On the night of 30 January 1878 head-on collision between two E.17 Class goods trains resulted in the drivers and firemen of both trains, together with a guard riding in the cab of the up train, being killed. The primitive system of working the trains was found to be a contributing factor. Both locomotives were written off and replaced by new locomotives supplied by Robert Stephenson and Company.
Several locomotives were sold to private railways or transferred to the Public Works Department for railway construction, with all being scrapped by 1929 except Nos 42 and 18. The sole survivor No. 18 was withdrawn from railway service in 1897 and sold to Corrimal Coal & Coke Company. No. 18 survived till the 1963 in this service until preservation.