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

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This is a video shared by Bevan Wall with electric 4638, steam 2705 and 3112 on a Lavender Bay and Gosford tour which took place 25 July 1998. There are also some photos below taken during this tour:-

thread on Railpage:

Below are some photographs recently shared by Jim Dean of 46 class hauled tours. Full credit to him for these wonderful shots.

26 March 1994. 4601 arrives at Penrith with an RTM tour to Charbon. 4601 was withdrawn from service on 17 May 1994 and has never run since under it's own power, as such, this tour could also have doubled as a "Farewell to 4601" tour.

26 March 1994. 4601 arrives at Penrith with an RTM tour to Charbon

22 October 1994. 4604 in Rozelle yard with RTM Farewell to 46 class tour. I've shared a video by Bevan Wall in this thread covering this tour.

22 October 1994. 4604 in Rozelle yard with RTM Farewell tour to 46 class

22 October 1994. 4604 in Rozelle yard with RTM Farewell tour to 46 class

22 October 1994. 4604 in Rozelle yard with RTM Farewell tour to 46 class

22 October 1994. 4604 at Richmond on 22 October 1994 with tour train

22 October 1994. 4604 shunts its tour train on Glenlee colliery branch

22 October 1994. 4604 shunts its tour train on Glenlee Colliery branch

22 October 1994. 4604 shunts its tour train on the Glenlee Colliery branch

22 October 1994. 4604 shunts its tour train on the Glenlee Colliery branch

30 November 1997. 4638 hauled a tour to Newcastle. It is seen passing Morisset

30 November 1997. 4638 stands at Newcastle station on a tour train waiting to return to Sydney

25 July 1998. 4638 arrives at an almost brand new Olympic Park Station with a tour train

25 July 1998. 4638 at Olympic Park Station with a tour train

25 July 1998. 4638 stands at Olympic Park station with a tour train

25 July 1998. 4638 is in the process of handing its train to steam locomotives at Lavender Bay yard on Sydney Harbour

Photo by Joel Nicholson. A plate attached to 4638. Taken at the RTM. It reads:- "CITY OF LITHGOW" Proudly Donated to the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum by FreightCorp. 27th May 1998.

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A couple of shots I found on a geocities website of some 46's probably all taken during the 1960's.

46 class loco

4620 at Gosford

4635 and 2 other 46's at Gosford
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Location: Shepparton
Interesting (possibly ancient) 4-wheel stock behind 4620.
When did 4-wheel stock cease traffic in NSW?
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Photo posted by Rob Gaulke of 4601/4606 hauling the Perth bound Indian Pacific near Lithgow on 24 December 1983.

A post by Keith Ward of 4601 at the Valley Heights Locomotive Museum. He notes it is hoped to install a driver simulator in 2019 which will be available to the public for Open Days. With it's original head light and Indian Whiskers livery 4601 certainly looks much like 4620 although these locos were workhorses so they never as pristine as this

On a side note, SETS's 4615 entered service exactly 62 years ago to this day (21 January 1957).
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Location: Katoomba, NSW
Interesting (possibly ancient) 4-wheel stock behind 4620.
When did 4-wheel stock cease traffic in NSW?
They may be old-school, but at the time of the photo, not ancient. The first wagon behind the loco is an S truck of composite timber and steel construction, built from 1946 until the mid-to-late '50s. At over 10,000 wagons, S trucks were the most numerous vehicles on the NSWGR by a significant margin. Second out from the loco is probably a K truck, which were built from the late 1930s to early 1950s.

If I recall correctly, the last use of four wheelers in revenue service by State Rail was the Ashfield wire train, which ran with S trucks up until 1984. (They lasted longer on some private systems, e.g. non-air coal hoppers on the Richmond Vale Railway until 1987.)
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Cultural Collections Photographs on flickr

03 August 1984. 46xx/4605/4618 at work through Teralba

15 September 1984. 3 x 46 class electric locos

February 1985. 4633/46xx/46xx hauling a down goods through Fassifern

November 1986. This photo shows SETS's (formerly HVRT Rothbury's) Preserved 4627 and another 46 hauling a freighter through Teralba

c. 1987. 4637/46xx hauling a train
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During a clean-up I dusted off and had a read through some old editions of Railway Digest spanning from October 1991 to May 1993 (although I never had purchased the November and December 1991 issues). Below I noted down some entries which may be of interest which involved any of the 5 preserved 46's (4601, 4602, 4615, 4627, 4638)

APRIL 1992

GOSFORD: Whilst working a freight train north on Wednesday 22 January 1992, 4615 failed at Gosford. The loco was detached, along with 2 wagons and placed in an unwired road leading to the turntable. The cause of the failure is unknown.


MAY 1992

NEW BLUES: The following locos have recently been repainted into Freight Rail Blue livery: 4627, 48116, 48118, 8108 and 8110


JUNE 1992

RESTRICTED WORKING: The following locos were on restricted working as at Monday 02 March 1992. The relevant home depots are also listed: 4638 (Lithgow) slow goods only due to problem with the wear pads.



HAWKESBURY RIVER: No. 6397 had trouble with it's locos 4625/4616 at Hawkesbury River on Monday 13 July 1992. In order to minimise disruption to morning peak services 4621/4615/4628 were taken off No. 6116 and assisted 4625/4616 to Broadmeadow arriving at 06:50. This resulted in the unusual sight of 5 46's with their pantographs up on a train. The 2 defective 46's were sent back to DELEC the same evening - 4625 behind 8613/8616/8601 on No. 4396 freight and 4616 as part of a light engine movement X392 behind 4613/4608/4609.



RESTRICTED WORKING: As at Wed 26/8/1992 the following locos were on restricted working: 4601 second unit only due to broken windows, 4636 second unit only due to broken seats



WESTERN FREIGHTS: On Saturday 05 September 1992 No 7SA1 was unusually hauled by 4615/4621/4601 from Enfield to Lithgow. This train is normally hauled by 85 or 86 class locos. (includes photo as they work through Soldier's Bank)



MISHAPS: No. 6285 Freight with 4638/4636/4607 was approaching Concord West at 22:20 on Wednesday 26 August 1992 when a 150 amp fuse failed on 4636, bringing the train to a stand. The crew had difficulty changing the fuse as the required spanner was missing. Run 55AB local service following No. 6285 on the main was halted at North Strathfield with the last car still at the platform enabling passengers to be transferred to N295 which ran via the relief and altered to stop all stations to Hornsby. All down services ran via the relief. After 1 hour the crew having changed the fuse but still being unable to revive 4636 declared a failure. The 46's moved to Rhodes to await relief engines from DELEC. 3 86 class units passed Run 55AB at 23:20 on their way to Rhodes and back to Concord West. No. 6285 was underway at 00:45. Run 55AB finally made Hornsby at 01:08 - 172 minutes late.


APRIL 1993

MISHAPS: No. 4322 Freight worked by 4608/4601/4622 failed on Cowan Bank at 03:55 on Monday 01 February 1993. Diesel 8158 was sent from Hawkesbury River to assist. When propelling commenced the resistance grids on the lead unit 4608 burst into flames. Shortly after 4601 also caught fire. A failure order was issued for No. 4322 to return to the river. The section was cleared at 06:20. N104 was worked to Cowan over the down main under section order with other services being severely delayed. 3 Up services were replaced by bus between Gosford and Hornsby.

MISHAPS: No. GP43 Freight failed between Beecroft and Pennant Hills at 11:36 on Friday 04 December 1992 after a line switch on 4617 tripped and could not be reset. 4615/4625 were unable to lift the load. An engine was sent from Strathfield to assist with No. GP43 restarting at 12:35. 2 following suburban services were turned back at Rhodes to run empty to Hornsby via the North Shore. It subsequently was turned back at North Sydney as the down shore was closed by a tree across the line between Artarmon and Chatswood.
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This is a great video shared by "oldtapecaptures" on youtube. It features a compilation of a number of videos from SETS tours in 1993 - 1994. For the purposes of this thread, the first tour shown in the video was run by SETS on Saturday, 14 August 1993, being the "Zig Zag Over the Great Divide" tour from Sydney to Zig Zag Railway. It was hauled by electric locomotive 4625. This particular locomotive was the one that hauled the first official electric train from Sydney to Lithgow on 22 June 1957 with 4 of the U-boat TF trailers. It entered service on 05 June 1957 and was withdrawn on 17 October 1994 - being an earlier withdrawal was probably one of the reasons why it was passed over for preservation as these tended to have various components removed from them as a source of spares for those that continued to run until January 1996. Perhaps a further interesting bit is that 4625 was actually the 2nd "newest" 46 class unit into service as of 22 June 1957 - the newest was the ex HVRT/Rothbury (now SETS) preserved 4627, which entered service 2 days later on 07 June 1957 and probably just missed it's chance as being the loco chosen to haul the first electric train to Lithgow.

Tours to Blue Mountains hot spots such as the Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum, Leura/Katoomba which have a lot of tourism, Medlow Bath (Hydro Majestic Hotel), Zig Zag and Lithgow (with potential connection to LSMR or Kandos/Rylstone) are great examples of where 46 class loco hauled trains could be a good choice.

- At the start of the video we see the tour train hauled by 4625 pull into Strathfield station with various cab footage along the way and stops at Katoomba and Mount Victoria.
- From 6:20 we see some excellent cab footage as the tour train departs Mount Victoria with the driver answering some questions about the various controls of the 46 class.
- 13:00 shows footage at Zig Zag railway
- 16:20 shows 4625 return with train to pick people up again and return to Sydney
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23 February 2019 will see exactly 49 years since 4601 led the inaugural Indian Pacific out of Sydney Terminal for Perth. Some shots of this loco and others below:-

December 1985. Photo of 4601 with an UP Passenger train (possibly Bathurst Day Train) passing Warrimoo. Greg Nowland photo shared by Ron Taylor on NSW Railways Past and Present facebook page

4601 as it is today. Some photos shared by Paul Leader of an event at Valley Heights Museum

Sunday 14 August 1994. Photo shared by Al Smith of 4609, 4611, 4615, 4628 at DELEC

Photos taken 30 July 2017 shared by Al Smith of 4615 while it was on display at Junee Roundhouse

Photo by Merv Gaut from his collection. He purchased this panel from 4624 which was scrapped at Sims in 1998
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For those interested in the history of the 46 class and locomotive banking out of Valley Heights there will be an event at the Valley heights Loco Museum on Sunday 28 April 2019 where 4601 will be (on a rare occasion) wheeled out and displayed on the turntable in celebration of 30 years since the last banking work out of the Valley Heights Depot (April 1989). Will be a lot to the event including various railway men talking about their experience with the 46's, etc.

Valley Heights Loco Depot Heritage Museum facebook post about event

Some more info about the event

Some photos posted by Mike Delica of 4601

Also here is a photo taken 11 May 1980 of 4601 at Lithgow Loco with 8503

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Some photos from the Sunday 28 April 2019 Valley Heights Banker day at the Valley Heights Depot Railway Museum. 4601 was the star of the show for the day.

Photos by Andrew Murphy of 4601 at Valley Heights Museum 28 April 2019

Some more great photographs of the loco, 4601 looked great
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Some great videos shared on youtube of electric locos in action

Containers and Passengers 1993
- 0:32 shows footage taken 17 September 1993 of SETS Preserved 4627/4639/4614? hauling mixed freight
- 2:15 shows 8632/8604/8621 hauling mixed freight
- 3:50 shows 8624/Dorrigo Preserved 8601 haul freight
- 4:54 shows 8622/86xx haul freight
- 6:38 shows 8640/8604/86xx/86xx haul freight
- 9:22 shows 4624/4623/46xx haul freight
- 10:35 shows 8634/86xx/8602 haul freight
- 1:11 shows 4603/4621/4625 Pennant Hills down freight
- 2:45 shows 4636/4604/4606 Pennant Hills down freight
- Pennant Hills 1993
- from start shows 4628/9/46xx/46xx with freight
- 8639/8602/8630 mixed goods in 1991
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Fast approaching exactly 23 years ago. 4638 on display at DELEC Open Day 22 June 1996. Peter Cousins photo.
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This is going to be a "photo bomb" of 4601. Some amazing shots taken by "Lox Pix" on 24 February 2019 at Valley Heights of 4601, both outside and in the cab. Also a great shot by Thomas Bulic taken on 28 April 2019 to celebrate 30 years since the last Valley Heights Banker.

23 February 2020 will mark exactly 50 years since 4601 (with Dorrigo's 4602) lead the inaugural run of the Indian Pacific out of Sydney Terminal at 10:50pm. 25 June 2019 will be exactly 63 years to the day when 4601 was officially handed over at a ceremony at Sydney Terminal and performed a demonstration run to Penrith which was the limit of electrification at the time. Also 23 June 2019 will be exactly 40 years since the opening of the ESR line where 4601 was a "passive participant" brought in before the first official train and sat quietly in the tunnel for emergency purposes (i assume) in case any of the passenger carrying trains failed.

Credit to those who took and shared these photos on flickr. A great restoration job by the volunteers/team at Valley Heights.

An interesting article with photos of 4601 in the August 1956 edition of Railway Transportation

Interior cab controls

Builders Plate

NSW Plate

Photos of Front of Loco



Thomas Bulic photo 4601 on display 28 April 2019 at Valley Heights for 30th anniversary since last Valley Heights banker
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One additional shot by Thomas Bulic taken 28 April 2019 of 4601 at VHLDM for 30 years since VH Bankers

Below are some shots shared by various people showing 4601 in it's service days.

1977. 4601 + 46xx coming onto the Indian Pacific at Central. Photo by Lindsay Richmond.

1980's. 4601 at DELEC. Photo by Brad Peadon

23 December 1992. 4601/46xx/46xx passing Hope Street platform Enfield/DELEC on 5W38 Up Wheat Train. Photo by James Murphy

Mid 1990's. 8175/8155/4613/4601 down coal Lawson. Photo by Ron Taylor

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