New South Wales D50 class locomotive

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New South Wales D50 class
NSWGR Class D50 Locomotive.jpg
Class D50 Locomotive
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
BuilderBeyer, Peacock & Co. (151)
Dübs & Co. (5)
Neilson & Co. (10)
North British Locomotive Co. (84)
Clyde (30)
Build date1896–1916
Total produced280
 • Whyte2-8-0
 • UIC1'Dn
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver dia.4 ft 3 in (1.295 m)
Adhesive weight126,000 lb (57 t)
Loco weight139,000 lb (63 t)
 • Firegrate area
30 sq ft (2.8 m2)
Boiler pressure160 psi (1.10 MPa)
Heating surface2,210 sq ft (205 m2)
CylindersTwo, outside
Cylinder size21 in × 26 in (533 mm × 660 mm)
Performance figures
Tractive effort30,576 lbf (136.0 kN)
Factor of adh.4.10
OperatorsNew South Wales Government Railways
ClassT524, D50 from 1924
Number in class280
Disposition4 preserved, 276 scrapped

The D50 class was a class of 2-8-0 steam locomotives built for the New South Wales Government Railways of Australia.


The first was delivered in May 1896 by Beyer, Peacock and Company with further orders over the next 20 years seeing the class number 280. Their second and third coupled wheel tyres were flangeless to reduce curve friction.[1][2]

During the First World War, an additional 10 locomotives of this class were under construction at the North British Locomotive Company, but these were not delivered to Australia, being taken over by the British War Office for the Royal Engineers Railway Operating Division. After the war, they were offered back to the New South Wales Government Railways at higher than new prices and in a badly worn condition. They were declined and 8 locomotives were subsequently acquired by the Nord-Belge railway [fr] in Belgium[3] and, following rebuilding, assigned to work coal trains along the Meuse Valley. The 2 other locomotives were acquired by S.A. Force, Eclairage et Docks de Gand in Ghent, Belgium.[4]

The Commonwealth Railways also chose this design to be its first goods locomotive class, building eight K-class, for the Trans-Australian Railway.[2]

The last 75 were built with superheaters and after being judged a success many of the class were retrofitted. Many of the class received turret type tenders in later years which provided better visibility when operating in reverse.[2]

In the 1930s 72 were withdrawn and after being used during the load testing of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932 with most of these locomotives being later scrapped, although 14 were rebuilt with superheaters and returned to service.[1] By mid-1964 there were only 113 left in service with the class by now normally restricted to working coal trains in the Hunter Valley and shunting duties in the larger marshalling yards throughout the system.[1][2] Several of these heavy shunters were fitted with automatic couplings on the front buffer beam from 1960 onwards.

5069 and 5132 are both preserved by Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum at Dorrigo. 5069 and 5132 were 2 of the 88 locomotives used to test the Sydney Harbour Bridge before it opened. 5069 is still in its original saturated condition whilst 5132 is the only superheated 50 class preserved and is also fitted with the only preserved Morts Dock tender. 5069 is currently stored at Broadmeadow. 5112 was cosmetically restored at the Lithgow State Mine Heritage Park & Railway between 2005 and 2010 before being placed on static display at Bathurst; this locomotive is known as the "Chifley Engine" as it was regularly driven by future Prime Minister of Australia Ben Chifley before he entered politics.[5]


Preserved D50 Class Locomotives
No. Description Manufacturer Year Current Organisation Location Status Ref
5069 2-8-0 goods Beyer, Peacock and Company 1902 Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum Dorrigo stored Saturated
5096 2-8-0 goods Clyde Engineering 1907 Transport Heritage NSW Broadmeadow Locomotive Depot stored Saturated NSW Locomotive, Steam 5096
5112 2-8-0 goods Clyde Engineering 1908 Bathurst Regional Council Bathurst Station static display Saturated
5132 2-8-0 goods Beyer, Peacock and Company 1908 Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum Dorrigo stored Superheated


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Oberg, Leon (1984). Locomotives of Australia 1850's - 1980's. Frenchs Forest: Reed Books. pp. 76–77. ISBN 0 730100 05 7.
  2. ^ a b c d Grunbach, Alex (1989). A Compendium of New South Wales Steam Locomotives. Sydney: Australian Railway Historical Society, NSW Division. pp. 129–135. ISBN 0 909650 27 6.
  3. ^ "'1919 : Locomotief reeks D50 van de Australische Spoorwegen bijgenaamd "Mac Donald" uit 1917 aan de Nord-Belge verkocht en genummerd van 701 tot 710'". (in Dutch and French). Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  4. ^ Dagant, André (2009). La Compagnie du Nord-Belge et ses locomotives. Editions PFT. pp. 264-274.
  5. ^ "Ben's engine is home at last". Western Advocate. 10 November 2010.