New South Wales AD60 class locomotive

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New South Wales AD60 class
Arhs 6012 cowan.jpg
6012 at the top of Cowan Bank
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
BuilderBeyer, Peacock and Company
Serial number7473–7497, 7528–7549
Build date1952–1954, 1956
Total produced42 (plus 5 as spares)
 • Whyte4-8-4+4-8-4
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver dia.4 ft 7 in (1.397 m)
Length108 ft 7 in (33.096 m)
Adhesive weight282,000 lb (128,000 kg)
later 317,000 lb (144,000 kg)
Loco weight562,000 lb (255,000 kg)
later 582,000 lb (264,000 kg)
Fuel typeCoal
Fuel capacity14 long tons (14.2 t; 15.7 short tons)
18 long tons (18.3 t; 20.2 short tons)
 • Firegrate area
65 sq ft (6.0 m2)
Boiler pressure200 psi (1.38 MPa)
Heating surface3,030 sq ft (281 m2)
 • Heating area750 sq ft (70 m2)
Cylinder size19.25 in × 26 in (489 mm × 660 mm)
19.875 in × 26 in (505 mm × 660 mm)
Valve gearWalschaerts
Performance figures
Tractive effort59,560 lbf (264.9 kN)
later 63,490 lbf (282.4 kN)
Factor of adh.4.73 or 4.99
OperatorsNew South Wales Government Railways
Number in class42
First runJuly 1952
Last runMarch 1973 (in service)
Preserved6029, 6039, 6040, 6042
Disposition4 preserved, 38 scrapped

The AD60 class were Beyer-Garratt patent articulated four-cylinder, simple, non-condensing, coal-fired superheated, 4-8-4+4-8-4 heavy goods steam locomotives built by Beyer, Peacock and Company for the New South Wales Government Railways in Australia.


AD60 Class Fittings and Controls
AD60 Beyer-Garratt Boiler

The AD60 Class 4-8-4+4-8-4 Beyer-Garratt patent consists of a boiler carried on a separate frame in the centre of the locomotive and supported by the frames of the two engines, one at each end. The locomotive thus consists of three parts: a water tank, a fixed chassis supporting a boiler and a rear engine unit carrying a coal bunker and water tank. The standard gauge coupled axle loading of 16 long tons (16.3 t; 17.9 short tons) and able to negotiate 6-chain (120 m) curves.

The design incorporated the most modern technology to minimise maintenance and repairs, including:


This was the only type of Garratt locomotive to operate on the New South Wales Government Railways. Designed to a light axle load of only 16 long tons (16.3 t; 17.9 short tons), they were intended for hauling feeder branch-line services to the main lines where heavier main-line locomotives could continue with the load.[1][2][3]

In 1949 twenty-five were initially ordered from Beyer, Peacock and Company, followed by a further twenty-five. Following a change of policy in favour of diesel traction, negotiations were entered into, in order to cancel the last part of the order. Forty-two complete locomotives were delivered, together with spare parts equating to approximately five further locomotives. The five sets of parts did not include engine unit frames. The cancellation contract stipulated that the NSWGR could not assemble the spare parts into complete locomotives without paying substantial royalties to Beyer-Peacock. The last three locomotives were cancelled completely and the assembly positions at the Gorton Works of Beyer-Peacock were sold to the South African Railways.

The locomotives were delivered in their five major component pieces: Front engine, rear engine, boiler-cab, rear bunker and front water tank. These five sub assemblies were built into a complete locomotive in NSW.

Locomotive 6002 was the first to enter service in July 1952 with the last, 6040 delivered on 2 January 1957.[1][3] The locomotives were the most powerful to operate in Australia but behind the D57 in terms of tractive effort.[4]


Early trials established that the 14-long-ton (14.2 t; 15.7-short-ton) bunker was insufficient to allow the locomotives to operate from Enfield to Goulburn resulting in the bunkers being enlarged to carry 18 long tons (18 t; 20 short tons). Ventilation of the cabs caused considerable concern. Consequently, the class was banned from working through single-line tunnels, this ban also being in response to the difficulty crews would have climbing out in the event of failure within such tunnels. Amongst attempts to improve cab ventilation, 6011 was experimentally fitted in September 1952 with a large tube along the front bunker and boiler to funnel air from the front of the locomotive into the cab. It was unsuccessful and was removed in 1955. Some improvement was obtained by running the locomotives bunker first.[3]

Owing to the length and noise of the locomotive, crews found difficulty in hearing warning detonators. To rectify the situation, tubes were fitted to convey the sound from the leading wheels to the cab. This mechanism can still be seen today on 6040 at the NSW Rail Museum.[3]

When it became apparent that the Garratts would see more service on main lines than on the lighter branch lines, it was decided to increase the tractive effort of a number of the class by enlarging the cylinder diameter and by altering the weight distribution by removing liners from the bogies. This increased the axleload on each of the driving wheels by approximately 2 long tons (2.0 t; 2.2 short tons) with 30 locomotives treated. To distinguish these improvements the double plus sign ++ was painted after the number and they were nicknamed Super Garratts. These 30 were also fitted with dual controls for bunker first running and denoted DC. To accommodate them, 105-foot (32 m) turntables were installed at Broadmeadow, Enfield and Werris Creek depots.[3]

In September 1968, the highest numbered member of the class, 6042, although only eleven years old, was nearing the end of its service life and due to the policy of dieselisation, was scheduled for withdrawal rather than overhaul. However, with a need still for Garratts, Cardiff Locomotive Workshops assembled a Class 60 from spares it had on hand. Cardiff Workshops also wanted to show that a steam locomotive could be overhauled just as quickly or quicker than a diesel locomotive. In order to avoid paying the assembly royalties stipulated by Beyer - Peacock in the cancellation contract, it was decided to number the new locomotive "6042". For a very brief period there were two 6042's in existence until the original was hauled away and scrapped. However, the "new" 6042 carried the Beyer Peacock builders plates for 6043 (builder number 7545) for the next five years.[5]


The class initially entered service on the Main North and Main South and later Main Western line as far as Dubbo and Parkes. Because of their light axle load they were cleared to operate on the Crookwell, Captains Flat, Temora, Narrandera and Bourke lines.[1]

Typical workings in the mid 1960s would consist of bulk export coal and general goods movements :

Typical Class AD60 Traffic
Route Traffic Down
Glenlee to Rozelle Export Coal 1500
Gosford to Broadmeadow Export Coal 1500 double headed AD60's
Gosford to Broadmeadow General Freight 685 single 1100 assisted
Broadmeadow to Muswellbrook General Freight 775 1150
Newstan/Awaba Colliery to Wangi PS Export Coal 1075 1500T assisted
Enfield to Goulburn General Freight 900 1500
From Botany Oil Refineries Petroleum 1000
Goulburn to Captains Flat Mineral 600 600
Junee Goods 600 600
Cootamundra to Stockinbingal Goods 1000 1500
Up to Lithgow assisting until electrification in 1957
Parkes to Goobang Junction Goods 1000 1400 16T axle loading locos only
Dubbo to Merrygeen Goods 1100 1000 16T axle loading locos only
Parkes to Bogan Gate/Tottenham Goods 1000 1400 16T axle loading locos only
Portland to Pipers Flat Cement 700
Pipers Flat to Wallerawang Cement 1400
Dubbo to Werris Creek Goods 1100
Lithgow to Bathurst Goods 850 900
Orange to Parkes Goods 600
Bathurst westward Goods 850 900 dependent on grade
W44 Broken Hill concentrates 575 600 double headed AD60's
Molong to Orange Goods 600 600 double headed AD60's

Demise & preservation[edit]

6012 was the first of the class to be withdrawn in 1955. The next few to be withdrawn suffered accident damage in major collisions in 1961 (6003 Guerie) and 1963 (6028 Glenlee - rebuilt and returned to service by 1965). Dieselisation accounted for the other 40 (or 41) of the class from 1965. The last withdrawn was the replacement "6042" which operated the final New South Wales Government Railways steam service on 22 February 1973. It then worked a ceremonial end to steam working for State Government officials on 2 March 1973.

Preserved AD60 Class Locomotives
No. Year Current Organisation Location Status Ref
6029 1956 Privately Owned Thirlmere Operational
6039 1956 Dorrigo Steam Railway & Museum Dorrigo Stored Dorrigo Webpage
6040 1956 NSW Rail Museum Thirlmere Static Exhibit NSW Locomotive, Steam 6040
"6042" 1968 Dorrigo Steam Railway & Museum Forbes Stored [6]

Dorrigo Webpage

After restoration which took eight years and included the fitting of a replacement boiler sourced from a lumber mill in 1983, 6029 was first steamed at Canberra in February 2014. It was named the City of Canberra for a time but this has now been removed. It operated is inaugural trip after restoration from Goulburn, New South Wales to Thirlmere, New South Wales. Unfortunately, the Canberra Railway museum went into receivership, and 6029 was put up for sale. After its sale, a pair of private owners brought the locomotive. The locomotive is now based at Thirlmere and under summer (2019-2020) repairs.


  1. ^ a b c Oberg, Leon (1984). Locomotives of Australia 1850's - 1980's. Frenchs Forest: Reed Books. pp. 204–206. ISBN 0 730100 05 7.
  2. ^ Oberg, Leon (2007), Locomotives of Australia, 1854 to 2007 (4th ed.), Rosenberg Publishing, pp. 261–263, ISBN 978-1-877058-54-7
  3. ^ a b c d e Grunbach, Alex (1989). A Compendium of New South Wales Steam Locomotives. Sydney: Australian Railway Historical Society, NSW Division. pp. 241–247. ISBN 0 909650 27 6.
  4. ^ Powerhouse Museum. "Sectioned Beyer Garratt locomotive model 6001". Powerhouse Museum, Australia. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  5. ^ "20 Years Ago" Railway Digest September 1988 page 358
  6. ^ "Forbes Vintage Village Auction" Railway Digest January 1987 page 27

Further reading[edit]

  • Gilbertson, CB (April 2003). "Remembering the 60 Class". Australian Railway History Bulletin. pp. 123–135.

External links[edit]

Media related to New South Wales AD60 class locomotives at Wikimedia Commons