The success of the X class Diesel Electrics in reducing running times on both freight and especially express passenger trains, saw the beginnings of dieselisation of the network, but the mistakes made in the purchase of the X class en-masse, were not to be repeated, as these units were suceptable to failures, due to their rigid design and troublesome engines, which proved very disappointing. The next order for diesel locos was made with Clyde Engineering for 2 Co-Co units to be trialled for suitability and these two EMD G12 powered units with 567C Vee engines were ordered at the same time an order for three English Electric Co-Co units was placed with EE Aust of Rocklea, Qld.
The EMD units classified A and the EE units classified C were to be trialled for evaluation and based on success or otherwise, the winning tenderer would be given an order to build a number of units for W.A.G.R. The two A class numbered 1501 & 1502 entered trial service in mid-1960, whilst the three C class units numbered 1701 - 1703 entered trial service from 1960-61. The C class were powered by EE 12CSRT Vee engines and like the A class EMD units were successful in trials, the C class proving to be better suited to express passenger working.
In 1961 Clyde was given the approval to build a further five A class units with the option of another order of five more units to be placed with them in future.
The C class had a minor problem in that they could only work in multiple unit with other EE units and no other types, a problem EE failed to rectify in Australia at least.
The A Class could and were able to be modified to be multi coupled with any other class if required. EE Aust became part of the Alstom Group in the late 70's and Alstom built units were able to be multi coupled with any other types.
Clyde Built 12 A class, plus a further 2 units for WMC, 5 AA units, 6 AB units, 23 L class units, 5 D class units, 7 DA class units, 13 DB -2 units, 11 S class units and 19 Q class units for W.A.G.R./Westrail.
When in 1964 the Midland Railway Co. of Western Australia LTD. was absorbed into the state owned system, 6 F class EE A1A-A1A units, 2 G Co-Co units and an E class RR 0-6-0 shunter were added to the motive power fleet, bringing to that time a total of 17 main line diesel units. The E class was transferred to Kalgoorlie, but its stay was short-lived when its transmission failed and was returned to Midland workshops where it was repaired and placed on workshops shunter duties until its retirement in 1976. It was later donated to Rail Heritage WA for display at their Bassendean(Perth), Rail Transport Museum.
By the end of 1972, all steam services had ceased and all freight and passenger rail services were handled utilising diesel motive power, when some 80+ units were in operation, both on 3'6" and 4'8 1/2".
Diesel Classification to 2000 the Westrail years.
A 1501-1514 AA 1515-1519 AB 1531-1536 B 1601-1610 (0-6-0) shunter C 1701-1703 D 1561-1565 DA 1571-1577 DB 1581-1593 E 30 (0-6-0) ex MRWA shunter F 40-46 (A1A-A1A) ex MRWA G 50-51 (Co-Co) ex MRWA H 1-5 Bo-Bo SG transfer units J 101-105 Bo-Bo SG Shunter K 201-210 Co-Co SG L 251-273 + 274-275 ex WMC + Lw276 ex Comalco R1.002 M 1851-1852 NG B-B Hump Shunter MA 1861-1863 NG B-B Transfer/Shunter N 1871-1881 NA 1871-1874 (modified N) NB 1872-1873 (SG NA) P 2001-2017 Q 301-319 R 1901-1905 RA 1906-1916 + 1917-1918 ex WMC S 2101-2111 T 1801-1805 0-6-0 DE Shunter TA 1806-1815 X 1001-1003,1005,1007,1009–1016,1019,1021,1023,1025,1027,1029–1030 XB 1004,1006,1008,1017–1018,1020,1022,1024,1026,1028,1032 XA 1401-1416 Y 1101-1118 Bo-Bo Transfer Z 1151-1153 0-6-0 Jetty Shunter
2001 to the present at 2012
In 2000 the state sold the above rail assets to private operators and the current operator is Australian RailRoad Group which is owned by QRNational.
ARG had a contract in NSW to haul Manildra Freight trains, which meant a number of units were based in that state to service the contract. Made up of largely L class units, though the classification was not used in NSW rather the numbering sequence for the class i.e.:. 31 class as all L class were renumbered along with the rest of the former government fleet.
During ARG & now QRNational most of the remaining classes received a new numbering system, plus under QR ownership there have been a few classes on Narrow gauge of former QLD locomotives
Narrow Gauge units A/1200 Class (1) A1511=A1202 AB/1500 Class (4) AB1531=AB1501, AB1534=AB1502, AB1535=AB1503, AB1536=AB1504 AD/1520 Class (2) (former QLD 1502 Class) This class were initially the AC Class but reclassified when the order was placed with UGL for the 8 C43ACi SG units. AD1520 (former 1513), AD1521 (former 1514) D Class (1) D1562 not renumbered DAZ/1900 Class (6) DA1571 to DA1576 now DAZ1901 to DAZ1906 DBZ/2300 Class (13) DB1581 to DB1593 now DBZ2301 to DBZ2313 DD/2350 Class (5) (Former QLD 2100 Class) DD2355 (Former 2101), DD2356 (Former 2105), DD2357 (Former 2109), DD2358 (Former 2117), DD2359 (Former 2120) DES/1250 Class (1) (Former BHP Whyalla) DES1251 (former DE05) DFZ/2400 Class (7) (Former QLD 2300 Class) DFZ2401 (Former 2356), DFZ2402 (Former 2349), DFZ2403 (Former 2361), DFZ2404 (Former 2370), DFZ2405 (Former 2471), DFZ2406 (Former 2373), DFZ2407 (Former 2374) P/2500 Class P2001 to P2017 now P2501 to P2517 PA/2800 Class (Former QLD 2800 Class) PA2819 (Former 2819) S/3300 Class S2101 to S2111 now S3301 to S3311
Standard Gauge units AC Class (8) (new build by UGL 2008) AC4301 to AC4308 ACA Class (6) (former QRN Intermodal 6000 Class) ACA6002, ACA6005, ACA6009, ACA6010, ACA6011, ACA6012 ACB Class (6) (new build by UGL 2011) ACB4401 to ACB4406 ACC Class (8) (new build by UGL under construction 2012) ACC6030, other numbers added as built DC/2200 Class (9) (former ARG 22, NSWGR 422 Class) DC2205 (Former 42201), DC2206 (Former 42204), DC2213 (Former 42215), DC2215 (Former 42218), 2201 (Former 42205), 2203 (Former 42214), 2208 (Former 42208) + 42209 & 42211 in storage un-renumbered L/LQ/LZ/3100 Class L252 now LZ3101, L253 now LZ3119, L255 now LZ3105, L256 now LZ3106, L257 now 3102, L258 now LZ3107, L259 now LZ3103, L260 now L3108, L261 now LZ3109, L262 now L3110, L263 now LZ3111, L264 now LZ3112, L265 now LQ3121, L266 now L3113, L267 now LZ3114, L268 now L3115, L271 now LQ3122, L272 Now L3116, L273 Now 3104, L274 now LZ3117, L275 now L3118, LZ3120 (Former Lw276, Comalco R1002) Q/4000 Class Q301 to Q319 now Q4001 to Q4019
WATCO Group, a US based rail shortline company won the CBH grain haul contract and will be operating trains in W.A. from Mid 2012, utilising new and possibly leased motive power. The current grain wagon fleet is to be upgraded as are the third tier branch lines. Watco and CBH are investing in new Wagons and locomotives for the venture/contract.
Read more about this topic: Locomotives Of The Western Australian Government Railways
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