Queensland Railways DL class

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Queensland Railways DL class
DL1 at the Workshops Rail Museum, North Ipswich in October 2011
Type and origin
Power type Diesel
Builder Queensland Railways
Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns
Walkers Limited
Total produced 4
Gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Length 7.16 m (23 ft 6 in)
Loco weight 18 t (18 long tons; 20 short tons)
Fuel type Diesel
Prime mover Gardner 6L3
Transmission Wilson SCG R11A
Performance figures
Maximum speed 50 km/h (31 mph)
Power output 112 kW (150 hp)
Tractive effort 31 kN (7,000 lbf)
Operators Queensland Railways
Number in class 4
Numbers DL1-DL4
First run 6 November 1939
Preserved DL1, DL2, DL3
Current owner Queensland Rail
Disposition 1 in service, 3 preserved
DL4 at Normanton in July 1991

The DL class was a class of diesel locomotive built by Queensland Railways, Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns and Walkers Limited for Queensland Railways between 1939 and 1961.


The DL class provided the first diesel locomotive in service in Queensland, DL 1 being built to provide a light weight (maximum 6-long-ton or 6.1-tonne or 6.7-short-ton axle load) locomotive for the Mt Surprise - Forsayth section of the line from Mareeba, which since cyclonic rainfall in 1927 severely damaged the line, had only been able to support a rail motor hauling 1 or 2 goods wagons.[1] DL1 was built by Queensland Railways in 1939, initially with C wheel arrangement but after rough riding during trials around Brisbane it was returned to the workshops and fitted with a pony wheel.[2]

DL2 was built by Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns in 1954 and the final two were built by Walkers Limited in 1961. They were initially used exclusively west of Mt Surprise on the lightly trafficied line to Forsayth.[1][3] When traffic on that line grew to the point where upgrading it to 10-long-ton or 10.2-tonne or 11.2-short-ton axle load was justified, the DL class was replaced by the 1720 class, and the 4 locos were then used as shunters at various locations.

Three of the class were withdrawn in 1988-1989 and have been preserved.[4] DL4 remains in service with Queensland Rail as a backup locomotive for the Gulflander on the Normanton to Croydon line.[5]

Status table[edit]

Number Name Builder Serial
In service Withdrawn Notes
DL1 Etheridge Queensland Railways 6 November 1939 13 February 1989 Preserved, Queensland Rail Heritage Division, on display at Workshops Rail Museum, North Ipswich
DL2 Forsayth Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns 7747/2481 14 May 1954 15 May 1989 Static display at Forsayth
DL3 Mt Surprise Walkers Limited 571 23 June 1961 18 January 1988 Preserved operational, Australian Railway Historical Society, Rosewood Railway Museum
DL4 Almaden Walkers Limited 572 30 June 1961 Operational with Queensland Rail


  1. ^ a b QGR/Stephenson-Hawthorns/Walkers – DL Class Queensland's Railway Interest Group
  2. ^ Oberg, Leon (2007). Locomotives of Australia: 1850s-2007. Rosenberg Publishing. p. 217. ISBN 1877058548. 
  3. ^ Clark, Peter (2012). An Australian Locomotive Guide. Rosenberg Publishing. p. 319. ISBN 9781921719554. 
  4. ^ Diesel Locomotives Association of Tourist Railways Queensland 13 March 2011
  5. ^ DL Class Queensland's Great Trains