V/Line A class
|V/Line A class|
The class were rebuilt from B class locomotives originally constructed in the 1950s, as part of the New Deal reforms of passenger rail operations in Victoria. The rebuild contract was let in January 1983 to Clyde Engineering, Rosewater with the first locomotive entering service in May 1984, but the project was abandoned in mid 1985 after rising costs due to structural fatigue, with the 11th rebuild delivered in August 1985. It was decided to instead built more of the N class locomotives, mechanically similar to the A class. The major difference was the addition of head end power generators, as it was believed this was a more efficient way of supplying power for air-conditioning and lighting than power vans or individual generator sets under carriages.
Four locomotives were named after Australian rules football players in September 1984, while A60 was named after former railway commissioner Harold Clapp. In July 1986, A85 was regeared for 160 km/h (99 mph) operation, and tested between Glenorchy and Lubeck, to test an H type carriage set fitted with high speed bogies, but was returned to the standard 133 km/h (83 mph) gearing soon after. In preparation for the privatisation of V/Line, four were allocated to passenger services and seven to freight services.
V/Line withdrew their fleet with A60 operating the final service, the 16:15 Southern Cross to Bacchus Marsh on 24 April 2013. V/Line subsequently returned A66 and A70 to service, with the latter since withdrawn. Pacific National withdrew its last examples in May 2014.
The class were delivered in the V/Line orange and tangerine scheme. In February 1988 A66 which was painted in a green and gold livery to celebrate the Australian Bicentenary, later appearing in a second special livery to advertise the Melbourne bid for the 1996 Olympic Games. Today the class appears in either the 1995 red and blue or 2008 red and yellow V/Line Passenger liveries, or the green and yellow Freight Australia livery with Pacific National logos.
|A60||B60||Sir Harold Clapp||7 September 1984||V/Line||Stored|
|A62||B62||17 July 1984||V/Line||Stored|
|A66||B66||22 March 1985||V/Line||In service|
|A70||B70||10 May 1985||V/Line||Stored|
|A71||B71||Dick Reynolds||20 March 1984||Pacific National||Stored|
|A73||B73||Bob Skilton||20 March 1984||Pacific National||Stored|
|A77||B77||Ian Stewart||17 May 1984||Pacific National||Stored|
|A78||B78||21 December 1984||Pacific National||Stored|
|A79||B79||22 June 1985||Pacific National||Stored|
|A81||B81||15 August 1985||Pacific National||Stored (Accident Damaged)|
|A85||B85||Haydn Bunton||5 June 1984||Pacific National||Stored|
- Scott Martin & Chris Banger (October 2006). "'New Deal' for County Passengers - 25 years on". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division): 319.
- Railmac Publications (1992). Australian Fleetbooks: V/Line locomotives. Kitchner Press. ISBN 0-949817-76-7.
- "News". Newsrail. Australian Railway Heritage Society: 24–27. September 1986.
- "General News". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society. September 1986. p. 275.
- Railway Digest June 2013
- A Class (A60-A85) Railpage
- "A Class Swansong" Motive Power issue 94 July 2014 pages 66, 68
- "Rollingstock". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society. May 1988. p. 152.
- A Class Vicsig
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