Victorian Railways Dd class

Victorian Railways Dd class

Infobox Locomotive
name = Victorian Railways Dd class

caption = VR photo of Dd 590 as built, 1902
powertype = steam
data for = Victorian Railways Dd class
builder = VR Newport Workshops (138),
VR Ballarat North Workshops (8),
VR Bendigo Workshops (8),
Baldwin Locomotive Works (20),
Beyer, Peacock & Co. (20),
Walkers Ltd (20),
Thompsons Ltd, Castlemaine (40),
Phoenix Foundry, Ballarat (7)
whytetype = 4-6-0
numinclass = 261
length = 57 ft 4¾ in
driversize = 61 in
weight = 53 t (engine)
41 t 16c (tender)
94 t 16 c (total)

weightondrivers = 38 t 6 c
cylindercount = 2
cylindersize = 18×26 in
tractiveeffort = 20,530 lbf at 85% boiler pressure
axleload = 13 t
totalsurface = 1,375 ft²
boilerpressure = 175 psi
firearea = 21.2 ft²

The Dd class (later reclassified into D1, D2 and D3 subclasses) was a passenger and mixed traffic steam locomotive that ran on Victorian Railways from 1902 to 1974. Originally introduced on mainline express passenger services, they were quickly superseded by the much larger A2 class and were relegated to secondary and branch line passenger and goods service, where they gave excellent service for the next fifty years. The Dd design was adapted into a 4-6-2T tank locomotive for suburban passenger use, the Dde (later D4) class. They were the most numerous locomotive class on the VR, with a total of 261 Dd and 58 Dde locomotives built.


By 1900, Victoria's express passenger locomotive fleet was almost exclusively made up of 4-4-0 designs of the Old A, New A, and the most recent AA class. These locomotives reflected contemporary British locomotive practice (as did the VR's fleet of 0-6-0 goods locomotives), in no small part due to VR having appointed in 1884 a Midland Railway manager Mr. R Speight as its first Chief Commissioner as well as a British engineer (Mr. E Jeffreys) and a British locomotive manufacturer (Kitson & Co. of Leeds) to provide standard designs for the VR.cite web| url=|title=Victorian Railways, Museum Victoria, Australia: Colonial Steam Power|publisher = Museum Victoria|accessdate = 2007-04-07]

At the turn of the century, in what marked a major shift in policy, the VR under recently appointed Commissioner Mr. J Mathieson set up a Locomotive Design Section for in-house development of future motive power. The Dd class locomotives were the first product of this exercise.cite web|url=|title=Victorian Railways, Museum Victoria, Australia: Setting New Standards|publisher = Museum Victoria|accessdate = 2007-04-07] A 4-6-0 design equipped with 5 ft 1 in driving wheels, saturated steam boiler and Belpaire firebox, the Dd reflected the considerable talent of VR's design team, which included ex-Beyer, Peacock and Company recruit Eugene Siepen, future VR Chief Mechanical Engineer Alfred Smith, and Rolling Stock Branch manager Thomas Woodroffe.cite book| author= Lee, Robert |title=The Railways of Victoria 1854-2004 | pages=p.165 |publisher=Melbourne University Publishing Ltd |isbn=9780522851342 ]


The Dd class is notable for being the last class of locomotive to be built by VR's traditional supplier of locomotives for over thirty years, Ballarat's Phoenix Foundry, and the first locomotive class to be built in large numbers by VR's own Newport Workshops. Victoria's conservative Irvine Government sought to reduce the costs of locomotive construction and Newport Workshops was asked to tender for the construction of the Dd class locomotives. A fierce tender war between Newport and Phoenix eventually resulted in a Royal Commission, which found that Newport could produce a locomotive for £3,364, some £497 cheaper than Phoenix's cost. The Phoenix Foundry produced just seven Dd locomotives and received no further orders, going into voluntary liquidation a year later. VR's Newport, Ballarat and Bendigo workshops went on to build virtually all subsequent locomotives for the VR system until the post-war era.

Regular service

They were initially assigned to hauling the Adelaide Express over the steep gradients between Melbourne and Ballarat, but were soon seen on mainline passenger services on a number of lines.

The first years of the 20th century saw on the VR (as elsewhere in the world) a considerable increase in both the amount of traffic and the size and weight of rolling stock being hauled. In 1907, the Dd class was supplanted by the much larger and more powerful Victorian Railways A2 class on principal mainline services.cite web|url=|title = Victorian Goldfields Railway Steam Locomotives|publisher = Victorian Goldfields Railway|accessdate=2007-04-07] However, with their light axle load (just 12 t 10 cwt in their original form) [cite web|url=| title= BUILDERS DRAWING DD CLASS STEAM LOCOMOTIVE AND TENDER (VPRS 12903/P1 Box 599/05)|publisher=Public Record Office Victoria|accessdate=2007-04-06] , they were quickly reassigned to the VR's branchline network, where they became a fixture for the next fifty years.cite journal | year = 1954 | month = May | title = The New J Class | journal = The Victorian Railways Newsletter | pages = pp.4–5 | url = | accessdate = 2006-12-31 ]

With their light axle load and express passenger speed, the Dd was also an ideal choice as motive power for the Victorian Railways Commissioner's train (used to carry the VR Commissioners on inspection tours to every corner of the VR network). In 1916, locomotive Dd 980 (later rebuilt as D3 639) was assigned as the Commissioner's enginecite web|url =| title = D3class:VR:Trains:AJH |accessdate = 2007-04-07] and continued in this role for the next forty years.

Dde tank engine

Infobox Locomotive
name = Victorian Railways Dde class

caption = Victorian Railways photograph of Dde 702, circa 1910
data for = Victorian Railways Dde class
powertype = steam
builder = VR Newport Workshops
whytetype = 4-6-2T
numinclass = 58
length = 41 ft 10½ in
weight = 69 t

weightondrivers = 38 t 6 c
axleload = 14 t 10 c

The expansion of Melbourne's population into new suburbs early in the 20th century and the delay of the suburban electrification projectcite web|url =|title = Victorian Railways, Museum Victoria, Australia: Dd Class Locos| publisher= Museum Victoria|accessdate = 2007-04-07] saw the need for faster and more powerful steam locomotives for the suburban rail network. The basic design of the Dd was in 1908 adapted into a 4-6-2T tank locomotive, classed Dde. They were put to work on longer and hillier suburban routes such as the Dandenong, Frankston, Upper Ferntree Gully, Williamstown, Werribee, Lilydale, Darling and Kew railway lines. A total of 58 were built between 1908 and 1913.cite book|author=Pearce et al|title=North Williamstown Railway Museum|pages= p.10 |publisher = ARHS| location=Melbourne|year= 1980|id = ISBN 0-85849-018-8 ]

With electrification of the suburban network already on the drawing board (the first electrified lines opening in 1919), the Dde was designed for easy conversion to Dd tender engines in the event of electrification making them redundant. However, only two were modified in this way. Ten were scrapped in 1924, followed by another four in 1925 and the sale of Dde 704 to the State Electricity Commission of Victoria.cite book|author = Oberg, Leon| title=Locomotives Of Australia 1850's - 1980's| publisher = Reed Books| location = NSW | year = 1984| pages = pp.102-103 | id = ISBN 0730100057] The remaining Dde locomotives remained in service on non-electrified outer suburban routes or found new roles as suburban goods locomotives or shunters. Some were allotted to Ballarat to work the short branch line to Newlyn.

Design improvements

During the construction of the Dd class, a number of changes were made. The first locomotives built featured low running plates with splashers over the driving wheels and a narrow cab. However, after 26 such examples were built the design was altered with high running plates mounted above the driving wheels and a more comfortable full-width pressed metal cab of Canadian design, a feature incorporated at the request of Victorian Railways Chief Commissioner and former Canadian Pacific Railway Transportation Manager Thomas Tait.cite book|author = Oberg, Leon| title=Locomotives Of Australia 1850's - 1990's| publisher = Kangaroo Press| location = NSW | year = 1996| pages = p.230 | id = ISBN 0864177798] These became hallmarks of all subsequent VR steam locomotive designs.

Although the Dd was considered to be a successful design, it had a key shortcoming in that its boiler performance was not sufficient for the traffic demands being placed on it. In 1914, an experimental superheater was fitted to Dd 882 and was found to be very successful. Both Dd and A2 designs (both locomotive classes still under construction at the time) were modified with superheated boilers (with all of the existing A2 class locomotives eventually fitted with superheated boilers). Superheaters were also fitted to three of the Dde locomotives. Further Dd locomotives were also built with 19 in. diameter cylinders in place of the original 18 in. cylinders.

In 1923-4, DD.1022 was experimentally fitted with Pulverised Brown Coal (PBC) burning equipment ["Pulverised Brown Coal Fuel for Steam Locomotives" Buckland, John L. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, July, 1972 pp145-161] .

Reclassing: D1, D2 and D4 class

In 1922 a complex renumbering and reclassing of VR locomotives saw the Dd class split into two subclasses, the D1 class (comprising all the original saturated steam locomotives with 18 in. cylinders) and the D2 class (comprising superheated locomotives with either 18 or 19 in. cylinders).

With the introduction of a further D3 class in 1929, the Dde tank locomotives were reclassified as D4 class in 1929.

The D3 class

Infobox Locomotive
name = Victorian Railways D3 class

caption = Preserved D3 locomotive (left) adjacent to a K class locomotive, the boiler design of which formed the basis for the D3 boiler.
powertype = steam
data for = Victorian Railways D3 class
builder = VR Newport Workshops
whytetype = 4-6-0
numinclass = 94 (all rebuilt from earlier Dd class locomotives)
length = 58 ft 3⅜ in
weight = 99 t 11 c (total)
cylindersize = 19×26 in
tractiveeffort = 22,600 lbf at 85% boiler pressure
axleload = 13 t 14 c
totalsurface = 1,592 ft²
boilerpressure = 170 psi
firearea = 25 ft²

Despite the success of the superheating the Dd boiler, it was still somewhat limited in steam raising capabilities. In 1922, a new design of 2-8-0 branch line goods locomotive, the K class was introduced, with noticeably superior boiler performance to that of the Dd. In 1929, a Dd class locomotive was rebuilt with a larger boiler derived from the K class design. Based on the success of the rebuild, a further 93 D1 or D2 class locomotives were converted between 1929 and 1947.

The D3s were economical and efficient, but also renowned for their superior performance. They could be worked hard and were a favourite with crews. Although restricted to a maximum permitted speed of 60 mph (96 km/h), the D3s were known to be capable of up to 75 mph (120 km/h).

With their ability to travel at relatively high speed and their low axle load, the D3 helped to speed up passenger services on many lightly laid branch lines.


Scrapping of Dd class locomotives commenced as early as 1929, with newer K and N class locomotives taking over branch line goods services and Petrol Electric Rail Motors (and later Diesel Electric Rail Motors) starting to replace mixed trains and locomotive-hauled branch line passenger services.cite web|url= |title=ARHS Railway Museum: History 1900 - 1950|accessdate = 2007-04-07| quote=1948/51 - In response to the desire to reduce the number of un-economical mixed train services on lines where there was light traffic, to improve the standard of service provided, and in response to the uncertainties of coal supplies in the post war period; a significant number of additional railcars were purchased from Walkers of Wigan, England.] cite journal | year = 1950 | month = July | title = The Pride of the Diesel Fleet | journal = The Victorian Railways Newsletter | pages = p.4 | url =| accessdate = 2007-04-07 ] The unrebuilt saturated steam D1 class locomotives were the first to go, and by 1951 no fewer than 120 had been scrapped.

By 1951, the remaining D1 locomotives were shunters, the D2 locomotives providing suburban goods and branch line goods and passenger service, and the D3 performing both branch line and mainline service. However, with the massive postwar upgrading of the VR locomotive fleet as part of 'Operation Phoenix' came the introduction of J class 2-8-0 branch line steam locomotives and T class (EMD G8) diesel electric locomotives to replace the various remaining Dd locomotives.cite journal | year = 1954 | month = October | title = And now the T's | journal = The Victorian Railways Newsletter | pages = p.3 | url =| accessdate = 2007-01-01 ]

The first D3 locomotive to be scrapped was none other than Commissioner's locomotive D3 639 in November 1958. However, this locomotive had attained sufficient prestige that its brass fittings and number plates were transferred to another locomotive, D3 658, which took over its role as Commissioner's locomotive and its identity as "D3 639".

Withdrawals and scrappings continued throughout the 1950s and 60s. The last Dd in VR service was the Commissioner's locomotive D3 639, which was replaced in this role by a Y class (EMD G6B) diesel electric locomotive specially regeared for 60 mph (96 km/h) operation (Y 175) in 1968.cite web|url=| title = V/Line: Y Class|accessdate=2007-04-07] However, D3 639 had since October 1964 taken on a new role providing motive power for the ARHS 'Vintage Train' as the first 'Special Trains Vintage Engine',cite web|url=|title = Steamrail Forum ~ View topic - D3 class Steam Locomotives|publisher = Steamrail Victoria|accessdate=2007-04-08] and continued in this popular role until deteriorated boiler condition saw it finally withdrawn from service in 1974.



right|thumb|300px|D3_658,_hauling_a_rake_of_historic_goods_carriages,_Newport_Worshops,_Victoria, Australia, 12 March 2007 ]


D3 639 was restored to operating condition in 1984 and was recommissioned into service by the Prime Minister of Australia Bob Hawke on 17 November 1984. Since this date, it has continued in service hauling various rail enthusiast special trains. It has also been used in a number of films, and could be seen hauling passenger trains beneath an inoperable overhead catenary in the 2000 remake of the post-apocalyptic film "On the Beach". [cite video
people = Russell Mulcahy (Director)
year = 2000
title = On the Beach
url =
medium = TV
publisher =
location = Australia
] , A rebuild of a 1903 Dd locomotive, it made a special long-distance journey to Mildura, Victoria in 2002 as that line approached its centenary, and celebrated its own 100th anniversary in 2003 with a journey to Swan Hill. [cite web|url=
title=VICSIG - Locomotives - D3 639| accessdate=2007-04-09
] As of 2007, it has reverted to its earlier D3 658 numbering.


A single example of each of the D2 and D4 locomotives were retained for preservation. D2 604 and D4 268 are today on display at the Australian Railway Historical Society North Williamstown Railway Museum, as well as a further example of the D3 class, D3 635.

13 other D3 class locomotives remain, either preserved in static display or stored awaiting restoration or as a supply of parts.

No original D1 class locomotives have survived into preservation.


* Dee et al, "Power Parade", VicRail Public Relations Division, Melbourne, 1981, ISBN 0-7241-3323-2


External links

* [ Locomotives - Beyer, Peacock & Co] p . 43

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Victorian Railways J class — Infobox Locomotive name = Victorian Railways J class caption = Victorian Railways photograph of coal fired J 503 powertype = steam data for = Victorian Railways J class builder = flagicon|United Kingdom Vulcan Foundry whytetype = 2 8 0 numinclass …   Wikipedia

  • Victorian Railways H class — Infobox Locomotive name = Victorian Railways H class caption = Victorian Railways builder s photograph of H 220, 1941 powertype = steam data for = Victorian Railways H class builder = VR Newport Workshops whytetype = 4 8 4 numinclass = 1 length …   Wikipedia

  • Victorian Railways K class — Infobox Locomotive name = Victorian Railways K class caption = VR photo of K 103 as built, 1922 powertype = steam data for = Victorian Railways K class builder = VR Newport Workshops whytetype = 2 8 0 numinclass = 53 length = 60 ft 3⅜ in… …   Wikipedia

  • Victorian Railways N class — Infobox Locomotive name = Victorian Railways N class caption = VR photograph of N class locomotive No. N 110, as built, 1925 powertype = steam data for = Victorian Railways N class builder = VR Newport Workshops, North British Locomotive Company… …   Wikipedia

  • Victorian Railways A2 class — Infobox Locomotive name = Victorian Railways A2 Class (Walschaerts) caption = VR photograph of A2 986 in 1916, as built. 90 years later, this locomotive is being restored to operating condition. powertype = steam data for = Victorian Railways A2… …   Wikipedia

  • Victorian Railways R class — Infobox Locomotive name = Victorian Railways R class caption = Victorian Railways publicity photograph of R 701, 1951 powertype = steam data for = Victorian Railways R class builder = North British Locomotive Company, Glasgow whytetype = 4 6 4… …   Wikipedia

  • Victorian Railways S class — Infobox Locomotive name = Victorian Railways S class caption = Builder s photo of S 300, 1928. powertype = steam data for = Victorian Railways S class builder = VR Newport Workshops whytetype = 4 6 2 numinclass = 4 length = 85 ft 6 in driversize …   Wikipedia

  • Victorian Railways AA class — Infobox Locomotive name = Victorian Railways AA Class caption = powertype = steam data for = Victorian Railways AA class designer = Eugene Siepen builder = Phoenix Foundry, Ballarat builddate = 1900–1903 whytetype = 4 4 0 uicclass = 2 Bh2 gauge …   Wikipedia

  • Victorian Railways X class — Infobox Locomotive name = Victorian Railways X Class powertype = steam caption = VR Newport Workshops photograph of X 28, 1929. The locomotive has not yet been fitted with lamps and cab windows. data for = Victorian Railways X class builder =… …   Wikipedia

  • Victorian Railways B class — Infobox Locomotive name = Victorian Railways B class caption = B class with original spark arresting funnel powertype = steam data for = Victorian Railways B class designer = builder = R and W Hawthorn, Beyer, Peacock and Company, Phoenix Foundry …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”