New South Wales Z17 class locomotive

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New South Wales Z17 class
NSWGR Class Z17 Locomotive.jpg
Class Z17 Locomotive in service
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Builder Vulcan Foundry
Serial number 1164–1175
Build date 1886
Total produced 12
 • Whyte 4-4-0
 • UIC 2'Bn
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Driver dia. 5 ft 6 in (1.676 m)
Adhesive weight 64,000 lb (29 t)
Loco weight 95,000 lb (43 t)
Water cap 2,500 imp gal (11,000 l; 3,000 US gal)
 • Firegrate area
20 sq ft (1.9 m2)
Boiler pressure 140 psi (970 kPa)
Heating surface 1,285 sq ft (119.4 m2)
Superheater None
Cylinders Two
Cylinder size 19 in × 26 in (483 mm × 660 mm)
Train brakes air
Performance figures
Tractive effort 16,920 lbf (75.3 kN)
Operators New South Wales Government Railways
Class H373 (Z17 from 1924)
Numbers H373-H384 (1701-1712 from 1924)
Retired 1934–1974
Disposition 1 preserved, 11 scrapped

The 17 class (formally H.373 class) was a class of steam locomotive built by the Vulcan Foundry for the New South Wales Government Railways of Australia.[1][2][3]


Ordered from the Vulcan Foundry 12 were placed in service in 1887. They had the 4-4-0 wheel arrangement that most locomotives had at the time. Shortly after delivery the class leader was tested against the Baldwin Locomotive Works built L304 class to see which one could make a faster and better run across the Blue Mountains to Eskbank,with the Baldwin locomotive judged superior. They were also intended to haul passenger service on the steeply graded Sydney to Newcastle and Kiama lines.[4]

They proved unpopular with both locomotive crews because of rough riding and track maintenance staff because of their high axle load and were displaced from mainline working and relegated to branch line work following the arrival of the P6 class. In 1905/06, new boilers with Belpaire fireboxes were fitted, the smokeboxes shortened and the cylinder diameter reduced.[2] In 1924 the class was renumbered becoming the Z17 class.

Demise and Preservation[edit]

As they became due for reboilering they began to be withdrawn from January 1934 with only four in service by 1948.[5]

Preserved Z17 Class Locomotives
No. Description Manufacturer Year Current Organisation Location Status Ref
1709 4-4-0 Passenger Vulcan Foundry 1887 New South Wales Rail Transport Museum Thirlmere operational


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Preston, Ron G (1984). Tender into Tank. Sydney: New South Wales Rail Transport Museum. pp. 11–57. ISBN 0 909862 18 4. 
  2. ^ a b Grunbach, Alex (1989). A Compendium of New South Wales Steam Locomotives. Sydney: Australian Railway Historical Society, NSW Division. pp. 41–45. ISBN 0 909650 27 6. 
  3. ^ New South Wales Railways 1855-1955. Published by Department of Railways
  4. ^ Grunbach, Alex (1989). A Compendium of New South Wales Steam Locomotives. Sydney: Australian Railway Historical Society, NSW Division. p. 87. ISBN 0 909650 27 6. 
  5. ^ Oberg, Leon (1984). Locomotives of Australia 1850's - 1980's. Frenchs Forest: Reed Books. p. 56. ISBN 0 730100 05 7. 
  6. ^ Locomotive, steam 1709 Department of Heritage & Environment
  7. ^ "140th Celebrations Ready to Roll" Railway Digest October 1995 page 8

Further reading[edit]