Australian National BL class

The BL class are a class of diesel locomotives built by Clyde Engineering, Rosewater, for Australian National between 1983 and 1986. All remain in service with Pacific National, besides BL35, which suffered a fire, never to return to service.

Australian National BL class
Four BL class locomotives, two in National Rail livery, two in SteelLink livery
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderClyde Engineering, Rosewater
Serial number83-1010 to 83-1019
ModelElectro-Motive Diesel JT26C-2SS
Build date1983-1986
Total produced10
Gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)
Length19.82 m (65 ft 0 in)
Fuel typeDiesel
Prime moverEMD 645E3B
Engine typeTwo-stroke V16 diesel
Performance figures
Power output3,340 hp (2,490 kW)
OperatorsAustralian National
Number in class10
Current ownerPacific National
Disposition9 in service, 1 stored


Australian National placed an order for with Clyde Engineering for 15 Electro-Motive Diesel JT26C-2SS locomotives, to be classed BL and numbered 26 through 40. Australian National only took delivery of the first 10, with the other five delivered to V/Line as their G class. The first five were delivered with standard gauge bogies, the last five with broad gauge bogies.

All were transferred to National Rail and converted to standard gauge in 1995 following the conversion of the Adelaide to Melbourne line. In December 1996, they began to operate on services to Sydney and Newcastle.[1] In September 1998, after being repainted into SteelLink livery by Rail Services Australia, Chullora, four were transferred back to the broad gauge to haul steel trains for BHP from Long Island to Dynon.[2][3] For a period in the late 1990s, they were rostered to haul The Overland between Melbourne and Adelaide.[4]

As of October 2014, three were in service on the broad gauge, six on the standard gauge and one was in store.[5]

BL35 suffered a fire which damaged the roof, and is now awaiting scrapping at Werris Creek

Status Table

Locomotive Named Serial No Entered service Gauge Status
BL26 Bob Hawke 83-1010 March 1983 Standard In service
BL27 83-1011 August 1983 Standard In service
BL28 83-1012 September 1983 Standard In service
BL29 83-1013 October 1983 Broad In service
BL30 83-1014 December 1983 Standard In service
BL31 83-1015 November 1983 Standard In service
BL32 Alan Cogger 83-1016 February 1984 Broad In service
BL33 83-1017 April 1984 Standard In service
BL34 83-1018 June 1984 Broad In service
BL35 83-1019 July 1984 Standard Stored (Werris Creek)

Model railways

HO Scale

Auscision Models has announced a future project including BL Class locomotives - BL 26, 28 and 31 in variants of Australian National Green and gold, BL 29 and 35 in National Rail orange and grey and 32 and 34 with a darker charcoal grey, BL 30 and 33 in Steelink grey, and finally locomotives 26, 27, 28 and 35 in Pacific National blue and yellow.[6] The models are expected to be delivered either as DC, or for an additional charge they could be pre-fitted with DCC and Sound.

Austrains in 2014 released models of the BL class locomotive retailing at about $300 per model, plus $100 for pre-fitted DCC and Sound. The range included BL 26 "Bob Hawke" and 28 in Australian National Green; 27 and 35 in the National Rail Arrowhead scheme; 31 and 32 in the standard National Rail scheme; 29 and 30 in National Rail "Steelink"; and 33 and 34 in Pacific National blue and yellow.[7]

Powerline released models of the first two batches of BL class locomotives in Australian National Green (with grey roof) in 1989, then with a new motor type in 1997. The first run included BL 27 and 29 with a single motor, and 26 "Bob Hawke", 28 and 30 with dual motors. The second run had BL locomotives painted in National Rail colours, this time with locomotives 27 and 29 as single-motor and 35 as double-motor.[8]


  1. "BLs into NSW" Railway Digest January 1997 page 36
  2. "Long Island Steel Trains" Railway Digest April 1998 page 34
  3. BL Class Railpage
  4. "SA Standard Gauge" Railway Digest May 1999 page 37
  5. "Australia Wide Fleet List 2014" Motive Power issue 96 November 2014 page 69
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

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