South African Class 35-600

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South African Class 35-600
SAR Class 35-600 35-662.JPG
No. 35-662 at Vryheid Yard, 15 August 2007
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
DesignerGeneral Motors Electro-Motive Division
BuilderGeneral Motors South Africa
Serial number103-1 to 103-50, 110-1 to 110-50, 111-1
Build date1976-1978
Total produced101
 • UICCo'Co'
 • CommonwealthCo+Co
Gauge3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge
Wheel diameter915 mm (36 in)
Wheelbase12,675 mm (41 ft 7 in)
 • Bogie3,302 mm (10 ft 10 in)
Pivot centres9,627 mm (31 ft 7 in)
Wheel spacing
1-2: 1,562 mm (5 ft 1 in)
2-3: 1,740 mm (5 ft 9 in)
 • Over couplers16,485 mm (54 ft 1 in)
Width2,819 mm (9 ft 3 in)
Height3,924 mm (12 ft 10 in)
Axle load13,720 kg (30,250 lb)
Adhesive weight82,320 kg (181,480 lb)
Loco weight82,320 kg (181,480 lb) max
Fuel typeDiesel
Fuel capacity3,400 litres (750 imp gal)
Prime moverGM-EMD 8-645E3
RPM range250-900
 • RPM low idle250
 • RPM idle315
 • Maximum RPM900
Engine type2-stroke diesel
AspirationGM-EMD E-8 turbocharger
Displacement10.57 litres (645.0 cu in) per cylinder
Generator8 pole GM-EMD D25
Traction motorsSix GM-EMD D29CCBT DC 4 pole
 • Rating 1 hour485A
 • Continuous450A @ 15 km/h (9.3 mph)
Gear ratio57:16
MU working4 maximum
Loco brake28-LAV-1 with vigilance control
Train brakesGardner-Denver ADJV-8400 compressor/exhauster
Air tank cap.800 litres (180 imp gal)
Compressor0.021 m3/s (0.74 cu ft/s)
Exhauster0.098 m3/s (3.5 cu ft/s)
CouplersAAR knuckle (SASKOP DS)
Performance figures
Maximum speed100 km/h (62 mph)
Power output:
 • Starting1,195 kW (1,603 hp)
 • Continuous1,065 kW (1,428 hp)
Tractive effort:
 • Starting201 kN (45,000 lbf) @ 25% adh.
 • Continuous161 kN (36,000 lbf) @ 19 km/h (12 mph)
Factor of adh.:
 • Starting25%
 • Continuous20%
Brakeforce65% ratio @ 345 kPa (50.0 psi)
Dynamic brake peak effort138 kN (31,000 lbf) @ 28 km/h (17 mph)
OperatorsSouth African Railways
Columbus Stainless
Transnet Freight Rail
ClassClass 35-600
Number in class101
Numbers35-601 to 35-700, Columbus 4
First run1976

The South African Railways Class 35-600 of 1976 is a branch line diesel-electric locomotive.

Between September 1976 and June 1978, the South African Railways placed one hundred Class 35-600 General Motors Electro-Motive Division type GT18MC diesel-electric locomotives in branch line service. In 1977, one more Class 35-600 locomotive was built for Columbus Stainless in Middelburg, Transvaal.[1][2]


The Class 35-600 type GT18MC diesel-electric locomotive was designed by General Motors Electro-Motive Division (GM-EMD) and built in two batches for the South African Railways (SAR) by General Motors South Africa (GMSA) in Port Elizabeth. Fifty were delivered between September 1976 and May 1977, numbered in the range from 35-601 to 35-650, and another fifty between May 1977 and June 1978, numbered in the range from 35-651 to 35-700.[1][2][3][4]

In addition, another single Class 35-600 GT18MC locomotive was built new in 1977 for Columbus Stainless, a large stainless steel plant which was established in Middelburg, Transvaal in 1965.[1]

Distinguishing features[edit]

Of the GM-EMD Class 35 locomotives, the Class 35-200 and 35-600 are visually indistinguishable from each other.[2]


The Class 35 family is South Africa’s standard branch line diesel-electric locomotive. The GM-EMD Class 35-600s were designed for light rail conditions and they work on most branch lines in the central, eastern, northern and northeastern parts of the country.[3]

Works numbers[edit]

The Class 35-600 builder’s works numbers are listed in the table.[1]


The Class 35-600 were all delivered in the SAR Gulf Red livery with signal red buffer beams, yellow side stripes on the long hood sides and a yellow V on each end. In the 1990s many of them began to be repainted in the Spoornet orange livery with a yellow and blue chevron pattern on the buffer beams. Several later received the Spoornet maroon livery. In the late 1990s many were repainted in the Spoornet blue livery with outline numbers on the long hood sides. After 2008 in the Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) and Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) era, many were repainted in the TFR red, green and yellow livery and at least one was repainted in the PRASA blue livery.[1][5]



  1. ^ a b c d e Middleton, John N. (2002). Railways of Southern Africa Locomotive Guide - 2002 (as amended by Combined Amendment List 4, January 2009) (2nd, Dec 2002 ed.). Herts, England: Beyer-Garratt Publications. pp. 38, 42–43, 46.
  2. ^ a b c South African Railways Index and Diagrams Electric and Diesel Locomotives, 610mm and 1065mm Gauges, Ref LXD 14/1/100/20, 28 January 1975, as amended
  3. ^ a b Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. pp. 141–142. ISBN 0869772112.
  4. ^ EMD Exports - South African Railways GT18MC
  5. ^ Soul of A Railway, System 7, Western Transvaal, based in Johannesburg, Part 9. South-Eastwards as far as Volksrust (2nd part) by Les Pivnic. Caption 4. (Accessed on 11 April 2017)