V/Line A class

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V/Line A class
V/Line liveried A66 at Southern Cross
in September 2010
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderClyde Engineering, Rosewater
Build date1984-1985
Total produced11
 • UICCo-Co
Gauge1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)
Wheel diameter40"
Minimum curve100.76
Length18.54 m (60 ft 10 in)
Loco weight120 metric tonnes
Fuel typeDiesel
Fuel capacity4,540 litres
Lubricant cap.625 litres
Coolant cap.698 litres
Prime moverElectro-Motive Diesel 12-645E3B
GeneratorElectro-Motive Diesel AR10-A4-D18, Replaced with CA5
Traction motorsElectro-Motive Diesel D57/D78
Head end powerAux Gen Volts 74dc Rating 10kW
Performance figures
Maximum speed133 km/h (83 mph)
Power output1,846 kW (2,476 hp)
Tractive effortStarting 294kN Continuous 212kN
Number in class11
First runMay 1984
Current ownerPacific National
Disposition7 stored, 4 scrapped

The A class are a class of diesel locomotives rebuilt from B class locomotives by Clyde Engineering, Rosewater for V/Line in 1984-1985.


Freight Australia liveried A85 with Pacific National decals in Melbourne in February 2007
V/Line liveried A70 at Flinders Street in August 2006

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.[1] 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.[1]

Four locomotives were named after Australian rules football players in September 1984,[2] 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,[3][4] but was returned to the standard 133 km/h (83 mph) gearing soon after.[2] 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.[5][6] V/Line subsequently returned A66 and A70 to service, with the both since withdrawn. Pacific National withdrew its last examples in May 2014.[7]

Between 7 and 18 January 2019, Pacific National units A73, A77, A81 and A85 were dismantled and disposed of at South Dynon broad gauge turntable. [8]


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,[9] later appearing in a second special livery to advertise the Melbourne bid for the 1996 Olympic Games.[2] 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.[10]

Status table[edit]

Locomotive Pre-conversion Named Entered service Owner Status
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 Stored / Heritage use
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 Scrapped 14 January 2019
A77 B77 Ian Stewart 17 May 1984 Pacific National Scrapped 14 January 2019
A78 B78 21 December 1984 Pacific National Stored - North Bendigo
A79 B79 22 June 1985 Pacific National Stored
A81 B81 15 August 1985 Pacific National Scrapped 14 January 2019
A85 B85 Haydn Bunton 5 June 1984 Pacific National Scrapped 14 January 2019


  1. ^ a b Scott Martin & Chris Banger (October 2006). "'New Deal' for County Passengers - 25 years on". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division): 319.
  2. ^ a b c Railmac Publications (1992). Australian Fleetbooks: V/Line locomotives. Kitchner Press. ISBN 0-949817-76-7.
  3. ^ "News". Newsrail. Australian Railway Heritage Society: 24–27. September 1986.
  4. ^ "General News". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society. September 1986. p. 275.
  5. ^ Railway Digest June 2013
  6. ^ A Class (A60-A85) Railpage
  7. ^ "A Class Swansong" Motive Power issue 94 July 2014 pages 66, 68
  8. ^ Pacific National Scrapping A Class Locomotives Wongm's Rail Gallery
  9. ^ "Rollingstock". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society. May 1988. p. 152.
  10. ^ A Class Vicsig

External links[edit]

Media related to V/Line A class at Wikimedia Commons