- New South Wales 70 class locomotive
New South Wales 70 class 7002 makes its way towards the Inner Harbour at Port Kembla with an enthusiast special. Power type Diesel-hydraulic Builder Commonwealth Engineering, Granville, N.S.W. Build date 1960–1962 Total produced 10 UIC classification C Gauge 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) Wheel diameter 48 in (1,219 mm) Wheelbase 14 ft 6 in (4.42 m) Length Over headstocks: 30 ft 6 in (9.30 m),
Over coupler pulling faces: 33 ft 4 in (10.16 m)
Width 9 ft 0 in (2.74 m) Height 14 ft 0 in (4.27 m) Axle load 16 tons 0 cwt (35,800 lb or 16.2 t) Locomotive weight 48 tons 0 cwt (107,500 lb or 48.8 t) Fuel type Diesel fuel Fuel capacity 400 imp gal (1,800 l; 480 US gal) Lubricant capacity Engine: 71 imp gal (320 l; 85 US gal),
Transmission: 60 imp gal (270 l; 72 US gal),
Final drive: 11 imp gal (50 l; 13 US gal)
Coolant capacity 104 imp gal (470 l; 125 US gal) Sandbox capacity 3.5 cu ft (0.099 m3) Prime mover Caterpillar D397 Engine RPM range 550–1300 Engine type Four-stroke diesel Aspiration Turbocharged Cylinders V12 Cylinder size 5.75 × 8 in (146 × 203 mm) Transmission Voith L37zUb, with Deutsche Getriebe GmbH SWB37z-2 final drive Top speed Low ratio: 22 mph (35 km/h),
High ratio: 40 mph (64 km/h)
Power output Gross: 580 hp (430 kW),
For traction: 550 hp (410 kW)
Tractive effort Continuous: 25,300 lbf (112.54 kN) at 6 mph (9.7 km/h) Career New South Wales Government Railways Number 7001–7010 First run 15 August 1960
In January, 1959, a contract was placed by the New South Wales Government Railways with Commonwealth Engineering Limited of Granville for the construction of ten 550 hp (410 kW) 0-6-0 diesel-hydraulic shunting locomotives. They were specifically intended to replace aging steam locomotives in use at Port Kembla
Designated the 70-class, the class leader, 7001, was not delivered until 15 August 1960. After weighing, the unit worked a 400-ton test load to Botany the following day. As the new servicing facilities at Port Kembla were not then complete, 7001 was temporarily allocated to Enfield (Delec) and worked local services. On 28 September 1960, 7001 worked its first passenger train, a railway employees' train from Sydney Terminal to Chullora workshops.
By the end of 1960, a further three of the class had been delivered. 7003 ventured out on to the Richmond line with the afternoon passenger train from the Brickworks (Abattoirs branch) on two occasions in 1961.
Whilst the remaining units had been delivered by mid-May, 1961, 7007 was not accepted by the NSWGR until February, 1962. Multiple unit 70s became regular visitors to the Campbelltown to Camden line prior to its closure, working coal trains from Narellan.
Around the end of 1962, defects became apparent. Coupling rods were snapping when the locomotives were travelling at speed. Commencing in February, 1963, the problem was rectified by fitting heavier duty side rods. The original side cab-windows were replaced from January, 1963. The exhaust stacks were modified from January, 1967.
The Snowy Mountains Connection
Possibly the most unusual duty alloted to the class was the working of the new Interstate Profile train during the latter part of 1963. It worked from Sydney to Albury, Cooma, Tumut, Picton-Mittagong Loop line, Moss Vale to Unanderra, thence to Sydney and to Casino. Tumut and Cooma were included in the schedule as large profile loads were common to these destinations during the construction of the Snowy Mountains Scheme.
Move to Port Kembla
In December, 1963, instruction classes on the new locomotives commenced in two railway carriages at Port Kembla station. From 27 December, four 70-class were rostered for shunting duties on the wharves and in the 'commercial' areas. New Years Day, 1964, saw 7003 the first locomotive inside the new Port Kembla depot, followed by 7004, 7005 and 7008. 7007 and 7010 had followed by 4 January, with the remaining units still in Sydney at Delec.
The remaining 4 locomotives followed to Port Kembla during January and the final steam working was on 31 January. Usually only up to 7 units would be rostered to work a shift. Spare locomotives would be loaned to Thirroul for main-line duties, if required.
Work at Port Kembla
With the construction of the new Inner Harbour at Port Kembla and its associated branch from Conniston completed in October, 1953, there was a transfer of coal loading operations to that facility. Furthermore, there was a decline of during the early part of 1964 on the 'old' commercial network.
Additional duties for the 70-class were found as shunters in Port Kembla North Yard, transfer workings to the AIS Exchange sidings at Cringila and even working at Wollongong shunting passenger carriages off evening commuter trains.
All locomotives were issued to traffic in the standard colour scheme of Indian Red with chrome lining. 7006 was out-shopped in July, 1982, in the short-lived 'reverse' colour scheme and 7007 was out-shopped in April, 1983, in the 'candy' colour scheme.
By early 1984, the use of 70-class on the Port Kembla industrial network was at an all-time low. Only one or two were needed for the day shift. A further three would be occupied on shunting duties at Port Kembla North, with, perhaps, two more on transfer work.
7009 was taken out of traffic on 10 February 1984 and sent to Eveleigh. 7008 followed on 21 June 1984. 7002 was the next to go and on 13 August 1984, all three were officially withdrawn. 7007 failed on 12 September 1984 and was set aside at Port Kembla, to be joined by 7010 in June the following year. 7003 was subsequently withdrawn after a wheel sheared off.
7008 was purchased by the Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum in 1985. 7002 and 7009 were both scrapped at Simsmetal, Mascot.
48-class took over all shunting and transfer duties at Port Kembla from 12 November 1984. Three 70-class were to be kept operational and the remainder kept spare. By early September 1986, only two locomotives were available for local working, 7006 and 7010. 7010 last operated on 10 September 1986 and 7006's last regular day in service was the following day.
Of the locomotives remaining at Port Kembla, 7001, 7004, 7005, 7006 and 7010 were all sold to Simsmetal for scrap. 7003 and 7007 were sold to the Emu Bay Railway [EBR] in Tasmania. However, the EBR were only interested in the transmissions from their purchases and, as they were not anxious to send staff from Burnie to dismantle the locomotives, they entered into an agreement with the Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum for that group to provide EBR with the reconditioned transmission they had on hand in exchange for locomotive 7007. 7003 was cut up by the DSR&M and the transmission supplied to EBR.
7010 was purchased by the DSR&M, apparently from Simsmetal, giving it three complete units. 7006 was sold by Simsmetal to local Wollongong enthusiasts who restored the locomotive to operating condition at the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum. This locomotive was on loan to the Powerhouse Museum, but recent photographs in the Winter 2010 RHC update show the loco back at Thirlmere.
Base Reference Material & Further reading
- Neve, Peter (July & August 2008). "70 Class". Australian Railway History: pp. 235–242, 273–278.
- New South Wales Rail System Locomotives. Sydney: Archives Section, State Rail Authority of New South Wales. 1984.
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