New South Wales Steam:
The Final Years
A look at a cross section of the operational steam power on the
state owned rail system in New South Wales Australia in the 1960s
There are over 50 historic pictures of steam power in the state of
New South Wales Australia in the 1960s on this page. They are
reproduced from some of my color slides and black and white negatives.
If you like this sort of thing, then it is worth waiting for the page
to load; and you don't have to scroll as Pictures on this page can be
clicked on to advance to next.
Garratt 6029 to Parkes 1981 Video8 mm films of the 1960s
01 of 60
The Victorian based Association of Railway Enthusiasts, ran a multi day tour to the Central West region
of New South Wales. Garratt number 6011 was utilised between Dubbo and Orange via Euchareena and is here
seen while pausing at Wellington along the way. (Video below)
Not long after sunrise on a chilly morning, the overnight mail train from Sydney, drawn by streamlined
bullet nosed 3803,
waits at Bundanoon on the main southern line, for a faster train to pass,
; which is shown overtaking
in the following picture.
Pacific loco 3803 with the overnight mixed mail train from Sydney including two passenger cars at the rear and
with some flat wagons carrying earthmoving machinery,
is overtaken by a long passenger train at Bundanoon, being drawn by diesel electric, Alco powered
while a member of 3803's crew observes its rapid progress towards Goulburn.
The Association of Railway Enthusiasts (ARE), ran a tour to Canberra which included a side trip
to Crookwell, and an extension to Moss Vale. (some Other pictures taken on this tour
can be seen below) On the way back to Victoria, part of the journey was planned to be double
headed behind locos 3801 and 3616.
The final stage of the run to Albury was handled by with 3801 on its own.
Locos 3616 and 3801 at a photo stop on an ARE tour on the southern line
Green liveried 3813 with the Sydney bound Southern Highlands Express
on the main southern line near Bundanoon
Two locos of the 32 class, numbers 14 and 24, head the railway
enthusiast special on its return from Canberra towards the main southern line at Goulburn,
here crossing a bridge at a scenic photographic stop.
Garratt loco 6011, after running the enthusiast special (as pictured above), to Orange,
returned to Dubbo during the night, and the next day returned to more normal duties by double
heading with 3649 on a goods train back to Dubbo, but this time via Molong.
Above is 4-8-4 + 4-8-4 Garratt number 6011, with 4-6-0 number 3649 in the lead, both teamed for duty,
a consequence of which was to be much impressive
action resulting from their battles with the unavoidable grades ahead on the main line to Orange.
On a Sunday afternoon, there were plenty of locomotives at Broadmeadow near Newcastle
having their hard earned day off
This picture of the other angle is taken from the same place as the previous and show other
engines around this turntable
On Sundays at Broadmeadow near Newcastle in steam days, there could also be found a large number of
at the depot. Here, five 263 ton Garratts 6041, 6029, 6035, 6023, 6025, enjoy their day of rest
while newer 111 ton Alco diesel electric loco 4003, which has edged into the Garratts stable, gives a hint of
what will be the fate of the impressive 60 class.
The Cowra shunting (switching) loco, a 4-6-0 number 3108 goes about duties in Cowra rail yards.
As this class, and other such elderly shunting locos had the chain and hook
type couplings and buffers, the wagon behind the loco, while serving as a mobile shunters platform
as can be seen, is chiefly for the
purpose of being able to when necessary, provide compatability for vehicles with the
later introduced auto type couplings.
At the former break of gauge location of Albury on the Victoria - New South Wales border,
two 50 class steam locos were kept on standby for shunting. Standard goods 5135, one of a
once very numerous type of 2-8-0, was one of these
in the mid 1960s.
On the Central West express between Dubbo and Lithgow, the 38 class was renouned for being
able to keep a better schedule than
the diesels which were to replace them. This loco, apparently 3802 or 3803, was resting in the yards
near the depot at Dubbo, between its turns of duty in the days before diesel electrics nudged such
steam power out.
At Easter 1965, a special train arrived at Cowra with the vintage train
drawn by two vintage steam locos of the 12 and 17 classes
A Goulburn yards shunter, 5132, was requisitioned on account of the Association of Railway Enthusiasts for a
leisurely jaunt on the now well closed Crookwell line out of Goulburn. The picture above, constituted the scene
at one of the photo stops. Passengers with cameras have alighted and
the train has backed up. It is here seen here in the fading sunlight performing for the said photographers,
the shadows of whom are being cast in the foreground.
A 4-6-4, 30 class tank engine stands on the loco runaround track between platforms 3 and 4
at Sydney's Central station
awaiting the time to place the attached train in its allocated platform.
Some of these engines finished
their useful life in the role of shunting locomotives.
Maintenance is an important part of a rail system. Here a Garratt has had its piston removed
at Broadmeadow for
one reason or another. An idea can be gained to part of the mechanics of the loco.
There were a number of steam shunters at Goulburn. Such locos, as at other depots, saw out most of
the remainder of their lives on such duties having been displaced by diesel electrics. Loaded with coal,
5190 reverses from the Goulburn depot to the yards in the early morning for its turn of duty.
Snapped for posterity with a Kodak Retinette 1A 35MM camera on a
warm Saturday afternoon in 1963, well before the days of present electrification,
was this passing local train about to arrive at Newcastle.
It was returning from Toronto and was in charge of 30 class
tank engine number 3013.
Locomotive 3092 equipped with a six wheel tender, and being another version of the tank class
in the previous picture, shunts the cars from the overnight mail train probably at Young, June 1967
The Southern Highlands express, with 3808 at the head, awaits departure time at Goulburn Platform
before leaving on its over 100 mile run to Sydney on which it stops most stations in paradoxical
fashion to its given name.
The Southern Highlands express at the platform at Goulburn with 3808 about to depart,
as the fireman ponders the important task of shovelling much coal from the tender into the
hungry fire to maintain
the steam pressure which will drive the train forward, towards its Central Station
arrival appointment in
Sydney, more than one hundred miles distant.
A 30 class tank, shunting loco, waits at Central station Sydney while two 44 class locomotives
arrive to couple to their train the steam shunter has placed at the platform.
The afternoon mixed from Grenfell awaits departure time at the Grenfell station platform in September 1965
with a 30 class loco with 6 wheel tender in charge.
The driver of 5412 wisely leans out to check the road ahead, or should I say behind?
as his loco and train, consisting of a Long
rake of unbraked four wheel coal hoppers trundles
tender first past the platform at Hexam.
The train is a 'down coal' and is heading to Maitland.
A view of some of the infamous four wheel coal hoppers near Hexam North of Newcastle,
loaded with coal
with loco 5456 awaiting its next assignment while resting on the siding in the background.
The privately run South Maitland Railway, operated a coal railway with the loco depot
shown in the above picture featuring the lines of number 23, being near Hexam.
These locos were reportedly a tank version of the 50-54 class operated by
the New South Wales Railways.
Junee is a railway town about midway between the Victorian border and Sydney which was in steam days,
a major depot. On a blazing hot summer day, a standard goods 50 class goes about its duties
as acting yard pilot.
Further to a picture above: The young calf in the paddock is more curious about the photographer than
the Sydney bound Southern Highlands express with 3813 up front, rushing past behind him.
Towards the end of steam days in New South Wales, 3638 was reconditioned and is seen here
at Sydney Central station at
the head of the Sunday evening train to Moss Vale.
In the early 1960s, I came across a train in trouble; it had developed a loose tyre -- a tyre on
one of the main driving wheels had come loose and the crew was standing in a paddock figuring out
what to do about it. The driver said he heard a loud bang as one of the rivets worked loose and was
sheared off by a connecting rod. Progress consequently was then at at walking speed rather than at express speed.
In the days of telegraph wires which
were along the trackside, communication was not what it is today. I became the messenger to the Station Master
at Koorawatha with the news of where the train was. Concern was for a passenger whom it was feared
would miss his connection with another train.
In the latter days of steam, it was very unusual to see a steam powered train south of Goulburn.
An exception was 4-6-0 number 3214 on a work train running south tender first.
The Southern Highlands express, with 3813, accelerates away from Murulan
on a crisp winter morning, to the sounds of sharp and quickening exhaust blasts, while putting on a
steamy show enhanced by the rays of the morning sun rising.
A typically regular scene in country depot roundhouses such as, Goulburn or Broadmeadow near Newcastle;
multiple 38 class locomotives are stabled side by side, but are kept in steam in readiness
for their next sprint along the main line.
Green liveried 3813, at the head of the Sydney bound Southern Highlands express speeds along
near Bundanoon on a still, chilly, frosty morning, with the exhaust from the loco's fire and cylinders,
which have produced the power for the job at hand
hovering above the train and forming a long expanding cloud, which with the incense from the coal fire
it contains, fades only, after the action has well passed.
On the outskirts of Goulburn, a Sydney bound 59 class with a goods train departs;
and is seen here crossing the brick arch viaduct. The remaining supports of an even
older two track bridge can be seen in the foreground.
Elderly 0-6-0 number 1923 which even precedes that date, still sporting
inside cylinders and original three wheel tender,
was photographed while at Broadmeadow, stabled on a
track from a one of the turntables, beside
Goods loco 5486 and 0ther locos of the 50 class which were used on
the coal traffic in the Hexam - Newcastle area.
A loco takes on coal at Dubbo in the central west. Likely 3313.
(b&w) In the mid 1960s, the Association of Railway Enthusiasts sponsored a long weekend tour to
Adelaide South Australia, and then onwards to
experience the narrow gauge between Port Pirie and Broken Hill
before it was converted to standard gauge. While in Broken Hill, which is over the border in New South Wales,
opportunity was taken to make use of the standard gauge yard shunter, 3249, to run a tour to Menindee
some 60 or so miles away. The picture above, is of the train, on the return trip, at a photo stop featuring
it on the bridge over the channel by which Lake
Menindee is filled when the Darling River is in flood. The captured water is later released into the river
in dryer times, and is used for irrigation downstream.
The scene above was from the dam wall of lake Menindee which is behind us. The highway bridge
is the other side of the rail bridge and can be seen in the background. This section of railway,
when gauges were standardised, became part of
the direct trans continental standard gauge between Sydney and Perth, and this location
is 1019 kilometers from Sydney by rail according to the marker on the Sydney side of the bridge.
A sign at the rail bridge reveals it was --
"Fabricated by Per Way W'shops, Way and Works Branch Chullora".
Photographed at Bathurst was this locomotive, saddle tank number number 2606
It was one of the more uncommon type of loco on the New South Wales system and
was utilised for shunting activities at Bathurst.
Garratt 6040 parades through the yards at Dubbo before departing with a goods train to Orange.
Based at Lithgow, were some 38 class locomotives to work passenger trains to the west of Lithgow
to Bathurst and Dubbo.
Electric locomotives hauled trains between Lithgow and Sydney with steam power taking over at Lithgow.
Here, 3823 was noted at the Lithgow depot as it rested between assignments. Some of the other locomotives
in the sheds seen in the distance, as verified by another photo, were 3830, 3617, 3824,
3801 plus a selection smaller locos.
Taken from memory at Richmond before electrification. Suburban
tank loco 3021 rests for the weekend.
Loco 3610 rides on the turntable at Orange.
Garratt 6040, which is seen in a picture below after departure,
backs onto its train at Dubbo.
The 59 class at Bathurst, as well as the 36 class, were used for pushing, which
was known as 'banking' trains,
in the rear up the Tumulla bank to the west, and Raglan bank, to the east of the town
and 5904 was on call for this duty.
A 60 class Garratt, number 6040, heads out along the main line
from Dubbo towards Orange in the mid west of New South Wales
Immediate steep grades are obstacles for trains leaving Bathurst in either direction.
A long train of loaded bogie wheat hoppers, drawn by two 45 class diesel electrics up front,
is assisted up the long grade from Bathurst to Raglan by Baldwin steam loco 5904 which
was the banker engine for that direction at the time. Class 36 locomotives were
at the time, being used to push heavy
trains up the Tumulla bank on the other side of Bathurst.
A 260 ton Garratt, number 6040, is reduced in size when viewed from
the heights of a coal stage in the central west.
At the loco depot at Werris Creek on a still and chilled very late night
under the glow of a yard light,
a 36 class 4-6-0 number 12, is kept on standby for its next duty. The
fire, which is fed regularly with coal to maintain some boiler pressure,
radiates its warmth into the cab which makes the cab a most pleasant
place to spend a little time thawing out.
On a warm summers day in January 1963, The Glen Innes train,
consisting of two cars and a van with a 32 class in charge,
departs Guyra after its scheduled stop, and accelerates out of town through the hand operated
rail/road gates and puts on such a turn of speed for the remainder of its journey, that
catching it up for more photos was out of he question.
Before diesel, and then electric powered trains took over, the air conditioned
Newcastle Flyer, maintained a fast non stop schedule to Gosford where the steam power
was swapped for the remainder of the run to Sydney. At Newcastle passenger platform,
the train crew walk towards their
steed which is impatiently blowing off the excess steam built up for its soon
to be commenced dash down the main line.
Two standard goods 2-8-0 engines were kept as shunters at Albury in the later
days of steam. One of these engines with a longish train, heads
in the direction of Wodonga
Albury before 1962, was a break of gauge location where passengers and goods had to change gauges.
After the standard gauge was extended to melbourne from Albury, the broad gauge was still utilised.
The Association of Railway Enthusiasts, sponsored a tour from Melbourne to Albury and Culcairn
with a Victorian R class hauled train on the Broad gauge and a standard goods loco hauled train
on the standard
gauge train to Culcairn. It was a long day being of some 450 miles. Some photo action stops were
provided, and this is of one between Albury and Table Top
What's this? A tank engine on the express? No, not really!
A tank shunting loco, stands at number 4 platform at Sydney Central station with
its current shunting job, while a 46 class electric locomotive and its
train, occupies number 5 platform
A tank shunting locomotive stands with its train on the loco run around track between
numbers 3 and 4 platforms, while a much bigger boilered 38 class fills in for a smaller
shunter by helping out by means of the shunting of its own train from
number 5 platform.
Goods loco 5132 passes beneath some main running lines as it heads another train
of coal in 4 wheel non braked hoppers near Newcastle.
When steam hauled the late afternoon or early evening Moss Vale train from Sydney,
the train was turned around
and stabled in the yards at Moss Vale, and kept in light steam ready for the
return run to Sydney early the following morning. On a foggy crisp night,
pitch black except for the effects of a few dim yard lights,
a 38 class snoozes at the head of its
train at Moss Vale, interrerupted only by motor vehicle headlights which were
shone upon it by
a passing photographer attempting a time exposure on color slide film
to record the now long extinct, but once routine occurrence.