- New South Wales 73 class locomotive
New South Wales 73 class Candy coloured 7318 shunts Grafton yard in January, 1986 Power type Diesel-hydraulic Builder Walkers Limited, Maryborough, Queensland Build date 1970–1973 Total produced 50 UIC classification B′B′ Gauge 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) Wheel diameter 40 in (1,016 mm) Wheelbase 26 ft 6 in (8.08 m) Length Over headstocks: 36 ft 0 in (10.97 m),
Over buffers: 39 ft 4 in (11.99 m)
Width 9 ft 3 in (2.82 m) Height 13 ft 6 in (4.11 m) Axle load 12 tons 5 cwt (27,400 lb or 12.4 t) Locomotive weight 49 tons 0 cwt (109,800 lb or 49.8 t) Fuel type Diesel fuel Fuel capacity 500 imp gal (2,300 l; 600 US gal) Lubricant capacity Engine: 42 imp gal (190 l; 50 US gal),
Transmission: 58 imp gal (260 l; 70 US gal),
Final drive: 3.25 imp gal (14.8 l; 3.90 US gal)
Coolant capacity 80 imp gal (360 l; 96 US gal) Sandbox capacity 10 cu ft (0.28 m3) Prime mover Caterpillar D379 series B Engine RPM range 550–1450 Engine type Four-stroke diesel Aspiration Turbocharged Cylinders V8 Cylinder size 6.25 × 8 in (159 × 203 mm) Transmission Voith L4r4U2, with Gmeinder Type GM170/EHA/469 and GM170/E/327B drives Top speed 40 mph (64 km/h) Power output Gross: 700 hp (522 kW),
For traction: 650 hp (485 kW)
Tractive effort Continuous: 25,000 lbf (111.21 kN) at 5.4 mph (0.00 kN) Career New South Wales Government Railways Number 7301–7350 First run 5 October 1970
The New South Wales 73 class are a diesel-hydraulic locomotive originally purchased and operated by the New South Wales Government Railways (NSWGR) of Australia, and now operated by a variety of private operators. The NSWGR were in the need of powerful diesel shunting locomotives in the 1960s. They had experimented with the 7101 and 7201. Following an order by Queensland Railways for similar units, the NSWGR placed an order with Walkers Limited for 20 B-B units fitted with a Caterpillar 485 kW diesel engine. These were the first NSWGR locomotives to be built in Queensland.
The first unit was delivered in October, 1970. When the whole of the first order had arrived, all steam shunting on the North Coast line and the Sydney Metropolitan area, as well as at Goulburn had been replaced. Their presence was an immediate success and a further 50 units were ordered. The last of these arrived in March, 1973 and this brought to an end all remaining steam shunting operations throughout the state.
The New South Wales Government Railways purchased the class mainly for shunting and their prohibition from mainline use was 'officially' due to the lack of vigilance controls. However, despite its absence, the class was still seen on many suburban trip workings and when mainline operation was a necessity, there seemed to be no hesitation to use them.
One advantage a diesel-hydraulic locomotive has over a diesel-electric variety is its ability to negotiate up to 300mm of water over the tracks. The big floods of 1976 gave 7323 an opportunity to show off its swimming ability. In March that year, water covered the line near Bourke and this locomotive was used on a couple of freight trains and a ballast train from Nyngan to Bourke and return. At least two other occasions when their water resistance was put to use was Menindee in 1976 and Hexham in 1977.
Multiple unit operation was common, although the flood event at Hexham is the only known occurrence of triple-heading. A number of units were fitted with exhaust gas scrubbers for use on Eastern Suburbs Railway construction.
As an example of the spread of the members of the class throughout the system, the fleet was allocated as follows as at 30 August 1977:
Depot Allocation Eveleigh 7301–7314; 7317; 7321; 7339–7345 Goulburn 7315; 7316 Cootamundra 7319 Junee 7320 (Actually working at Albury) Lithgow 7326 Orange 7322 Dubbo 7323; 7324 Parkes 7325 Broadmeadow 7327–7338 South Grafton 7318 Werris Creek 7346 (actually working at West Tamworth); 7347 Yeerongpilly (Queensland) 7348–7350
February 1987, saw the first withdrawal, regardin unit 7330, for the class. Others quickly followed and, today, only one unit, class leader 7301, remains in the hands of Rail Corp. It was last used as a shunter at the XPT Maintenance Depot at Meeks Road, Sydenham. This unit would also occasionally transfer carriages to the wheel lathes at either Enfield or Flemington.
The following units have been scrapped:
7302, 7303, 7311, 7312, 7316, 7323, 7326, 7338, 7342, 7345.
7301 Meeks Rd XPT depot
The following are held by recognised preservation groups:
- 7307 Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway
- 7320 Privately owned
- 7321 Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway
- 7324 Privately owned
- 7329 Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum
- 7335 Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum
- 7344 3801 Limited Leased to them by RailCorp
- 7350 Hunter Valley Railway Trust
The following units were sold for further commercial operation, some being converted to 610 mm (2 ft) :-
Sold into preservation in 2010**
- ^ a b c Locomotives of Australia Oberg, Leon Rosenberg Publishing Pty Ltd ISBN 9781877058547
- ^ Clark, Peter J. (1973). An Australian Diesel Locomotive Pocketbook. Australian Railway Historical Society NSW Division. ISBN 0-909650 02 0.
- ^ Australian Model Railway Magazine: pp. 18–25. November/December.
- ^ a b c Locopage Retrieved 13.10.2008
- New South Wales Rail System Locomotives. Sydney: Archives Section, State Rail Authority of New South Wales. 1984.
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