V56 was the only locomotive constructed in this class.

Number built: 1

Number range: 56

Built by: Victorian Railways

Built: 1960

Wheel Arrangement: B

Tractive Effort: 48 kN

Purpose: V56 was built by the Victorian Railways for use at the Jolimont (Melbourne) electric car sidings for the specific purpose of propelling the suburban electric sets through a car washing plant at a constant speed of one mile per hour.

Interesting Facts: It is a small end-cab locomotive with a semi-hexagonal engine hood.  The diesel engine drove a Raymond hydraulic pump which, in turn, drove four reversible hydraulic motors, two coupled by chains to each axle.  When built the locomotive was painted red above the running board and black below it.  Later it was painted in the Victorian Railways blue and gold scheme and ended its working life in “The Met” green and yellow.


B83 is one of the remaining intact members of the class.

Number built: 26

Number range: 60-85

Built by: Clyde Engineering

Built: 1952

Wheel Arrangement: Co-Co

Tractive Effort: 179 kN

Purpose: The B class locomotives were initially used on express passenger and fast freight duties.  As newer locomotives became available in later years, they were more generally used on lighter passenger trains.

Interesting Facts: The original layout of the B class diesel-electric locomotive design was developed in the USA and was derived from the 1937 design for the E series and the shorter F series locomotives.  Built by the Electro Motive Division (EMD) of General Motors (GM) at its La Grange works in Illinois, the E and F units were widely used by many US railroad companies.

During the late 1940s and early 1950s, General Motors was one of very few really experienced diesel locomotive builders in the world and the company developed an export version of its F unit design.  The first customer for the export version locomotive was the Commonwealth Railways in Australia with an initial purchase of 11 single cab locomotives known as the GM class.

The Victorian Railways followed closely behind with the purchase of 26 B class double cab locomotives. The Victorian locomotives were the first to have six of the D27 motors, with a special simplified control system that allowed full power at all speeds, but reduced starting tractive effort.  As with most other EMD locomotives for Australia, the B class was constructed by Clyde Engineering at Granville, west of Sydney.

Withdrawal: After 30 years of service, a program of rebuilding the B class locomotives into the A class was initiated.  With relatively small changes in appearance, the original engine, generator and entire electrical and radiator systems were replaced by modern equipment.  Although the result was a higher tractive effort and nearly a 50% increase in locomotive power output, the cost of rebuilding was high and the program was stopped after 11 locomotives.  The locomotives converted were B60, B62, B66, B70, B71, B73, B77, B78, B79, B81 and B85.


T94 is the sole remaining example of the class.

Number built: 23

Number range: 249 – 283 (odd numbers only)

Built by: Beyer Peacock & Co, Phoenix Foundry

Built: 1874, 1884-5

Wheel Arrangement:0-6-0

Tractive Effort: 13,665 lb

Purpose: The T class was built for operation on the lightly-built branch lines around Victoria and the locomotives were used on goods, passenger and mixed trains.  In 1894, one was allocated each to Maryborough, Ballarat and Seymour, six were allocated each to Ararat and Benalla and four to Stawell.

Interesting Facts: In the 1870s the Victorian Railways ordered two light lines pattern locomotives from Beyer Peacock and Company in Great Britain. One of the two locomotives was a typical 0-6-0 type built in the British tradition of the time. It had inside cylinders, Stephenson valve gear, inside plate frames and its firebox fitting neatly between the coupled axles. This locomotive became the first T class and the pattern for 18 more ordered from Phoenix Foundry in Ballarat a decade later.  The other four members of the class were Beyer Peacock imported by the Deniliquin and Moama Railway Company.  The Victorian Railways took over that railway including its locomotives in December 1923.

The Phoenix Foundry copies followed the Beyer Peacock design closely.  However, the cabs had timber upper parts which provided better protection to the crew than the scanty English design.  The tenders also differed.  The pattern had a four wheel type, the copies had six wheels. The running plate was straight and both the leading and driving wheels were covered with small splashers. Brass builder’s plates were attached to both the tender sides and to the driving wheel splasher

The original boilers were the raised round top firebox pattern with Salter safety valves on the steam dome.  These were replaced between 1901 and 1906 with larger boilers with a working pressure of 160 psi.  The new boiler had Ramsbottom safety valves above the firebox, the smoke box was enlarged to match the enlarged boiler barrel and included a shapely cast iron chimney in place of the original built-up type.  During the period 1880-1900, the engines of this group of locomotives shared in the general fitting forstly of steam brakes and then Westinghouse air brakes and cowcatchers.  Some also had hand rails, foot boards and a few had cowcatchers fitted to the tenders.

Withdrawal: In the locomotive renumbering, of 1923, the remaining T class were allotted the group of numbers 90 to 95. The last two locomotives, T 92 and T 94, were fitted in 1933 with wide flangeless tyres on the driving coupled wheels for shunting at the original, coal fired, Newport Powerhouse where there was a sharp curve of only 160 feet radius. T 92 was taken off the register on 31st March 1951 and T 94 on 13th June 1952.


H220 was the only locomotive constructed in this class.

Number built: 1

Number range: 220

Built by: Victorian Railways Newport Workshops

Built: 1941

Wheel Arrangement: 4-8-4 – Pocono wheel arrangement

Tractive Effort: 55,000 lb

Purpose: The H class was designed to replace the double-headed A2 steam locomotives that were being used on the Adelaide Express to climb the 10 mile, 1 in 48 gradient on the Ingliston Bank beyond Bacchus Marsh.

Interesting Facts: In 1936 the major design requirements were finalised by the Victorian Railways Design Office for a steam locomotive that was capable of hauling a load of 550 tons at 20 miles per hour up Ingliston Bank and had sufficient coal and water to run from Melbourne to Ararat. H220 was constructed by the Victorian Railways at Newport Workshops and entered service on 7 February 1941.

The H class is the largest locomotive built to operate on the Victorian Railways. It had an all-steel boiler operating at a pressure of 220 psi to supply the three cylinders that powered the locomotive.  The two outer cylinders drove the second coupled axle and the centre cylinder, mounted forward and clear of the outside cylinder casting, drove the leading coupled axle.  The three exhaust passages were brought to a common outlet which then branched into two nozzles exhausting into its distinctive double chimneys.

With a massive fire box grated of 68sq ft, a mechanical stoker was used for the first time in Victoria. The stoker operated a screw conveyor in a trough below the coal bunker to convey coal through an articulated tube to the firebox below the fire door opening where the coal was distributed to the grate by steam jets operated by the fireman.  To allow the locomotive to haul its train to Ararat without taking coal or water, the tender had a capacity of 9 tons of coal and 14000 gallons of water.

Although built for use on the Western line, due to the impact of World War 2 the bridges on the line were not upgraded to allow H220 to operate there without restriction.  Consequently the locomotive spent its entire service life on the North East as this was the only other line on which it could operate.  It was used mainly on fast goods trains with an occasional run on an express passenger train when a streamlined S class locomotive was not available.  H 220 made a brief appearance on the Western line when it ran a series of trials with the dynamometer car on goods trains from Melbourne to Ballarat in 1949.

Withdrawal: With diesel locomotives taking over from steam during the 1950’s, H220 was withdrawn from service in 1958 and was put on display in the Railway Museum in 1962.


F176 is the sole remaining example of the class.

Number built: 21

Number range: 98, 126 – 144, 166 – 184 (even numbers only)

Built by: Phoenix Foundry, Ballarat to a design by Beyer Peacock & Co, 

Built: 1874, 1876-77, 1879-80

Wheel Arrangement: 2-4-0, seven rebuilt as 2-4-2T

Tractive Effort: 8,268 lb, 10,584 lb after new boilers were fitted

Purpose: The F class were built for operation on the lightly-built branch lines around Victoria.  With a 2-4-0 wheel arrangement, these locomotives were for passenger use.  In 1894, five locomotives were allotted to Ararat, three each to Geelong and Ballarat, two each to Seymour, Benalla and Princes Bridge and four to Sale.

Interesting Facts: In 1874, the Victorian Railways received a Beyer Peacock built 2-4-0 inside cylinder, passenger locomotive as a pattern engine. This locomotive was assigned number 98.  Two years later, the first of a batch of 10 locomotives built to the pattern were delivered by Phoenix Foundry.  The rest of the batch was delivered during 1896 and 1897 and was assigned the even numbers from 126 to 144.

Phoenix Foundry built the second batch of 10 locomotives and these went into service in 1879 and 1880 with the even numbers 166 to 184.  All locomotives were constructed as tender locomotive, initially with a 4 wheel tender and then 6 wheel tenders around the turn of the century.  Between 1902 and 1912, all locomotives had their boilers replaced which resulted in increased tractive effort.

In 1910-11, seven of these tender locomotives, even numbers 172 to 184, were rebuilt as 2-4-2 tank engines for use in the outer suburban area.  A bunker was provided behind the cab for the coal and side tanks for the water.  Known as motors, these locomotives would pull a single passenger carriage on services such as Burnley-Darling, Camberwell-Asburton-Deepdene, Heidelberg-Eltham, Essendon-Broadmeadows, Ballarat-Buninyong and Ballarat-Ballan.

Withdrawal: The 14 locomotives that remained as tender engines were taken out of service between 1916 and 1922.  Of those converted to tank engines, five were taken out off the register between 1925 and 1929.  F178 was withdrawn from traffic in 1926 and remained at North Melbourne Locomotive Depot for use as a boiler washout engine until 1951.

F176 was sold to H V Mc Kay, Sunshine Harvester Works on 28 May 1920.  The locomotive was donated by Massey Ferguson (Aust) to ARHS in 1961 for display in the Railway Museum.