Built by Clyde Engineering between 1965 and 1966, the ten 421 class locomotives were based on the earlier 42 class and featured a 16-cylinder EMD 567C engine. Equipped with a flat fronted cab on the No. 2 end giving the flexibility to work facing either direction, they are unique anywhere in the world among ‘Bulldog’ nose locomotives (a group of attractive streamlined locomotives most often associated with General Motors’ Electro-Motive Division). The 421 class spent their working lives primarily on the Southern and Western regions, hauling both passenger and freight services. The class were withdrawn from government service in 1986-1987, with many later returning to commercial service with private operators – five have been preserved.
Saved at the eleventh hour from Simsmetal at Junee in November 1990, 42101 then began a long journey of restoration, undertaken initially at Goulburn and from 2010 at Eveleigh. The engine roared to life again for the first time in 28 years in 2014, and after an immaculate paint job made its official return to service on the Cockatoo Run of 22nd February 2015. 42101 has been painstakingly restored by The Heritage Locomotive Company and runs regularly under the accreditation of East Coast Heritage Rail. Our current flagship engine, the locomotive can be frequently seen in action on the Cockatoo Run and other mainline tours.
Entered service: 1965
Builder: Clyde Engineering, Granville, NSW
Wheel arrangement: Co-Co
Power output: 1800hp
Maximum speed: 115 km/h
Working on both broad and standard gauge, the X class could be found all over the Victorian Railways system, working both freight and passenger trains. Members of the class on broad gauge could often be found on the Melbourne to Adelaide corridor, working both The Overland passenger train and the ‘Jet’ express goods services between the two cities. The third series X class were the first Victorian locos to venture into NSW under the ‘through working’ arrangement (X54 being the first engine to do so on 14th November 1982), and in the early 1980s could often be seen on interstate express passenger trains such as the Southern Aurora, Spirit of Progress and Intercapital Daylight between Sydney and Melbourne.
When VR was restructured in 1983, ownership of the X class passed to V/Line. All remained in Government ownership until 1999 when V/Line Freight was privatised and sold to Freight Victoria (later Freight Australia). In 2004 Freight Australia was purchased by Pacific National. As a condition of this sale, X53 and X54 were gifted to the then newly established Queensland Rail National, to help with their start-up of interstate standard gauge operations. X54 remained in service with QR National (renamed Aurizon in 2012) until they ceased operating intermodal freight in December 2017. It saw use for a brief period in 2018 to support Aurizon’s Hunter Valley coal and grain operations, and was placed into storage in late 2018. ECHR purchased X54 in April 2021, and it returned to revenue service in November 2022.
Entered service: 1976
Builder: Clyde Engineering, Rosewater, SA
Wheel arrangement: Co-Co
Power output: 2000hp
Maximum speed: 115 km/h
Entering service in 1937, this car was originally built by Ritchie Brothers, Auburn as a TAM class sleeping carriage. It slept 20 passengers in 10 berths, with each berth converting to a sitting compartment during the day. It saw use on inter-capital trains to Brisbane, and long distance intrastate passenger and mail trains to Wallangarra, Murwillumbah, Moree, Albury, Forbes, Glen Innes, Cooma and Dubbo, as well as other major regional towns. Later in its life it was converted into departmental works car L516 and used on breakdown trains. In this role compartments 1-5 were stripped and the area converted to an amenities area and workspace for the breakdown crew. Its most notable use in this condition was as a crew car while famous British locomotive 4472 Flying Scotsman toured Australia in 1988-1989.
Restoration by 3801 Limited staff and volunteers began on this car in 2008. The restoration included the complete refurbishment of the remaining compartments, and conversion of the former workspace and amenities area into a lounge saloon, with a small kitchenette fitted in the end of the car. A complete mechanical overhaul of the bogies, braking system and couplings was also undertaken. The restoration was completed in late 2015, with the cars first trip being on the 2015 Christmas Cockatoo Run for volunteers and staff who worked on it. It is named after former company board member Ken Butt.
Read in more detail about the restoration of CAM502 by visiting its page on the ECHR Projects Blog
This carriage was originally built as an MFX class sitting carriage by Ritchie Brothers of Auburn, entering service in 1927. Its interior configuration was a combination of fixed open saloon seating and side corridor compartments. In 1939 it was fitted with a guard’s compartment and added to a specially formed NCR carriage set for use on the famous Newcastle Flyer services. It was recoded to HFV to show its new purpose. It continued in this role until World War II when steel N type cars took over the Newcastle Flyer. In 1975 the interior was completely stripped and it was converted to an Interurban car with 2×2 reversible seating in an open saloon, being recoded IFV to reflect these changes. The carriage was withdrawn from Government service in 1989.
Following the Cowan Bank accident in May 1990 which tragically claimed the lives of 6 people and completely destroyed lounge car BV485, IFV924 was acquired in a very derelict condition with a view towards its restoration as a replacement lounge car. This work was undertaken at Eveleigh by 3801 Limited staff and volunteers, and a completely new interior was designed and installed with the rebuilt carriage being unveiled in 1993. It now carries the code of CPJ 924 as a nod to former 3801 Limited Chairman and General Manager Professor John Glastonbury, whose name the carriage also bears.
Built by Waddingtons of Granville and entering service in the late 1930s, the N type carriages were originally delivered in sets of 7. These sets comprised 2 BN first class cars, 3 FN second class cars and 2 HFN second class cars with a guard’s compartment. All cars had open saloon seating. Shortly after introduction to service they were rostered to work the Newcastle Flyer services, until they were replaced in this role by air conditioned carriages. 17 of these cars, including numbers 2182 and 2186 in our fleet, served as wards in two ambulance trains for transporting injured returned soldiers during World War II, with FN2182 featuring a surgical suite.
Following their days on the Newcastle Flyer, the N cars were commonly seen on the Southern Highlands Express from Sydney to Goulburn, with 5 FN second class sitting cars converted into buffet cars and recoded RFN in the late 1940s. This train was notable for being the last service rostered to be steam hauled out of Sydney, with locomotive 3801 working the last steam hauled Southern Highlands Express in October 1969.
The early 1970s saw interior upgrades for the N cars, with replacement seats fitted and cars recoded accordingly. After being displaced from Southern Highlands Express working, the N cars found their way onto the Northern Mail from Sydney to Armidale, Glen Innes, Tenterfield and Moree, as well as the Western Mail from Sydney to Dubbo and Parkes, remaining on these services until being withdrawn in 1988.
East Coast Heritage Rail has four N cars in our fleet: SFN 2182, FRN 2186, ABN 2194 and SBN 2195.
Formerly a BN first class car, it was converted in 1968 to a combined sleeping/sitting car coded ABN for use on mail trains. The remaining seating was converted to a kitchenette and dining table by 3801 Limited volunteers, with sleeping berths retained and a small workshop provisioned in the end of the car. This car is for crew use only and is used on longer distance trips requiring multiple crews.
See the latest updates on ABN2194 at its page on the ECHR Projects Blog
Entered Service: 1939
Builder: Waddingtons, Granville, NSW
Rebuilt: 1968, 2006
Previous numbers: BN2194, ABN1732
Seating Capacity: 6 sleeping
Built by Clyde Engineering between 1935 and 1937, the S type carriages were among the most versatile in the NSW Government Railways fleet. They could be found on interurban passenger trains to Newcastle, Bathurst, Goulburn and Bomaderry, express passenger trains to regional centres, country branch line passenger trains and mail trains. Their prominence can still be seen today as there are more operational examples of S type cars than any other carriage type in preservation in NSW. Their interior configuration was side corridor, with 8 compartments seating 8 people each.
From the mid-70’s to early 80’s, eight cars had their interiors completely stripped and replaced with Laminex panelling, suburban reversible seating and Beclawat sliding windows. These rebuilt cars were coded MFS and were used on interurban working.
East Coast Heritage Rail has four S cars in our fleet: XFS 2015, MBR 2078, MFS 2096 and MFS 2145.
Originally a first class car, this was the only BS car to be gutted and converted to MFS configuration, serving as a supplementary interurban car until being withdrawn in 1989. It was rebuilt by 3801 Limited volunteers with a buffet replacing half of the former seating and resumed service in 1998.
See the latest updates on MBR2078 at its page on the ECHR Projects Blog
Entered Service: 1936
Builder: Clyde Engineering, Granville, NSW
Rebuilt: 1982, 1998
Previous numbers: BS2078, MFS2078
Seating Capacity: 23
HKB836 is one of two bulk mail vans coded KB which were built in 1912 at Eveleigh Carriage Works to cope with increasing loads on the English Mail trains from Albury. Special wide end gangways were fitted in 1915 to facilitate working with the KR class sorting van, which were later removed and panelled over in 1924. The KB vans were used ad-hoc without a fixed roster through the 1930s until both were converted to brake vans by adding a central guard’s compartment in 1942, being subsequently used interchangeably with EHO brake vans. HKB836 was condemned in 1985 and has been stored for some time at Eveleigh, however it is now nearing the end of a long restoration and is intended for use as a luggage van on longer distance tours.
See the latest updates on HKB836 at its page on the ECHR Projects Blog
Entered Service: 1912
Builder: Eveleigh Carriage Works, NSW
Previous numbers: KB836
Capacity: 6 tonnes cargo