Past Fleet

This page covers locomotives and rollingstock which we have operated previously – for information on our current running fleet, click here

Steam Locomotives:

Photo: Royce Jowett
Photo: Duncan Eagleton

C38 Class Steam Locomotive 3801

Undoubtedly Australia’s most famous steam locomotive, 3801’s story is inextricably linked to that of East Coast Heritage Rail, being the very reason our company was first formed. The iconic streamlined engine was built by Clyde Engineering in Granville, entering service in January 1943 and leading a distinguished career as a crack express locomotive with the NSWGR until its withdrawal in October 1965, most famously setting a record (2:01:51) for non-stop running between Sydney and Newcastle on 28 June 1964 which stood for a quarter of a century. Following a further decade of intermittent service in preservation (including the epic ‘Western Endeavour’ special to Perth and return in 1970 and a starring role in the 1974 film A Steam Train Passes), the engine was withdrawn in December 1976 and placed on static display by the Rail Transport Museum in Thirlmere.

Here it remained until 1983 when the then Chief Executive of State Rail, David Hill, began enquiring into the possibility of restoring a 38 class locomotive for the Australian Bicentenary in 1988. Following discussions with the Hunter Valley Training Company the engine was moved to the State Dockyard in Newcastle, undergoing an immense rebuild and providing invaluable training for out-of-work apprentices. Due in part to maintenance issues rendering 3642 frequently unavailable for Commissioner’s Train duties in the preceding years, it was decided that a new organisation would be created specifically for the purpose of operating 3801, and thus 3801 Limited was incorporated on 5th June 1985. Work on the locomotive was completed after three years, with 3801 making its debut at a special Railway Ball hosted in its honour on 29th November 1986.

Over the ensuing 20 years 3801 Limited operated the locomotive with great success, taking it to every mainland state capital with the Bicentennial Train in 1988, including an appearance at Aus Steam ’88 and a number of tours with the visiting Flying Scotsman. The company continued to run frequent tours with 3801 in the ensuing years, visiting Alice Springs with the ‘Outback Explorer’ in 1992 and becoming regular visitors to the Maitland Steamfest – it is estimated that over half a million passengers enjoyed trips behind 3801 during its two decades of operation under our banner.

After the company’s 20 year lease on the locomotive expired in 2006 Railcorp chose not to extend the agreement, and the locomotive returned to the Rail Transport Museum at Thirlmere (now the NSW Rail Museum). 3801 was withdrawn from service in 2007 for a periodic overhaul, and returned to service in March 2021.

Entered service: 1943
Builder: Clyde Engineering, Granville, NSW
Wheel arrangement: 4-6-2
Driving wheel diameter: 5ft 9in
Length: 23.3m
Weight: 205t
Maximum speed: 115 km/h

3801's Liveries: An engine of many colours

C38 Class Steam Locomotive 3830

The omega to 3801’s alpha, 3830 was the last of the thirty 38 class locomotives built, manufactured by the NSWGR at their Eveleigh Workshops and entering service in 1949 – the final steam locomotive built in New South Wales. The last 25 members of the 38 class were non-streamlined, having a more conventional external appearance compared to the sleek lines of 3801-3805. Like 3801, it spent most of its career hauling express trains throughout the state, notably sharing honours with classmate 3813 working the first standard gauge Spirit of Progress in 1962. After being withdrawn in October 1967, 3830 was purchased by the Powerhouse Museum and was subsequently stored variously at Enfield, Thirlmere and Eveleigh.

Restoration of 3830 began in 1992 in partnership between the Powerhouse Museum and 3801 Limited, with work again being undertaken by the Hunter Valley Training Company on the engine’s boiler and tender. 3830 was officially relaunched at a ceremony on 22nd October 1997 and made a number of appearances with 3801 Limited up until 2006, frequently teaming up with 3801 on special tours and becoming a regular fixture at the Maitland Steamfest during this time. 3830 was relocated to the NSW Rail Museum in Thirlmere in 2008, has been out of service since 2009 and is currently awaiting major restoration works.

Entered service: 1949
Builder: NSW Government Railways, Eveleigh, NSW
Wheel arrangement: 4-6-2
Driving wheel diameter: 5ft 9in
Length: 23.3m
Weight: 201t
Maximum speed: 115 km/h

Photo: Kim Andronicus

C30 Class Steam Locomotive 3112

3112 was built by Beyer, Peacock & Co. of Manchester, England as number 5907 of 1914 and was originally numbered S 1240 by the NSWGR, a member of the S 636 class of suburban tank engines. The renumbering of 1924 saw this engine reclassified as 3112 of the C30 class, which eventually comprised 145 engines (of which 77 were later converted to tender engines for use on country branchlines). 3112 remained a tank engine throughout its life and was one of the last of its class in service, being withdrawn in February 1972. It was subsequently purchased for the ill-fated Lachlan Vintage Village in Forbes NSW, and formed part of the famous movement in July 1979 during which Beyer-Garratt 6042 and 5367 steamed through the streets of Forbes into the village, with the aid of temporary track panels ‘leapfrogging’ the consist.

Auctioned off in late 1986, 3112 was then bought by the Late Barry Tulloch, who oversaw the restoration of the locomotive to operation at Cowra. Returning to service in 1988, it ran under 3801 Limited’s banner for the better part of two decades, with highlights including attendance at Aus Steam ’88 in Melbourne, and two triple headed trains with 3801 and 4472 Flying Scotsman during the Bicentennial celebrations. A frequent performer with 3801 and 3830, 3112 was stationed at Eveleigh until 2007, and meticulously cared for by Barry and his team before being sold to Boyd Munro in May 2007. After a period of storage in Canberra, the engine is now undergoing restoration at Goulburn and is hoped to return to service in the near future.


Entered service: 1914

Builder: Beyer, Peacock & Company, Manchester, England

Wheel arrangement: 4-6-4T

Driving wheel diameter: 4ft 7in

Length: 12.2m

Weight: 73t

Maximum speed: 80 km/h

Photo: Steve Brien

LNER A1/A3 Class Steam Locomotive 4472 Flying Scotsman

Perhaps the most famous steam locomotive on earth, the Flying Scotsman’s achievements are too numerous to list here, however it is probably best known for becoming the first steam engine to officially break the 100mph barrier on 30th November 1934, and regularly hauling the London and North Eastern Railway’s top link non-stop express service between London and Edinburgh with which it shared its name. After a glittering 40-year service career for the LNER and later British Railways spanning the years 1923 to 1963, the iconic engine was saved from scrap by Alan Pegler and spent a period on tour in the United States in 1969-1970, being purchased and repatriated by Sir William McAlpine in 1973 after Pegler was declared bankrupt.

Flying Scotsman was brought to Australia as part of the 1988 Bicentennial celebrations, covering some 45,000kms over a period of thirteen months, travelling to every mainland state capital during this time and breaking the record for the longest non-stop run of a steam locomotive over the 697km stretch between Parkes and Broken Hill. Flying Scotsman operated extensively under 3801 Limited’s banner during this time, operating double headed trains with 3801 on numerous occasions during its visit. The engine is now owned by the National Railway Museum in York, England, and after a comprehensive restoration between 2006-2016 is now running extensively across the UK.



Entered service: 1923

Builder: Doncaster Works, Doncaster, England

Wheel arrangement: 4-6-2

Driving wheel diameter: 6ft 8in

Length: 21.3m

Weight: 98t

Maximum speed: 100mph (161 km/h)


Photo: Trent Nicholson

SMR 10 Class Steam Locomotive SMR18

The third of the iconic South Maitland Railways 10 class tank engines, SMR18 was built by Beyer, Peacock & Co. as number 5909 of 1918 and spent its working life hauling coal on the extensive SMR network in the Hunter Valley. Following the cessation of steam operations in 1983, ownership of the locomotive passed to the Hunter Valley Training Company, who placed the locomotive on loan to 3801 Limited. Nicknamed ‘Bob’, it was a regular performer on the Cockatoo Run between 1995 and 1998, receiving a number of modifications during this time with the aim of improving performance – most notably an extended smokebox and bunker, and welded side tanks. The loco was subsequently stored at Eveleigh for some years before being moved to Braemar for restoration in 2003, and it now resides once again at its former home in East Greta.


Entered service: 1918

Builder: Beyer, Peacock & Company, Manchester, England

Wheel arrangement: 2-8-2T

Driving wheel diameter: 4ft 3in

Length: 13.3m

Weight: 82t

Maximum speed: 60 km/h

Diesel Locomotives:

Photo: Fred Sawyer

44 Class Diesel Electric Locomotives 4401, 4464, 4473 & 4486

The 44 class locomotives were delivered between 1957-1967, manufactured by AE Goodwin of Auburn NSW under license to the American Locomotive Company (ALCo) as part of their DL500 ‘World Locomotive’ series. With 12-cylinder ALCo 251 engines, the 100 members of the 44 class were built for express passenger and freight train duties, and while their elegant streamlining saw them become the face of top express trains such as the Indian Pacific and Southern Aurora, they were equally at home hauling slow freight services.

With driving cabs at both ends they were versatile units, serving throughout the state with distinction for 40 years, with the last units withdrawn from government service in 1997. Many were given a second lease on life in the 2000s, bought by private operators and pressed back into traffic in the early days of privatisation in NSW, and a handful still survive in commercial service.

Class leader 4401 served on the NSWGR between 1957 and 1994. Upon its withdrawal it was preserved by Freight Rail and repainted in its original Indian Red livery, and today forms part of the State Heritage Collection. 4401 operated extensively with 3801 Limited throughout the 1990s and 2000s, however with limited wheel life remaining was later stored at Eveleigh. While nominally operable, the locomotive is now on static display at the Junee Roundhouse Railway Museum.

4464, 4473 and 4486 are all owned by the Lachlan Alco Locomotive Group and featured heavily with 3801 Limited through the years. 4486 was the first to be restored, returning to service in 1995 only a year after withdrawal, with 4473 following in 2005, and 4464 making its return to service in 2011 for a tour to Kandos, when all three Lachlan Alco 44s combined on a tour for the first time in preservation.


Entered service: 1957, 1966-67

Builder: AE Goodwin, Auburn, NSW

Wheel arrangement: Co-Co

Length: 17.8m

Weight: 108t

Power output: 1800hp

Maximum speed: 115 km/h

45 Class Diesel Electric Locomotive 4501

Built by AE Goodwin of Auburn NSW, the 45 class were Australia’s version of the ALCo DL541 and were effectively a hood unit version of the successful 44 class, sharing the 12-cylinder ALCo 251 engine. 40 members in total were delivered from 1962-1964 which served primarily as heavy freight locomotives, working across the state during their careers and bringing dieselisation to the Western Region. Draughty cabs saw them relegated to trailing unit only status from 1984, with all members being withdrawn from Freightcorp service by 1994. One of three preserved class members, 4501 passed through a succession of owners before being acquired by Goodwin Alco Pty Ltd in 2002 and restored at Eveleigh, returning to service in 2007 and becoming a 3801 Limited regular. 4501 is currently based at the NSW Rail Museum in Thirlmere.

Entered service: 1962

Builder: AE Goodwin, Auburn, NSW

Wheel arrangement: Co-Co

Length: 17.9m

Weight: 112t

Power output: 1800hp

Maximum speed: 115 km/h

48 Class Diesel Electric Locomotive 4833

The 165 members of the 48 class of branchline diesel locomotives were built by AE Goodwin of Auburn between 1959 and 1970, the most numerous of any diesel locomotive class acquired by the NSWGR. Fitted with a 6-cylinder variant of the ALCo 251B engine, these units were designated DL531. Versatile and lightweight units capable of running on all lines in the state, the 48 class served as the ‘backbone of the railways’ for many decades, and the fact that a number may still be seen in commercial service with various operators today is testament to this. 4833’s service career spanned from 1961 to 1994, before being purchased by Goodwin Alco Pty Ltd and returned to traffic with 3801 Limited, giving stirling service in the early days of the Cockatoo Run and becoming a frequent performer for over 20 years. 4833 is currently based at the NSW Rail Museum in Thirlmere.



Entered service: 1961

Builder: AE Goodwin, Auburn, NSW

Wheel arrangement: Co-Co

Length: 14.8m

Weight: 75t

Power output: 950hp

Maximum speed: 100 km/h


49 Class Diesel Electric Locomotives 4908 & 4918

The 49 class were built primarily as branchline locomotives, manufactured by Clyde engineering with 8-cylinder EMD 567C prime movers and delivered between 1960-1964. The 18 members of the class saw extensive use in the Western Region for the majority of their careers before being transferred to Delec for metropolitan and southern working in 1989. After being withdrawn in 1997 and sitting in storage, both 4908 and 4918 were sold to 3801 Limited in 1999 when Freightcorp was sold to become Pacific National. The company paid the princely sum of $98.26 for the pair – the prices of the locos being $49.08 and $49.18 respectively!

Both were repainted into different 3801 Limited corporate liveries – an Indian Red and Cream livery was applied to 4908 to match the passenger carriage fleet, while 4918 wore a red and black scheme inspired by that of 3801, earning it the nickname ‘Batmobile’! 4908 was sold to Greentrains in 2008 and is currently in service with Southern Shorthaul Railroad, while 4918 stayed on, being repainted Tuscan and becoming the backbone of the fleet following 3801’s departure. 4918 was sold to the Dorrigo Steam Railway & Museum in 2017 and is currently stored at Cardiff NSW.



Entered service: 1962, 1964

Builder: Clyde Engineering, Granville, NSW

Wheel arrangement: Co-Co

Length: 15.4m

Weight: 81t

Power output: 875hp

Maximum speed: 100 km/h

Photo: Royce Jowett

73 Class Diesel Hydraulic Locomotive 7344

Built between 1970 & 1973 by Walkers Ltd of Maryborough Queensland, the 73 class were designed as shunting locomotives to depose the last remaining steam shunters on the NSWGR system. After an initial order of twenty proved successful, a further 30 were ordered and all were in service by March 1973. The class were powered by four-stroke V8 Caterpillar engines, with Voith hydraulic power transmissions. While intended primarily for yard duties mainline use was not unheard of, with members of the class operating trip trains around the suburban network when requried. Upon their withdrawal many were sold, with a number heading north to Queensland for use on cane railways.

After a service life spanning from November 1972 to April 1992, 7344 was set aside by Railcorp for preservation as part of the State Heritage Collection, with custodianship granted to 3801 Limited. Nicknamed ‘Dennis’ (apocryphally short for ‘Diesel Engine Not Normally In Steam’ in reference to radiator issues), the loco was primarily used for shunting purposes at Eveleigh. It was a regular fixture on the Cockatoo Run during the mid-to-late 1990s in its striking green Freightcorp ‘Frog’ livery, often hauling the train in tandem with sister loco 7333 ‘Ron’ (formerly owned by the Goodwin Alco group and leased to 3801 Limited). More recently the engine was placed in storage at Eveleigh, and custodianship was transferred to the Rail Motor Society at Paterson in 2018, where it has since been relocated for use as a shunter.

Entered service: 1972
Builder: Walkers Limited, Maryborough, Qld
Wheel arrangement: B-B

Length: 12.0m

Weight: 50t

Power output: 650hp

Maximum speed: 70 km/h

Other Rollingstock:

Photo: J Bar (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Photo: Thomas Glastonbury

C3704 – 'Sputnik' Single Deck Power Car

One of forty power cars built by Comeng between 1956-1960 to a similar design as the earlier Tulloch cars, whose design origins can be traced back to the 1925 Leeds Forge standard suburban stock. The Comeng cars differed from their predecessors in having all-welded bodies, traction motors on all four axles and powered doors, and represented the final form of single deck suburban rollingstock on the NSWGR. Initially operating in 8-car sets coded ‘S’ to denote the safety doors, they were quickly dubbed ‘Sputniks’ after the Russian satellite which was launched around the time of their introduction. C3704 saw service throughout the suburban network and was fitted with Beclawat windows to alleviate rust issues in 1977, being withdrawn from service in 1993.

The car was sold to NSW Public Works later that year and was used as a site office during the development of the Australian Technology Park at the site of the former Eveleigh Railway Workshops, before ownership was transferred to the Sydney Ports Authority who had the carriage painted in a striking blue livery featuring indigenous artwork. 3801 Limited bought the car in 1997 and repainted it into corporate colours in 2000. It then became our home base, functioning as our office within the grounds of the ATP for almost two decades until redevelopment of the site necessitated the carriage’s removal. It was sold to a private buyer and removed on 8 May 2019, and is now enjoying a peaceful retirement in Taree NSW.


Entered Service: 1958

Builder: Commonwealth Engineering, Granville, NSW

Rebuilt: 1977 (Beclawat windows added)

Length: 19.9m

Weight: 51.5t

Seating Capacity: 59

GMS1 – Lounge Car with Observation Deck

Originally built as compartment car BS2170, this carriage was converted to a buffet car in 1963 and renumbered RBS2170, later still carrying the number RBS2161 before being condemned in 1979. It saw a second life as a service vehicle between 1983-1991 under the identity of W988, before again being withdrawn and subsequently purchased privately. The car was then extensively rebuilt between 2001-2004 by Northwest Coachbuilders, entailing the addition of an observation deck and removal of compartments. Renumbered GMS1, the carriage saw use on lease to 3801 Limited between 2004 and 2006, and is currently used by Transport Heritage NSW.


Entered Service: 1938

Builder: Clyde Engineering, Granville, NSW

Rebuilt: 1963, 1983, 2001-2004

Previous numbers: BS2170, RBS2170, RBS2161, W988

Length: 20.5m

Weight: 43t

Seating Capacity: 30

KHG 34226 – Freight Guard’s Van

The KHG brakevans were the last type of freight guard’s van built for the NSWGR, being of fully welded steel construction. A total of fifty were built by Comeng in 1971-1972, which are readily identified by their end platforms, roof ladders and ‘periscopes’. They were built with interstate operation in mind, frequently working through to Port Pirie and Port Augusta in South Australia. The vans comprise two freight compartments equipped with sliding doors, on either side of a central section containing a guard’s compartment, toilet and crew compartment. The KHG vans were recoded as NVKF in 1980, with 34226 being withdrawn from service in 1989. It has since spent the majority of its life in preservation undercover at Eveleigh, and was recently purchased by South Maitland Railways at East Greta.

Entered Service: 1971
Builder: Commonwealth Engineering, Granville, NSW
Previous numbers: NVKF 34226
Length: 14.4m
Weight: 30t
Capacity: 6 tonnes cargo


Guest Locomotives:

From time to time, we hire guest locomotives for special appearances on our trains – below is a selection of engines we have featured!
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