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NSWGR 45 CLASS LOCOMOTIVE – PROTOTYPE OVERVIEW
With an expected upsurge in interstate traffic following completion of the then under construction Albury-Melbourne standard gauge, plus continuance with the dieselisation of the locomotive fleet, the NSWGR placed an order with A E Goodwin for forty locomotives. In June 1962 the first of these 1800hp units, 4501, entered service.
During early trials of the new locomotives it became apparent that the handbrake design was not fully effective on steeply graded track and, from 4509 onwards, an improved handbrake was fitted to the class. This design was then retrofitted to the earlier equipped locomotives. Deliveries of the class were complete when 4540 entered service in February 1964.
During the remainder of the 1960s and the early 1970s the 45 class were seen on passenger and freight working on most main lines across the network. During 1971 the class was then allocated to Broadmeadow, where they remained until withdrawal. Although a northern based fleet and primarily working in the region, members of the class were still regularly seen in other areas of the state. In June 1984 the placing of a union ban on lead unit working of the class resulted in the 45’s being relegated to trailing unit status. From this point forward their area of operation was mostly confined to the northern region and, apart from a couple of isolated occasions, in freight only working.
Over the years a number of external modifications have been applied across the class. These include:
· changes to the design of the handbrake, as detailed above
· improved exhaust stacks
· moving the sand box filler location from the front to the side of the hood
· replacement of the single marker lights with a dual assembly.
Further alterations were made to a number of locomotives with the fitting of louvered air filters on the long hood and replacement of the drop down window behind the drivers opening cab side window with a fixed window. During the 1980s a number of locomotives also had all the cab side windows replaced with an aluminium framed assembly.
During 1989 six of the class returned from overhaul with a number of enhancements to overcome union bans. Following a brief period when the first two units completed where classified as 451 class, all six modified units were numbered as the 35 class.
With an in service history spanning some 32 years, a number of liveries have been applied to the class.
Although a number of the class have been involved in accidents only one, 4525, was scrapped following a head-on collision with 4462 at Roberson in May 1972. In October 1988 the first of the class to be withdrawn was 4530 following an electrical fire. Between 1990 and 1993 a further seven units were stopped. During 1994 the remaining 31 members of the build were progressively withdrawn from service and sold off. A number of units were subsequently bought at the time and some have been restored to active service, as well as heritage operation, by their respective buyers.
NSWGR 45 CLASS LOCOMOTIVE – PROTOTYPE PHOTOS
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