New South Wales 41 class locomotive

The 41 class were a class of diesel locomotives built by British Thomson-Houston in the United Kingdom for the New South Wales Government Railways in 1953 and 1954.

New South Wales 41 class
4105 heading for Campbelltown in March 1961
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderBritish Thomson-Houston, Rugby, United Kingdom
Build date1953/54
Total produced10
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Wheel diameter42 in (1,067 mm)
LengthOver headstocks:
43 ft 0 in (13.11 m),
Over coupler pulling faces:
47 ft 3 in (14.40 m)
Width9 ft 4 in (2.84 m)
Height14 ft 0 in (4.27 m)
Axle load20 long tons 10 cwt (45,900 lb or 20.8 t)
Loco weight82 long tons 0 cwt (183,700 lb or 83.3 t)
Fuel typeDiesel
Fuel capacity500 imp gal (2,300 L; 600 US gal)
Lubricant cap.45 imp gal (200 L; 54 US gal) per engine
Coolant cap.40 imp gal (180 L; 48 US gal) per engine
Sandbox cap.11.5 cu ft (0.33 m3)
Prime moverPaxman 12-RPHL, 2 of
RPM range680-1300
Engine typeFour-stroke diesel
AspirationNormally aspirated
GeneratorBritish Thomson-Houston RTB 10844
Traction motorsBritish Thomson-Houston 157AZ, 4 of
Cylinder size7 in × 7.75 in (178 mm × 197 mm)
Performance figures
Maximum speed57 mph (92 km/h)
Power outputGross: 400 hp (298 kW) per engine,
For traction: 360 hp (268 kW) per engine
Tractive effortContinuous: 22,800 lbf (101.42 kN) at 11 mph (18 km/h)
OperatorsNew South Wales Government Railways
Number in class10
First run30 October 1953
Withdrawn30 June 1975
Disposition1 preserved, 9 scrapped


In 1950 the New South Wales Government Railways ordered 10 diesel locomotives from Australian General Electric.[1] The construction was sublet to British Thomson-Houston of Rugby in the United Kingdom with the body built by Metro Cammell, Birmingham.[2][3] The first entered service in December 1953 and the last in February 1955.[4] All were delivered painted in verdant green, in the 1960s all were repainted Indian red.

From their earliest days the locomotives suffered failures including overheating and fires. To try and overcome this the radiators were relocated further to the ends of all ten of the locomotives and air ducting was modified. In addition, two had their mufflers relocated. The modification was considered a success, but not rolled out across the rest of the class. The locomotives were equipped to operate in multiple however the cooling system layout saw radiator heat passing from the leading locomotive to the trailing one, resulting in the equipment being removed.[1]

By the early 1960s with the twin Paxman 12-RPHL engines coming to the end of their useful life, the Mechanical Branch began looking at repowering options. With the cost of repowering and overhauling the Class 41s being two-thirds that of a new Class 48 and repair costs per mile over nine times greater, it was decided not to proceed with this.[1]

One was set aside in December 1957 following two electrical fires, the second in April 1961, the third in September 1969, while overhauls ceased for the rest of the class in 1972 with each locomotive withdrawn as it suffered a major failure, the final locomotive being withdrawn in June 1975.[1] The class were mainly confined to metropolitan Sydney operating local trip workings and shunting at Enfield yard.[1]


In December 1976, 4102 was placed by the Public Transport Commission in the custody of the NSW Rail Museum and is now a designated NSW heritage item.[5][6]

After it arrived at Thirlmere in January 1977, the seized engine that led to its demise was temporarily repaired by members of the Illawarra Group. In 1982 an engine failed whilst returning from a trip to Picton and as a consequence 4102 was then used as a one-engine shunter until the batteries finally wore out in 1987.

By July 1991 it had moved to CountryLink's XPT Service Centre in Sydenham (where the Paxman engined XPTs are maintained), where a spare engine was installed.[7] It returned to Thirlmere in November 1992, but was not restored to service.[8] In April 2009 4102 was moved for further storage at the Broadmeadow Locomotive Depot.

Status table

NumberSerial NoEntered ServiceLast UsedWithdrawnCondemnedScrappedKilometres Travelled
410110011 Dec 19536 Jun 197327 Jun 19732 Sep 197411 Jun 1975463,514
4102100230 Oct 195330 Jun 197519 Jul 19751 Dec 1975Preserved THNSW492,650
4103100318 Jan 19542 Apr 197416 May 19742 Sep 19741 Sep 1975462,871
4104100413 Jan 195412 Oct 197326 Mar 19742 Sep 197429 Aug 1975440,810
410510058 Feb 195431 Mar 196101 Apr 1961May 19735 Oct 1972149,281
4106100621 Jan 195402 Jan 195805 Jan 1958May 197327 Apr 1973106,909
4107100725 Jan 195411 Aug 197326 Mar 19742 Sep 197429 Aug 1975446,167
4108100822 Feb 195410 Sep 196910 Sep 1969May 197320 Oct 1972402,026
4109100911 Mar 19549 Feb 197227 Jun 19732 Sep 19744 Jun 1975426,074
4110101010 Feb 195520 May 197425 May 19742 Sep 19741 Sep 1975476,489


  1. Leaver, Allan (January 1984). "41 Class Album". Roundhouse.
  2. "The 41-Class Diesel-Electric Locomotive". Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin. January 1954. pp. 1–3.
  3. 41 Class Railpage
  4. Class 41 Vicsig
  5. RailCorp S170 Heritage & Conservation Register RailCorp
  6. Locomotive, Diesel 4102 NSW Government Environment & Heritage
  7. "4102" Railway Digest August 1991 page 282
  8. "Locomotives and Traffic 4102" Railway Digest March 1993 page 108

Further reading

  • New South Wales Rail System Locomotives. Sydney: Archives Section, State Rail Authority of New South Wales. 1984.
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