That would support my view that the silver fans were introduced in the mid 1980s, since my earlier photos don't show them.Well I was curious so I grabbed the April 1989 AMRM in which Joe Moir describes the L class.
Possibly the locomotives used on lease in Victoria preceded this change.
I'm sure I saw these but didn't pay much attention. I did pay more attention to the red and silver GM class...
I do remember the VR "Radio Equipped" decals...
Looking through the article it is clear that they had silver fans fan from the get-go. There are photos of two-tone blue Ls with silver fans, one of the experimental orange locos has silver fans plus 256 in the first Westrail orange scheme (without the white pinstripes) also clearly had silver fans when newly painted.
Not only that, in the article he actually specifies that the silver fans are common to all of them. I would hazard a guess that any photos which don't show them are probably simply showing a well-weathered locomotive, and that the fans are covered in grime (of which some photos in the AMRM and in my collection most definitely are).
Regarding my earlier comments on the locos with lit-numberboards, I was wrong about some of the 3109-3120 batch.
In fact three of those, 3113, 3116 and 3118 have never been repainted from Westrail orange, but have lost their blue 'vees' and only gained ditch-lights and gps/new radio's etc. on top of the late 80s early 90s mods (aircon). All have very faded and decrepit paintwork (and are all stored now of course I believe). 3118 did gain an 'ARG - A QR Company' patch logo on top of the faded orange, but the others did not.
Re the above question on L271, I have not yet seen the sample of that, but my understanding is that it will have the John Douglas Kerr lettering.
Indeed after much checking of old photographs I have found a few locomotives from 1975 and later that have silver painted fans, but by no means all locomotives had them.
While L255 in International Orange and yellow does appear to have silver fans, D1561 which was painted in the same scheme in the same workshop at the same time (with one yellow stripe instead of two to show the narrow gauge) definitely has orange fans. For thos who don't realise, these fans are identical and interchangeable with those on the L class.
I've never met Joe Moir but I can't support his claim that fans were ever silver prior to the 1975 colour scheme, and he could only have made that claim in retrospect looking at photographs.
I do recall talking to Bob Gallagher about the AMRM article before it appeared and lobbying (successfully) for the Comalco Weipa locomotives to be included. Apparently one of the photos in the article shows Bob Gallagher driving an L class....
Checking my photos of locos in the Two Tone blue scheme introduced with L274 and L275, neither of those locomotives as painted when new had silver fans, the fans being clearly light blue to match the body. L254 and L258 repainted in that scheme had light blue fans. I can't recall how many units carried that scheme but that must be most of them...
I have yet to check photos in the original blue and light grey.
L254 in orange and blue Westrail with white lining definitely had orange fans matching the body
L256 in the orange and blue Westrail scheme without white edging did have silver fans.
L263 in orange and blue Westrail with white lining definitely had orange fans matching the body.
L265 in orange and blue Westrail with white lining did have silver fans
L269 in orange and blue Westrail with white lining had orange fans with silver top covers
L272 in orange and blue Westrail with white lining had orange fans matching the body.
Now for the orange body with two sizes of Westrail Lettering...
L260 with large Westrail lettering definitely had orange fans
L262 with small Westrail lettering had orange fans with silver top covers
L268 with large Westrail lettering had orange fans with silver top covers
(which for HO counts as silver) Most locomotives with silver fans had orange dynamic brake fans with silver covers, while the radiator fans could be either silver or orange on the sides with a silver top.
It seems possible that some older locomotives may have been fitted with silver fans or silver fan covers after 1975 when the original fans were exchanged for maintenance, but I don't believe any blue L class received silver fans at an overhaul and repaint. It is quite likely that NO L class were ever repainted in blue and light grey anyway.
I'll check for the blue and grey locomotives as time becomes available
But clearly there were prototypes for both silver and orange fans in the Westrail blue stripe scheme so both Haskell and Southern are correct depending upon the road number in question.