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New South Wales AD60 class locomotive

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Title: New South Wales AD60 class locomotive  
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Subject: Beyer, Peacock and Company, Geurie crossing loop collision, New South Wales Rail Transport Museum, Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum, 4-8-4+4-8-4, W44 Concentrate Train, Ardglen Tunnel, Cardiff Locomotive Workshops
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New South Wales AD60 class locomotive

New South Wales AD60 class
North Strathfield on trial 1952
Power type Steam
Builder Beyer, Peacock and Company
Serial number 7473–7497, 7528–7549
Build date 1952–1954, 1956
Total produced 42 (plus 5 as spares)
Configuration 4-8-4+4-8-4
Driver diameter 4 ft 7 in (1.397 m)
Weight on drivers 282,000 lb (128 t) later 317,000 lb (144 t)
Locomotive weight 562,000 lb (255 t) later 582,000 lb (264 t)
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 14 long tons (14 t), later 18 long tons (18 t)
Boiler pressure 200 psi (1.38 MPa)
Firegrate area 65 sq ft (6.0 m2)
Heating surface:
3,030 sq ft (281 m2)
Superheater area 750 sq ft (70 m2)
Cylinders Four
Cylinder size 19.25 in × 26 in (489 mm × 660 mm) later 19.875 in × 26 in (505 mm × 660 mm)
Valve gear Walschaerts
Tractive effort 59,560 lbf (264.9 kN) later 63,490 lbf (282.4 kN)
Factor of
4.73 or 4.99
Railroad(s) New South Wales Government Railways
Class AD60
Number in class 42
Number 6001–6042
First run July 1952
Last run March 1973
Disposition 4 preserved, 38 scrapped

The AD60 class were Beyer-Garratt patent articulated four-cylinder, simple, non-condensing, coal-fired superheated, 4-8-4+4-8-4 heavy goods steam locomotives built by Beyer, Peacock and Company for the New South Wales Government Railways in Australia.


The 4-8-4+4-8-4 Beyer-Garratt patent consists of a the boiler carried on a separate frame in the centre of the locomotive and supported by the frames of the two engines, one at each end. The locomotive thus consists of three parts: a water tank, a fixed chassis supporting a boiler and a rear engine unit carrying a coal bunker and water tank. Coupled axle loading of 16 tons and able to negotiate 6 chain curves.

The design incorporated the most modern technology to minimise maintenance and repairs, including:

  • integral cast steel beds incorporating the engine frames
  • large steel boiler with roundtop firebox and flexible stays
  • mechanical stoker
  • roller bearings fitted to bogie and coupled wheels
  • valve gear operated by Hadfield powered reversing gear


This was the only type of Garratt locomotive to operate on the New South Wales Government Railways. Designed to a light axle load of only 16 tons (16.3 t), they were intended for hauling feeder branch-line services to the main lines where heavier main-line locomotives could continue with the load.[1][2]

In 1949 twenty-five were initially ordered from Beyer, Peacock and Company, followed by a further twenty-five. Following a change of policy in favour of diesel traction, attempts were made to cancel part of the order. Forty-two complete locomotives were delivered, together with spare parts equating to approximately five further locomotives. The last three locomotives manufactured where sold to South African Railways by Beyer Peacock. Being composed of three distinct sections with live steam connections between, some assembly was required subsequent to delivery.[2][3]

Locomotive 6002 was the first to enter service in July 1952 with the last delivered in January 1957.[1][2]. The locomotive was the most powerful engine to operate in Australia if not the Southern Hemisphere [4]


Early trials established that the 14 ton bunker was insufficient to allow the locomotives to operate from Enfield to Goulburn resulting in the bunkers being enlarged to carry 18 tons. Ventilation of the cabs caused considerable concern. Consequently, the class was banned from working through single-line tunnels, this ban also being in response to the difficulty crews would have climbing out in the event of failure within such tunnels. Amongst attempts to improve cab ventilation, 6011 was experimentally fitted in September 1952 with a large tube along the front bunker and boiler to funnel air from the front of the locomotive into the cab. It was unsuccessful and was removed in 1955. Some improvement was obtained by running the locomotives bunker first.[2]

Owing to the length and noise of the locomotive, crews found difficulty in hearing warning detonators. To rectify the situation, tubes were fitted to convey the sound from the leading wheels to the cab.[2]

When it became apparent that the Garratts would see more service on main lines than on the lighter branch lines, it was decided to increase the tractive effort of a number of the class by enlarging the cylinder diameter and by altering the weight distribution by removing liners from the bogies. This increased the axleload on each of the driving wheels by approximately 2 tons with 30 locomotives treated. To distinguish these improvements the double plus sign ++ was painted after the number and nicknamed Super Garratt's. These 30 were also fitted with dual controls for bunker first running and denoted DC. To accommodate them, 105 foot turntables were installed at Broadmeadow, Enfield and Werris Creek depots.[2]


The class initially entered service on the Main North and Main South and later Main Western line as far as Dubbo and Parkes. Because of their light axle load they were cleared to operate on the Crookwell, Captains Flat, Temora, Narrandera and Bourke lines.[1]

Typical workings in the mid 1960s would consist of bulk export coal and general goods movements :

Typical Class AD60 Traffic
Route Traffic Down
Glenlee to Rozelle Export Coal 1500
Gosford to Broadmeadow Export Coal 1500
Gosford to Broadmeadow General Freight 685 1100
Broadmeadow to Muswellbrook General Freight 775 1150
Newstan/Awaba Colliery to Wangi PS Export Coal 1075 1500T assisted
Enfield to Goulburn General Freight 900 1500
From Botany Oil Refineries Petroleum 1000
Goulburn to Captains Flat Mineral 600 600
Junee Goods 600 600
Cootamundra to Stockinbingal Goods 1000 1500
Up to Lithgow assisting until electrification in 1957
Parkes to Goobang Junction Goods 1000 1400 16T axle loading locos only
Dubbo to Merrygeen Goods 1100 1000 16T axle loading locos only
Parkes to Bogan Gate/Tottenham Goods 1000 1400 16T axle loading locos only
Portland to Pipers Flat Cement 700
Pipers Flat to Wallerawang Cement 1400
Dubbo to Werris Creek Goods 1100
Lithgow to Bathurst Goods 850 900
Orange to Parkes Goods 600
Bathurst westward Goods 850 900 dependent on grade
W44 Broken Hill concentrates 575 600 double headed AD60's
Molong to Orange Goods 600 600 double headed AD60's

Demise and Preservation

The last withdrawn was 6042 which operated the final New South Wales Government Railways steam service on 2 March 1973.

Preserved AD60 Class Locomotives
No. Description Manufacturer Year Current Organisation Location Status Ref
6029 4-8-4+4-8-4 goods Beyer, Peacock and Company 1956 ACT division of the ARHS Canberra under restoration Project 6029 Blog
6039 4-8-4+4-8-4 goods Beyer, Peacock and Company 1956 Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum Dorrigo stored Dorrigo Webpage
6040 4-8-4+4-8-4 goods Beyer, Peacock and Company 1956 NSW Rail Transport Museum Thirlmere static exhibit NSW Locomotive, Steam 6040
6042 4-8-4+4-8-4 goods Beyer, Peacock and Company 1956 Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum Forbes stored [5]

Dorrigo Webpage



Further reading

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