Tasmanian Government Railways Y class

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Tasmanian Government Railways Y class
Preserved Y3 at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston in June 2013
Type and origin
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder Tasmanian Government Railways Inveresk
Build date 1961-1971
Total produced 8
 • UIC Bo-Bo
Gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Wheel diameter 3 ft 0 12 in (0.927 m)
Wheelbase 23 ft 10 in (7.264 m)
Length 44 ft 9 in (13.640 m)
Height 12 ft 2 12 in (3.721 m)
Axle load 14.5 tons
Loco weight 58 tons
Fuel type Diesel
Prime mover English Electric 6SRKT Mk II (Y1-Y6)
English Electric 6SRKT Mk III (Y7-Y8)
Cylinders Inline 6
Cylinder size 10 in × 12 in (254 mm × 305 mm)
Train brakes Vacuum (Y1 & Y5
later converted to air)
Performance figures
Maximum speed 45 miles per hour (72 km/h)
Power output 800 hp (600 kW)
Tractive effort 34,000 lbf (151.2 kN)
Operators Tasmanian Government Railways
Number in class 8
Numbers Y1-Y8
First run 1961
Current owner TasRail
Disposition 2 in service, 5 preserved, 1 converted to driving van

The Y class was a class of diesel locomotives built by the Tasmanian Government Railways between 1961 and 1971.


The Y class were designed by English Electric and constructed by the Tasmanian Government Railways' Inveresk Workshops. Eight were built as mainline freight and passenger locomotives between 1961 and 1971.[1]

Following the success of the X class, the Tasmanian Government Railways decided to order additional diesel locomotives.

English Electric submitted plans that were quite similar to the South Australian Railways 800 class and Midland Railways of Western Australia F class. They were slightly larger and more powerful than the X class.[1] They had a similar layout to the X class, a long hood unit with the cab at one end.

Construction began at the TGR's Inveresk Workshops in 1961, and three of the planned eight were completed relatively quickly. However, construction of the other five was slow, with the last not being delivered until 1971, by which time the design had become dated.

Technical details[edit]

The Y class were fitted with an English Electric 6SRKT Mark II (Mark III on last two) in-line six turbocharged diesel engine. They have a Bo-Bo wheel arrangement and end-platforms, making them visually different from the X class.[1]

In line with standard TGR practice of the time, they were fitted with hook-and-link couplers and vacuum train brakes (air on locomotive). With a light tractive weight of only 58 tonnes, a reasonably powerful engine of 825 horsepower (615 kW) and a fairly basic bogie design, gaining traction on long uphill grades was found to be difficult. They were noted to have a tendency to wheel-slip badly. Nevertheless, they were considered successful.

Later years[edit]

In March 1978 the Y class were included in the transfer of the Tasmanian Government Railways to Australian National. With the new transfer of twenty 830 class locomotives from South Australia and later purchase of ZB class and ZC class locomotives from Queensland Rail, the Y class were made redundant.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s all members of the Y class were retrofitted with stronger automatic couplers, which had by then become standard equipment. Two also received air train brakes in 1985,[2] with the others withdrawn following the cessation of vacuum braked services in 1988. Some of these have been preserved.[3]

One was rebuilt in 2001 as a driving van for use on Railton to Devonport cement trains.[4] Two members of the class remain in regular service with TasRail.

Status table[edit]

Image Original no Final no Name Owner Status
Locomotive 2150, ex Y1.jpg Y1 2150 TasRail In service
Y2 Henry Baldwin Derwent Valley Railway Preserved, operational[5]
TGR Y Class.jpg Y3 Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston Preserved
Y4 Rowallan Tasmanian Transport Museum, Glenorchy Preserved, operational[6]
Ex TGR Y5, now Tasrail 2151.jpg Y5 2151 Sir Charles Gairdner TasRail In service
Former TGR diesel Locomotive Y6 at Don River Railway.JPG Y6 Don River Railway, Devonport Preserved[7]
Driving Van 1, ex TGR Y7.jpg Y7 DV1 TasRail In service as a driving van[4]
Y8 Don River Railway, Devonport Preserved, derelict[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Y Class Rail Tasmania
  2. ^ "Tasmania" Railway Digest August 1985 page 247
  3. ^ Y Class (Tasmania) Railpage
  4. ^ a b DV1 Rail Tasmania
  5. ^ Derwent Valley Railway Rail Tasmania
  6. ^ Exhibit - Y4 Rail Tasmania
  7. ^ a b Locomotives Don River Railway