The Fearsome 46's - all things 46 class electric loco

  gary george Beginner

Electric locomotive hauled trains, required change of locomotive power to diesel or in early cases steam  at end of overhead wiring which was both time consuming and costly.  Also 46 class along with VR L class were getting on in years and technology had changed even between  46 class and 85/86 classes  which to upgrade to modern standards was costly in lieu of the cheaper option of diesel locomotives throughout the train run they were retired:twisted:

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  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

A couple of photos taken a few days ago (15 June 2018 - 17 June 2018) of a movement of SETS's 4615, 8606 and U-set motor cars CF5003 and CF5021 from Junee. A claim made to go with some of the photos posted by Robert Astley below:-

"After 9 years in hibernation within the Junee roundhouse 8606 and 4615 are seen here departing the roundhouse, they later coupled up to the 2 u boat carriages and were left in road 6 of Junee yard opposite the station where they were picked up by an early Sat morning for their trip to Lithgow via Cootamundra and Parkes. At Lithgow they will be re-activated and re-enter service for duties with Sydney Trains"

By highplains68

17 June 2018. Dead attached 8606, 4615 and ex U set motor cars CF5003 and CF5021 are hauled around the S-curve near Brewongle by 8230

By KobeyDiamond

By Tim Pout

17 June 2018. After spending nearly a decade at Junee Roundhouse electric locos 8606/4615 and U set motor cars CF5003/CF5021 returned to they're old stomping ground of Lithgow hauled by Pacific National's 8230. The run number was 3724


credit to J. E. Productions for this short video of the u-boat cars and electric locos being hauled into Lithgow

credit to Sydney Trains vlogs for an extensive video of transfer from Parkes to Lithgow

credit to Declan Goodsell for video


post/gallery by Declan Goodsell
  SinickleBird Assistant Commissioner

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
Some very nice photos - the locos look very smart indeed.

I wonder what sort of duties Sydney Trains will use them on?
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
Only one reason to reactivate electric locos. Must be some concentrated work coming up in the underground.
  Jack Le Lievre Assistant Commissioner

Location: Moolap Station, Vic

By KobeyDiamond
If that is the same idiot who was walked out of Streamliners 2016 for trying to pinch stuff, he was probably trying to work out what he could pinch once they got to Parkes.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

have updated my post to include a video I just found of the movement - such a rarity to see the electric locos and u-boats moving on the tracks, even if not under their own power. Will update the post if I find anything further.
  s3_gunzel Not a gunzel developer

Location: Western Sydney, AU
Only one reason to reactivate electric locos. Must be some concentrated work coming up in the underground.
Yup, that's the rumour I'm hearing from sources as well. Not that there's concentrated work in the Underground, but that they're going to be used in there.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Have updated my post with extra videos from Sydney Trains Vlogs and Declan Goodsell and photos by Tim Pout on flickr. It's great that people cover these movements that would otherwise be missed.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Credit to Bevan Wall for sharing these videos - Clyde Engineering Centenary where there were a bunch of locomotives, steam and diesel that were built by Clyde Eng on display at Sydney Terminal in July 1998. Preserved 4638 looking very handsome in the original livery and large original MV Pantographs can be seen briefly at 7:00 with 3830 behind it, 3801 in the distance as 42220 departs the station.

Thread posted by BevanWall with video and more information about the event:-

Video itself

2 other random photos

21 Aug 1961. 46 class at Seven Hills by John Cowper

Oct 1978. 4612/46xx through Harris Park with Indian Pacific by michaelgreenhill. This photo taken before the quadruplication was completed between Granville and Westmead
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Photos taken by Paul Feighan today (Sat 14 July 2018) of 4615 and interior of 8606. Check the locomotives forum for the 8606 and 4615 thread, 8606 was also photographed with pans up at Lithgow

8606 and 4615 thread
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Have updated some information and photographs on page 1 for the surviving 46's. Also on Page 2 I have a post which has lots of info on the Inaugural Indian Pacific run. Some of the ads include:-

A nice shot of 4638/46xx/46xx at Chullora Junction.

On October 26, 1969, the NSWRTM ran a triple headed non-streamlined 38 steam locomotive tour from Sydney to Wyong, this being largely seen as the last chance to do so before these locomotives were retired. 3822 took the train from Sydney to Gosford, then it ran triple from Gosford to Wyong with 3822/3820/3827. After turning, the train was hauled from Wyong to Gosford by 3820/3827 then 3822 ran it from Gosford to Sydney, assisted by 4638 to Cowan. There are no shots of 4638, but still an interesting little tid bit! Credit to the respective photographer/contributor for these.

Some updates in regards to the Indian Pacific

A link to a short 30 second clip showing portions of the inaugural ceremony and departure of the very first Indian Pacific led by Valley Heights Museum's loco 4601, assisted by 4602 which is now over at Dorrigo. In this case the first Indian Pacific ran as 2 with the second hauled by 4603/4604. The first train with 4601/4602 mostly had first class cars with VIP guests and the Governor General aboard his own Special Service Car. This celebration was also a declaration of passenger services on the unbroken standard gauge between Sydney and Perth declared as "open". Source gettyimages. This is the only video footage I've seen of this event and just came across it very recently.

Some further information on the inaugural Indian Pacific here on page 467 of "Along Parallel Lines: A History of the Railways of New South Wales"

Also found this interesting tid bit in an old issue of Railway Digest issue June 1992

In it's section "20 YEARS AGO" it mentions that the Indian Pacific on 15 June 1972 was worked from Sydney by 4602 and 4601. Both these locos had their buffers removed at the outer ends respectively for Indian Pacific working. Upon reaching St. Marys the trailing locomotive 4601 was failed and detached. As 4602 was fitted with buffers at the Sydney end a 4 wheel S truck was used as a match truck. On arrival at Penrith the S truck was detached and the yard shunter a 48 class diesel locomotive was utilised. At Valley Heights, 4604 was added to the front of the train to assist as far as Katoomba.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Some information about the Indian-Pacific from the trove archives, namely articles posted about it in the Canberra Times.

24 February 1970. Not much here but mentions that Governor-General and Lady Hasluck attended a dinner at Hotel Wentworth prior to the inaugural departure of the IP. Later the Governor-General unveiled a plaque at Central Railway Station shortly before departure

Source (

24 February 1970. Mentions that the inaugural run of the Indian-Pacific left right on schedule on Monday, 23 February 1970 at 10:50pm after a "glittering lace-gowned ceremony at Central Station". Mentioned that the new direct standard-gauge service would shorten travel time by 7 hours between Sydney and Perth through Melbourne.
Further mentions that the inaugural service (hauled by 4601/4602) carried the Govenor-General Hasluck and a party of VIPs while a second train left 10 minutes later carrying pressmen. The 2 trains were incorporated into one at Port Pirie, SA.
Mentions that fares for the new twice-weekly trans-continental service to be first class single $63.80 (return $114.60) and economy class single $43.20 (return $77.80)

Source (

Further 2 articles about it's arrival at Perth on 26 February 1970 at 11.20am (on time)

The following video is some footage filmed in 1984/85 by the team from Thames TV's "Wish you were here", first shown 06 March 1985. At 0:16 4606/46xx can be seen hauling the Indian Pacific through Katoomba

Further photos of 46's hauling the Indian Pacific

13 July 1970. 4628/46xx with Indian Pacific at Sydney Terminal (trove)

c. 1974. Posted by CPH 3. 4603/46xx coming off IP at Lithgow

c. late 1970's probably with 4616/4636 passing through Strathfield with Indian Pacific bound for Central by michaelgreenhill

15 November 1979. 4605/4606 with DOWN Indian Pacific through Toongabbie

06 October 1980. 4604/46xx haul Indian Pacific through Stanmore heading west racing a steam train on tour?

25 March 1983. Source gettymages. IP at Central station with 4607/46xx
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Another little bit of interesting history with 4601, although nothing as significant as leading the first Indian Pacific, is it's involvement with the opening of the Eastern Suburbs Railway line. Although it essentially didn't take part in the event in any real meaningful way, it's probably a bit of information that would otherwise go unknown.

For a detailed and interesting read on the opening of the ESR, which occurred on Saturday, 23 June 1979, plenty of information can be found in the "Sydney Scene" Trolley Wire June 1979 issue, specifically pages 18 and 19, with the write up finishing on page 26.

To summarize some key points:-

- Premier Neville Wran officially opened the ESR on Saturday 23 June 1979
- A ceremony commenced at 10:30am on the concourse of Martin Place station before approximately 1000 invited guests
- The Chief Commissioner of the PTC and Transport Minister were also there for proceedings
- The assembled guests then travelled to Bondi Junction in two 8 car double deck suburban trains departing at 11:05 and 11:10am.
- Upon arrival at Bondi Junction the Premier cut the blue ribbon across the line
- A luncheon was served on the concourse at Martin Place station (after return from Bondi Junction)
- travel on Saturday and Sunday was free and it was estimated that some 250,000 people attended to see the new line
- There is a complete listing of all runs including set and car numbers.
- More specifically it appears the first official train was made of sets S54 and S55 respectively being:- C3004-D4083-D4082-C3003 and C3002-T4102-T4101-C3001 the second train being made up of S57 and S56 respectively being:- C3008-D4073-D4072-C3007 and C3006-D4084-D4080-C3005.
- the event was declared a major success although ran into problems due to sheer amount of people who attended with issues such as escalators sometimes failing, automatic barriers quickly failing due to souvenir tickets being jammed into them and ticket machines running out of change or being jammed when all buttons were pushed at once

- It is noted railwaywise that opening proceedings started when electric locomotive 4601 proceeded to Martin Place turnback siding where it remained until at least around 5:20pm in case of an emergency. (I can only assume that would have been if in the worst case scenario, any of the suburban trains had failed and would need to be hauled out)
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

The following is a fantastic video shared by Andrew Surgenor on his youtube channel showing various parts of the electrified network during 1992. Almost 46 mins long it shows a variety of diesel hauled trains/working, electric loco workings and electric passenger EMU's in action. Particularly if you are an electric loco or V set fan, this is must watch footage. While there is quite a lot of diesel hauled footage out there, there is comparatively less electric footage. Lots of great shots and sounds of howling camshaft V sets in their blue goose and white/candy stripe livery.

Lots of triple 46 and 86 class workings. The footage also captured some great moments of a couple of the (few) preserved electric locos hard at work. Below I've pointed these out and more specifically the 46 class workings captured.

- 13:29 shows a scene at Helensburgh of a dual 46 class loco hauled train
- 16:00 shows a scene at Cowan of SETS preserved 8606 assisting 8645 on a working
- 25:50 shows a great scene at Wondabyne station with a triple 46 class formation leading an UP freight. Tooting it's horn and in the lead is preserved 4601, assisted by SETS's 4627. 4607 is the 3rd loco in the combo.
- 27:13 shows a scene at misty Cowan with 4614/46xx/46xx hauling a DOWN freight
- 31:28 shows a scene at misty Cowan with preserved 4638 leading a DOWN freight assisted by an unknown 46 and 4624
- 37:10 shows a scene through Cowan? with 4630 and 2 other 46's hauling a coal train
- 39:10 shows a u-boat in the distance on the Illawarra line working a south bound passenger service
- 40:04 shows a scene on the Illawarra line of 3 86's. The 3rd unit might be 8607.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Some photos posted on the NSW Railways Past and Present facebook page showing 4638 stored at Broadmeadow in March 2017.

A couple of interesting shots found on ebay:-

This shot taken 29 August 1971 shows 4638 hauling the DOWN Newcastle Flyer as it is about to pass through Rhodes

This shot taken in the 1970's shows 4612 approaching Campbelltown

Below is a Democratic Republic of Congo stamp showing an illustration of the 46 class electric locomotive. This slightly reminds me of the stamps that were released showing the 661/726 Byron solar train.

This shot shows 2 46's taken off the Central West Express at Lithgow about to be replaced by 44202
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

This is some footage shared by Semi-Retired Foamer of the DELEC yards in 1987 and shows some 46 class action. I've highlighted where this takes place as well as one or two other sightings of surviving 44 class diesel locomotives. Most the locos seen in this video are scrapped. Most of the 46's that are seen in this video were those that didn't go through that overhaul program that started during the very late 1970's. These locos were easily distinguished as they still retained the original 3 port windows on the side, those that came out of the program were left with 2 and those that went through the program later (by around early to mid 1980's) also had their original single headlights replaced by the newer dual beam ones.

- 5:43 shows 4632/4635/4633 in light engine movement
- 6:40 shows movement of surviving loco 4468. (According to someone on the NSW Railways Past and Present facebook page, this loco was purchased by Transport Heritage NSW during the ARHS ACT liquidation auction last year, not sure if true though)
- 9:32 shows scenes of Preserved loco 4490
- 18:08 shows 4616
- 20:28 shows some more 46 class footage including 4619 and 4606 being coupled
- 22:37 shows light engine movement of triple 4635/4606/4619
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

The following is largely snippets from postings of the Sydney Morning Herald archives. You need to be a paying customer to view the full articles, however, I have posted the details from the snippets which give some information to key events that happened with 46 class electric locos. I've updated the Page 1 info on the locomotives and more detailed information on the first Indian Pacific run can be found in my post on July 2017 on Page 2.

The SMH archives 1955 - 1995 can be found here:-

An interesting, but not surprising note is the number of real estate advertisements posted in the mid/late 1950's encouraging people to buy a "home in the mountains" before prices would skyrocket due to the impending electrification of the line.


Tuesday, 15 May 1956. Page 4. "A new 70 mph electric locomotive will arrive in Sydney by ship from Britain today, the Commissioner for Railways Mr. Windsor said yesterday" - This of course refers to the delivery of 4601.


Tuesday, 26 June 1956. Page 9. "NEW LOCO DOES 70 MPH IN TRIAL. The first of 40 new British built electric locomotives to be used by the NSW Railways yesterday covered the 36 miles form Sydney to Penrith in a little over 40 minutes. Mr. Windsor said the benefit of the new machines would be felt when the electrification to Lithgow was completed next year."


Friday, 29 June 1956. Page 2. "The first of the new 46-class electric locomotives at Central station this week beside a 53 year old 30 class engine". This refers to a photo posted of 4601 with a 30 class steam locomotive at Central before the trial run. Haven't been able to find it online though. "These electric locomotives cost about 75,000 pounds each. 40 are being built in England."


Friday, 06 July 1956. "Electrification of the western line to Lithgow was adopted as the only means whereby the anticipated coal traffic (which for reasons entirely beyond the control of the NSW Railways never eventuated) could be handled. At the time electrification was decided upon no diesel electric locomotives of sufficient power were available". This seems to have been an opinion piece or write-in by a reader.


Saturday, 07 July 1956. "OLD AND NEW IN RAIL TOUR TOMORROW. Railway's newest electric locomotive will make an 86 mile tour of Sydney suburbs tomorrow towing 4 60-year-old carriages. It will carry 223 members of the Railways Historical Society who have hired 4 old 'pullman type' carriages - and the first of the new giant English-built electric locomotives for the Lithgow line - for a run around the suburbs."

A photo of this tour train with 4601 can be seen at Cronulla posted on trams down under page:-


Tuesday, 24 July 1956. Page 15. "Early morning delay on Railways. An electric locomotive broke down at Strathfield at 5:40am yesterday and caused minor delays throughout Sydney's railways. A railways department spokesman said many trains were delayed for about 10 minutes. The locomotive was replaced in about 20 minutes and services were on schedule before the morning peak." - Nothing significant here, but noted it because the only 3 electric locomotives in service at this time are 3 of those that have survived into preservation, namely 7100, 4601 and 4602.


Friday, 28 September 1956. "WORST YEAR ON RECORD FOR RAILWAY. To June 30, the department had paid 2,181,232 pounds of a 3,156,880 pound contract for 40 electric locomotives, 29 were scheduled for delivery up to 30 June 1956, but only 2 have been delivered. The department had also paid 351,941 pounds of a 828,900 pound contract for 80 steel suburban carriages.."


This reference is from the Nepean times, not Sydney Morning Herald, but it notes that from 5 November 1956, electric locomotives commenced hauling the commuter service "The Chips" between Sydney and Valley Heights, taking over from Steam Locomotives. Also notes that they started testing the electrified line between Emu-Plains and Springwood on 18 October 1956. l-year=1956


Wednesday, 28 November 1956. "Power Line to Mountains. A new 132,000 volt transmission line was brought into service last weekend to supply power for the electrification of the western railway line and for general demand in the Blue Mountains area."


Saturday 26 January 1957. "Electric locomotives would be used to assist steam trains between Valley Heights and Katoomba from February 3, 1957, the Department of Railways announced yesterday"


Saturday, 09 February 1957. "NEW ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE HAULS 'FISH' TO KATOOMBA. The electric locomotive which in a test run yesterday pulled the well known western line train 'The Fish' from Sydney to Katoomba stands alongside a steam locomotive at Central" - Shows a photo of 4612 hauling this service. [PHOTO BELOW Gettyimages]


12 February 1957. "RAIL INQUIRY ON BREAKDOWN OF NEW ENGINES. The railways dept has ordered an inquiry into breakdown of 3 new british built electric locomotives."


Wednesday, 13 February 1957. "INEXPERIENCED MEN SUGGESTED CAUSE OF LOCO TROUBLES. The breakdown of 3 new electric locomotives on Sydney-Katoomba run might have been caused by inexperienced or unskilled drivers a Metropolitan-Vickers executive suggested in england yesterday."


23 February 1957 Sat. Page 16. "FULL FACTS SOUGHT OF NEW LOCOS. The State Government should order a special investigation if there were serious doubts that the electric locomotives it had bought were not suitable for the Blue Mountains line, the Leader of the State Opposition, Mr P H Morton said last" [rest missing]


Wednesday 06 March 1957. "41 minutes off mountain trip. Hauled by an electric locomotive for the first time, 'The Fish' reached Mt. Victoria at 7:32pm. It is expected to cut 21 minutes off the Mt Victoria - Sydney schedule in the morning"


09 March 1957. "Mr Napthali (he drove the queen) retires after 46 yrs. William Henry Napthali 64 year-old driver waves out of cab of new electric locomotive of 'The Fish' as he drives out of Central Station for last time yesterday before his retirement today."


Tue 19 March 1957. "An air-conditinoined express hauled by an electric locomotive will leave Central station at 1:30pm for Mt Victoria picking up at Strathfield and Parramatta and setting down at Katoomba and Blackheath."


30 March 1957. "'FISH' Lacks Grit fails on grade. The 2 famous blue mountains trains 'fish' and 'chips' were delayed tonight when an electric locomotive failed to haul the fish over a slight grade at Woodford."


Monday 22 April 1957. "An electric locomotive hauled a special 5 car train from Central to Mt Victoria in blue mountains yesterday in one hour and 40 mins"


Wed 01 May 1957. "Katoomba Tuesday. A derailed electric locomotive at Mount Victoria today threw early morning train traffic on blue mountains line into chaos"


Saturday 22 June 1957. Notes that the premier Joseph Cahill officially opens the Sydney - Lithgow electrification today.


Monday 24 June 1957. "Crowds Cheer Official train. They were towed by an electric locomotive. Railway stations along the route were decorated with bunting, which hung limply in heavy rain." - The locomotive 4625 hauled the official first electric train to Lithgow with several U-boat TF trailer cars. Below is a photo of this on PInterest, not sure who to credit for it.


21 October 1958. "The electric locomotive of 'the chips' broke free from the carriages as the train approached Emu Plains yesterday. The automatic braking system stopped the carriages. Last friday a similar mishap occurred as the train approached Warrimoo station. On both occasions the locomotive was recoupled and train continued"


28 October 1958. "The Chips couplings get safety lock. The couplings between the electric locomotives and carriages parted on 2 successive days recently"


Monday 5 October 1959. Page 30. "GOODS YARDS RAIL ELECTRIFICATION NEAR COMPLETION. The Railways Department tomorrow will complete the electrification of rail tracks at Darling Harbour to allow electrically hauled goods trains to travel direct to Sydney waterfront."


Wednesday 07 October 1959. "RAILHEAD ELECTRIFICATION COMPLETED. The first electric locomotive to enter Darling Harbour goods yards under its own power passes a steam locomotive yesterday after completion of rail electrification in the" [no more]. There is an accompanying photo with this article which shows 4602 as the first electric locomotive to run under it's own power in the newly electrified Darling Harbour Goods Yard. Photo below Gettyimages


The Indian Pacific Big Send Off

Daily Telegraph 24 February 1970 article covering the inaugural run of the Indian Pacific. I've posted information and photos, video for this on Page 2.

Article via Fab Sydney Flashbacks

I can't get any source information for this, but below is a link to 2  small Souvenir photos showing the leading loco 4601 with cab crew before the departure of Indian Pacific.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

The following is a Belbin video "Days of Steam" Part 1 showing footage from the very late 1940's to very early 1970's.

As far as 46's are concerned, there is some interesting footage shown at 6:40 where you see 4613 come off the Newcastle Flyer at Gosford, pull up beside 3822 with crew changing over to the steam loco, which then reverses back to take control of the Flyer the rest of the journey north.

A few preserved locos can also be noted in this video:-

- From 2:34 you see footage at Mt. Kuring-gai of the 1954 Royal Train led by preserved loco 4001 and 4002 (specifically at 2:50). Looks like the weather wasn't so nice on the day.
- 6:16 shows Preserved locos 1243 and 1210 double-head for the official last steam train on opening day of electrification to Gosford on 23 January 1960.
- 9:35 shows preserved loco 3203 working through Teralba with a DOWN local in 1970
- 10:11 shows 3801 leading the Newcastle Flyer
- 11:32 shows a scene at Lisarow in 1965 with 3641 and preserved 3526 form an UP midday Newcastle Flyer
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Rather than creating it's own thread, this post is dedicated to the first electric loco in NSW, the locally built 7100 (originally 4501). I'll make a post for it with the rest of the 46's on the first page with particular details. In it's green and gold livery it was affectionately known as the "Green Beetle", although I read that in it's later years, with various failures it was apparently known as "Nervous Nelly".

Wikipedia Info:-

A few notable things from the Wikipedia posting of it's duties included:-
- Used mostly in Sydney metro area to assist goods trains between Strathfield Hornsby
- Used to test new sections of overhead west of Penrith.

It's worth noting at the time of it being completed and into service in July 1952 the electrified network was fairly limited.

The following is the loco's listing on the State Heritage Register:-

A couple of notes of interest from the register information:-
- 7100 was constructed utilising components common with suburban electric rolling stock, indicating a level of care to ensure there would not be a proliferation of spare parts for different vehicles
- The locomotive had it's first opportunity to haul passenger trains once electrification reached Penrith in October 1955
- It was assigned to Flemington electric car sheds in the early 1960's where it was used to shunt and marshal long distance loco hauled air-conditioned trains which were maintained at this depot and as such renumbered into the shunting loco series as 7100 on 20 October 1961. While also freeing up the 45 number for the new 45 class diesel-electric locomotives.
- It was withdrawn in 1965 due to increasingly regular mechanical problems and sat idle for 3 years.
- It was overhauled in 1968 and fitted with external equipment doors and several tonnes of additional ballast and repainted Indian Red with yellow lining for use on the newly opened Glenlee electrification for hauling coal trains from Glenlee to Rozelle coal loader, commencing duties in May 1968.
- It's non-standard design, failures in service and lack of equipment compatability with the 46 class saw it withdrawn from service after traction motor failure on 10 February 1969
- It was stored at DELEC awaiting repairs which never came and it was written off in October 1974
- It was subsequently transferred to the RTM at Enfield before being relocated to Thirlmere.
- With the RTM relocating from Enfield to Thirlmere, it was hauled there with steam loco 2606. Both of these were hauled by recently restored steam locomotive 3526 which was then itself withdrawn (wikipedia info for 3526)
- The loco was a museum exhibit at the NSWRM until it was transferred by rail to Broadmeadow in late 2008.

In terms of it's mechanical state, it seems it is missing quite a few key components that were likely removed before it was handed over to the (then) RTM for preservation.
- The 6 bogie mounted traction motors have been removed
- All electrical power systems are inoperable due to missing components including switchgear and the 6 bogie mounted traction motors
- drivers control stand and electrical gauge panels have missing fittings, loose wiring and open cabinets
- High tension cabinets have been stripped of the majority of their electrical components
- The locomotive's air compressor is missing

Some interesting information on the NLA Trove

1952, July 2. "Rail Test for New Locomotive"
- Notes that the first electric locomotive constructed for the NSW Railways will undergo special trials today.
- Engineers expect it to outstrip the all-round performance of the largest steam locomotives in service and more than equal the performance of 2 double-coupled diesel-electric locomotives
- Notes the order for 40 46 class electric locos for the (then planned) Sydney - Wallerawang electrification.
- Notes the trial run for the loco will go from Flemington to Wynyard; Wynyard to Strathfield, then Hornsby and return via North Sydney to Flemington.
- There will be a speed test between North Strathfield Junction and West Ryde and the locomotive is expected to eexceed 70 mph.
- Notes the locomotive was designed by NSW Railway Engineers.
- Construction of the loco began in 1949, but difficulties made it necessary for the department to enlist outside assitance.
- A number of firms helped and certain machine work was done by Garden Island Naval Dockyard
- Australian General Electric supplied electrical equipment and assembly and wiring were done at the department's Chullora Workshops
- The running weight of the locomotive is 112 tons - less than half the weight of the powerful D57 and D58 Steam locomotives, but it will haul the same load at a faster speed.
- For passenger traffic the locomotive will haul a heavier load at a faster speed than the modern C38 express steam locomotive.
- Commenting yesterday on the trial of the electric locomotive, Minister for Transport W H Sheahan said "Electric traction willl play an ever-increasing part in railway transport. But for the war, plans to provide more extensive electric train services would have been in operation today"
- He also mentioned that the public could look forward to electric trains operating as far as Wallerawang in the west; Goulburn n the south; Newcastle in the north and Port Kembla on the South Coast.

Reference Link:- l-decade=195 sortby=dateAsc l-month=7 (Sydney Morning Herald)


July 3, 1952. Locomotive on Trials. Not much here, but a photo shown of the locomotive leaving Wynyard station on it's trials on July 2 with note that the locomotive will be used on the Western Line

Reference Link:- l-decade=195 sortby=dateAsc l-month=7 (Sydney Morning Herald)


July 3, 1952. LOCO DOES 75 MPH. Trial Runs Impress.
- Notes that the locomotive travelled at 75 mph for more than a mile in the July 2 trials.
- From a standard start at Strathfield station the locomotive covered 7 miles to West Ryde in 7 minutes
- Jammed into the 2 driving compartments were various officials including the Railways Commissioner Keith Fraser, Chief Electric Engineer R W Mackay among 2 dozen + senior railway officials.
- The locomotive has 6 motors, each generating 450 amp and is at present the most powerful railway unit in Australasia.
- Notes that the 40 46 class electrics will be 1000HP more powerful
- Notes the trial was from Wynyard to Hornsby via Strathfield and return by the North Shore Line.
- The new locomotive was frequently stopped because it was getting ahead of strict track schedule.
- After further trials it will haul carriages on the Wynyard-Liverpool service.
- The new locomotive was designed by engineer R J Burn and constructed in Chullora Workshops

Reference Link: l-decade=195 sortby=dateAsc l-month=7 (National Advocate Bathurst)


July 3, 1952. ELECTRIC LOCO 100% SUCCESS.
- Nothing much here different except that it states that the loco was a 100% success in the July 2 trials

Reference Link: l-decade=195 sortby=dateAsc l-month=7 (The Sydney Morning Herald)


July 3, 1952. Schoolboys are still interested in engines.
- Notes that with the new electric locomotive trialled yesterday, hundreds of youngsters many with cameras were at all the vantage points along the route.
- Notes that had the railways suspected this they might have made the trial outside school hours.
- The loco didn't start it's run until 9:40am and as such many of the boys must have been late for school!

Reference Link:- l-decade=195 sortby=dateAsc l-month=7


- Notes the the loco reached 75 mph in a speed trial
- The speed test was made between North Strathfield Junction and West Ryde.
- The locomotive is to be used on the western line when electrification is completed
- From a standing start the locomotive reached 60 mph in less than 400 yards
- People standing on the platforms and near the railway line ran to get a glimpse of the green and gold locomotive as it flashed past, followed by a trail of dust.
- The loco made it's trial run from Flemington to Wynyard, Wynyard to Strathfield, Hornsby and return via the Harbour Bridge to Flemington.
- When railway engineers stepped from the locomotive at Hornsby they said it exceeded expectations.
- The Commissioner for Railways who travelled on board the locomotive said the trial run was 100% successful.

Reference Link: l-decade=195 sortby=dateAsc l-month=7 (Lithgow Mercury NSW)


July 7, 1952. Shows a photograph of the loco at Redfern during it's official test run on July 2.

Reference Link: l-decade=195 sortby=dateAsc l-month=7 (Wellington Times NSW)


Sydney Tramway Museum's December 1980 Trolley Wire Issue
- Notes that there was a celebration by the SRA for 125 years of railway operations in NSW with displays at Sydney Terminal on weekends from 27 September to 19 October 1980.
- The issue states that the display was rather disappointing in terms of the collection of rollingstock and locomotives on show, which were alongside platforms 8 and 9.
- The sole electric representative was locomotive 8510
- It notes that only 1 electric vehicle was present for the 100 year celebrations in 1955 and that was locomotive 7100 (then 4501)

Reference Link:-


Photos I have found

c. 1950's. 71 class electric. first unit into service 21 July 1952 as 4501. 20 October 1961 renum to 7100.

This is like a pamphlet with info and photos of the loco

July 2, 1952. Posted by Noel Reed. NSWR prototype electric locomotive 4501 at Sydney Central station en route on trial trip to Hornsby via the North Shore line

c. 1950's photos by Noel Reed. Shows 4501 at central station on trial trip likely in 1952. 2nd photo shows 4501 rounding the curve from Homebush to North Strathfield. 3rd shows 4501 at Denistone. 4th shows 4601 on a tour train at Cronulla on 07 July 1956

c. probably late 1950's. 4501 in it's green livery

c. 1957. 4501 electric ARHS tour at Bell in the Blue Mountains

c. 1957. 4501 at Lithgow.

c. 1957. 4501 climbing from Lithgow up to Zig Zag and 10 tunnels in 1957 ARHS Tour

c. 1962. 7100 light engine on 17 June 1962 at Gosford on an ARHS Special trip (Jackson Photo Collection)

17 June 1962 7100 on an ARHS tour at Berowra on an ARHS SMR Special trip (Jackson Photo Collection)

17 June 1962. 7100 on ARHS tour at Berowra

c. 1962 7100 light engine on 17 June 1962 at Gosford. At north end siding after detaching from ARHS Richmond Vale Special tour. Alongside is an AD60 Garratt steam loco (Jackson Photo Collection)

05 January 1972. 7100 at DELEC. Photographer unknown, steven haby collection.

April 1973. 7100 and a 46 at DELEC

c. 1970's? 7100

26 September 1987. 7100 at Thirlmere

08 October 1987. 7100 at Chullora

08 October 1987. 7100 and 4001 at Chullora

16 July 1995. 7100 at Thirlmere by Weston Langford

29 August 2008. RTM heritage transfer with 7100 and 5711 departing Thirlmere

29 August 2008. RTM heritage transfer 7100 and 5711 at Thirlmere

29 August 2008. RTM Heritage transfer 7100 and 5711

29 August 2008. RTM heritage transfer. 4916 44204 7100 and 5711 at Thirlmere

29 August 2008. RTM Heriatge transfer and inside cab 7100

29 August 2008. RTM heritage transfer

29 August 2008. RTM heritage transfer inside high tension room 7100

29 August 2008. RTM Heritage transfer full gallery and more photos of 7100

12 December 2010. 7100 at RTM.

21 July 2012. 7100 at Broadmeadow No 1 end cab

15 December 2012. 7100 stored at Broadmeadow loco depot

Only video I have found of 7100

7100 and a 46 class at Parramatta in late 1950's working passenger trains at 4:40. Also at 27:25 you see 2 x 46's lead a north bound Flyer through Wondabyne
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Thanks SydneyCider for you research and the photos.

It's sad that electric locos are now far rarer than steam locos although one would perhaps think that without the boiler work restoration might be easier. Not everything, however, is necessarily what it might seem.

I would love to see a couple (greedy!) of VR E class 'electric chairs' restored.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Thanks SydneyCider for you research and the photos.

It's sad that electric locos are now far rarer than steam locos although one would perhaps think that without the boiler work restoration might be easier. Not everything, however, is necessarily what it might seem.

I would love to see a couple (greedy!) of VR E class 'electric chairs' restored.
E1109 has been 'under restoration' for many years. According to my little knowledge of Elecrail, I understand that it is not a priority at the moment.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Thanks SydneyCider for you research and the photos.

It's sad that electric locos are now far rarer than steam locos although one would perhaps think that without the boiler work restoration might be easier. Not everything, however, is necessarily what it might seem.

I would love to see a couple (greedy!) of VR E class 'electric chairs' restored.

I'm glad you guys enjoy the thread. In my spare time I quite like to trawl around trove/flickr, etc and if I find anything interesting i paste the link into a simple notepad file and eventually post things to the threads here when there is enough.

As for the 46 class, it's probably quite fortunate that even 5 of them survived, given that most preservation groups are outside the wires and these would have no running use to them. 4615 and 4638 were assured as these 2 were picked out as the operational heritage locos. Dorrigo likes to collect "one of each" so they got 4602 and apparently all the parts needed to make it complete. In hindsight, it's quite lucky that 4601 and 4627 survived. Rothbury (now owned by SETS) acquiring 4627 was probably a little unexpected. Even though 4638 was donated to the RTM they wanted another 46 for the newly established Blue Mountains division and Valley Heights Depot Museum and got 4601. 4601 is actually a highly significant loco, not only for being the first of it's class delivered and into service (with ceremony), but for also leading the first Indian Pacific/opening of Sydney - Perth standard gauge. Could have easily ended up in the scrap pile with most of them.

I've had a brief look at the electric locos in Victoria such as the L class and it seems the groups there have a similar issue to what we had here with the stalemate/limbo in regard to running electric heritage trains. It was fortunate that was finally broken after some 14 years in 2016 and I personally felt that if F1 proved successful, it would slowly pave the way for other electrics being restored to running condition over time. It will be interesting to see what happens after the 3801 project is finished, it may open the door for an electric loco such as 4638 to be re-activated. They would not only be good to celebrate important moments in the electrification of our system, particularly on the western line/Blue Mountains or to assist steam locos on tours within the electrified network but would have their particular use for underground work trains if required. As far as I understand, the CFCLA GL class is used with the Garratt because of it's power output (3300HP), there is no diesel locomotive in the THNSW/NSWRM collection that is close to that type of power. A 46 would be of at least similar power to the GL (if not more?) and would be a fine sight with the Garratt - at least under the wires.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Photo by David Johnson of 4638 with 4520 at the NSWRM Thirlmere back on March 2, 2002. The loco last ran sometime in 2001 when it failed during a tour. It entered service exactly 60 years to the day (14 November 1958)

A couple more shots of 4638 on RTM tours in the late 1990's as well as other 46's.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

At about the same time exactly 62 years ago (13 November 1956 it appears) preserved loco 4615 and sister unit 4614 arrived in Sydney on the ship Jason from the UK and were unloaded onto the tracks at Pyrmont. Likely largely due to the fact that electrification to Wallerawang did not eventuate there was a surplus of electric motive power and 4615 didn't enter service until just over 2 months later (21 January 1957).

Some interesting photos below worth re-visiting

Some information and photos of the delivery of 4614 and 4615 by Noel Reed on the Trams Down Under page (details) (photo)

SETS web page for 4615 shows another shot from the above with 4614 still in the air:-

The last time 4615 ran a (SETS) tour was on Saturday, 28 May 2005 and would likely be more or less the same time it (or any other 46) last ran under it's own power. This was the First passenger electric sesqui-centenary tour which saw 4615 haul interurban U set power cars CF5003, CF5021 (d/a pans down) and several 3801 Ltd passenger carriages to Lewisham, Wyong and Springwood. Several shots from that tour below by Michael McGinty (tour info)

And there is this shot from Rob O'Regan collection taken exactly 39 years ago to the day. 15 November 1979. 4615 at Blacktown with a DOWN Blue Mountains interurban passenger train

(Photo courtesy Rob O'Regan at

And of course, on the same day he photographed 4638 on an UP Blue Mountains interurban heading for the city from the former Clyburn platform which has since been demolished
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Wonderful shot shared by John Thoroughgood on the NSW Railways Past and Present facebook page taken on 11 January 1991 which shows Preserved 4601 in the lead assisted by 4606 and 4608 pull into the down refuge north of Gosford with a north bound freighter

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