scrapped
1102 1820 June 1966 May 1989 Preserved Preserved, Diesel Traction Group.
1103 1837 September 1966 February 1988 Scrapped
1104 1843 September 1966 May 1989 Scrapped


  1. ^ "DI class of 1966". English Electric Railway Traction in New Zealand. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  • "NZR Locomotives and Railcars 1983". T A McGavin. New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society : Wellington, New Zealand : 1983.
  • "New Zealand Railway Diesels". E J McClare. Southern Press : Wellington, New Zealand.

External links[edit]