Decoding the Jargon – Locomotive and Railcar Classes etc

Rail enthusiasts often rattle off Locomotive and Railcar Class numbers – these have meaning for them, but not to many others who shake their heads at what it all means… . Railway Men’s Secret Business ? So what were,  and are,  the NSW Government Railway Locomotive and Railcar Classes that were used on the South Coast Line ?

There is a great list over at the NSW Trains Wikia page – Steam / Diesel / ElectricRetired & Wikiipedia has an article on NSW Steam Locomotive Classes.

And which one’s have operated in the Illawarra ? Bearing in mind that there are some steep grades on the NSW South Coast Line and branch lines, eg north of Thirroul and from Unanderra to Moss Vale. These grades plus the heavy freight carried, especially coal, has restricted what Locomotives/Railcars could be used in the area.

Early Steam Locomotives in the earliest days of the Illawarra were

  • Bogan, 
  • Gladstone (loaned for the opening), 1, 2, “The Gladstone ended up working for the Mount Kembla mine for over 50 years after the contractor[ Proudfoot and Logan] went broke building the third section of the government line [Coalcliff-Macquarie Rivulet] .P&L had kicked off a quarry next to the Mount Kembla line and had parked Gladstone there .Went west around 1940 .Photo of loco in one of the albums on Kembla Jottings
  • John Bull –1,  2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,  8, 9
  • Old Governor General

– source “Railway History in Illawarra New South Wales ” pp 13 – 14 by  C. C. Singleton, Past President and Honoray Research Officer Australian Railway Historical Society.

Some of the NSWGR Locomotives / Railcars used or intended for use on the South Coast over the last 130 years are listed below :