South Australian Railways 600 class (diesel)

The 600 class are a class of diesel-electric locomotives manufactured by AE Goodwin, Auburn for the South Australian Railways between 1965 and 1970.

South Australian Railways 600 class
600 on a standard gauge construction train
in April 1969
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderAE Goodwin, Auburn
Serial numberG3419/01 to G3419/02
G6015/01 to G6015/05
ModelRSD-20 or DL-541
Build date1965-1970
Total produced7
RebuilderMorrison Knudsen Australia
Rebuild date1994
Number rebuilt4
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Wheel diameter40 in (1,016 mm)
LengthOver headstocks:
54 ft 6 in (16.61 m)
Over coupler pulling faces:
58 ft 8 in (17.88 m)
Width9 ft 8 12 in (2.96 m)
Height13 ft 11 in (4.24 m)
Axle load18 long tons 8 cwt (41,200 lb or 18.7 t)
Loco weight110 long tons 10 cwt (247,500 lb or 112.3 t)
Fuel typeDiesel
Fuel capacity1,200 imp gal (5,500 l; 1,400 US gal)
Lubricant cap.165 imp gal (750 l; 198 US gal)
Coolant cap.210 imp gal (950 l; 250 US gal)
Sandbox cap.14 cu ft (0.40 m3)
Prime moverAlco 12-251C
RPM range400-1000
Engine typeFour-stroke V12 diesel
GeneratorAssociated Electrical Industries 5301
Traction motorsGE 752 or Associated Electrical Industries 165
Cylinder size9 in × 10.5 in (229 mm × 267 mm)
Performance figures
Maximum speed75 mph (120 km/h)
Power outputGross: 1,950 hp (1,450 kW)
For traction: 1,800 hp (1,340 kW)
Tractive effortContinuous: 68,000 lbf (302.48 kN) at 7.4 mph (11.9 km/h)
OperatorsSouth Australian Railways
Number in class7
Current ownerSouthern Shorthaul Railroad
Disposition1 Operational, 1 stored, 2 scrapped


The 600 class were built by Alco's Australian licensee AE Goodwin, Auburn and are based on the Alco DL-541 model. Forty similar examples were built by AE Goodwin for the New South Wales Government Railways as the 45 class in 1962-64.

Two were built in April 1965 for use on standard gauge construction trains and with completion imminent, a further five were delivered in 1969/70.[1][2] They were the only South Australian Railways class to never operate on the Broad Gauge. They primarily operated services between Broken Hill and Port Pirie. They later operated to Adelaide and Leigh Creek.[3] In March 1978, the 600s were included in the transfer of South Australian Railways to Australian National.

From July 1982 until October 1985, some were hired to the State Rail Authority where they were based at Goulburn to operate freight services on the Main South and Illawarra lines.[3][4] In 1986, a new computer system required the class leaders of the former South Australian Railways to be renumbered as the last member of the class, with 600 becoming 607.[5]

In 1994, four were converted to Booster Units by Morrison Knudsen Australia's Whyalla factory to operate with Australian National's ALF class locomotives.[1][6] This involved removing the cab and engine, retaining four of the six bogie traction motors and filling the engine bay with 30 tonnes of concrete with the idea of increasing traction at low speed. They were not successful and placed in store in 1996. Australian Southern Railroad trialled BU1 in 2000, but it soon returned to store.[3][7] All were scrapped in 2009.[8]

When Australian National was sold to Australian Southern Railroad in October 1997 the remaining 3 units were included in the sale. They were later sold by ASR in October 2004 to South Spur Rail Services and were transferred to New South Wales. SSR sold the business and locomotives to Coote Industrial in March 2007.[9][10] As at October 2014 only two remained in service.[11] In April 2016, these were sold to Southern Shorthaul Railroad and are currently stored, 602 was returned to service in 2017.[12][13]


  1. Standard Gauge 600 class Chris' Commonwealth Railway Pages
  2. Oberg, Leon (1980). Diesel Locomotives of Australia. Sydney: AH & AW Reed. p. 43. ISBN 0 589 50211 5.
  3. Oberg, Leon (2007). Locomotives of Australia. Sydney: Rosenberg Publishing. p. 323. ISBN 9781877058547.
  4. "Locomotives" Railway Digest November 1985 page 332
  5. "Australian National Broken Hill Line Report" Railway Digest October 1986 page 314
  6. "The AL / ALF class units of Australian National" Railway Digest March 1996 pages 16-23
  7. "BU1 Back in Service" Railway Digest April 2000 page 41
  8. BU Class Railpage
  9. 600 Class Railpage
  10. 600 Class Vicsig
  11. "Australia Wide Fleet List 2014" Motive Power issue 96 November 2014 page 67
  12. Disposal of Greentrains rollingstock Engenco 28 April 2016
  13. "Greentrans rollingstock sold to Holdco Holdings" Railway Digest June 2016 page 6
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