The Fearsome 46's - all things 46 class electric loco

  GrahamH Chief Commissioner

Location: At a terminal on the www.
A short regular afternoon working from Lithgow to Mt Victoria hauled by 4634 in July 1972.

A Down goods train hauled by 4613 departing Hornsby in 1966. Both pans raised, apparently.

The inaugural Indian Pacific train with two 46s waiting to depart from Sydney Terminal on the evening of 23/02/1970.

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  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller


- I have also added 4620 to the main locomotive detailed listing on pg 1.

August 1962. 4620 at Gosford

13 May 1975. 4620 waiting to depart Clyde Yards with Lachlan Valley Railway empty car working with steam loco 5917

18 January 1977. Granville disaster. Photo of 4620 on it's side

20 January 1977 Daily Telegraph "Second Crash by Jinx Loco"
- Mentions of involvement in Wentworth Falls derailment when 4620 left the rails at 160kmh on July 16, 1965 while hauling wagons loaded with cement
- Mentions every truck on 44-unit goods train was wrecked but driver and 2 crewmen escaped injury
- The train ended up a pile of twisted and torn steel alongside the railway line only a few yards from Wentworth Falls railway station
- Claims that on that occasion air brakes on train failed just out of Katoomba and train built up to 160kmh down the 7km decline to Wentworth Falls

20 January 1977. Daily Mirror "Death Train to Return"
- Shows photo of 4620 after damage sustained in 1965 wentworth falls derailment
- Mentions that 4620 will probably be repaired and resume the Sydney-blue mountains run but also notes that the move would probably be strongly opposed by relatives of those injured or killed
- Spokesman to PTC didn't believe there was anything "supernatural" about the loco because of 1965 and 1977 accidents and shouldn't be automatically written off just because it has derailed. Mentions that no-one died in the 1965 derailment.
- Minister for Transport Mr Cox said that 4620 had been repaired and thoroughly examined before return to service after 1965 derailment.
- All 46 class locos in fleet were checked following Granville accident to ensure they were safe. All were found safe and later returned to service
- NSW secretary of Australian Union of Locomotive Enginement Bernie Willingale said that 4620 could be back in service in 3 months

21 January 1977 Daily Telegraph "Union Ready to have Crash Loco Back"
- NSW President of Australian federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen Mr. E R Booth denied that 4620 was jinxed and was prepared to drive it if it went back into service. He also expected it to be back in service in 3 or 4 months
- Union officials said there was no talk of banning 4620
- Mentions that 4620 was also involved in 160kmh derailment at Wentworth Falls in July 1965

More on Flickr:

9 November 1979. 4620 stripped and body pushed onto side at Chullora, probably just before scrapping. (Photo courtesy of Rob O'Regan at

Granville accident as covered by Channel 7 News 18 Jan 1977

Videos (pre-entered search for "granville 1977" in youtube will show good list as below)
  NSWRcars Assistant Commissioner


20 January 1977 Daily Telegraph "Second Crash by Jinx Loco"
- Mentions of involvement in Wentworth Falls derailment when 4620 left the rails at 160kmh on July 16, 1965 while hauling wagons loaded with cement
- Mentions every truck on 44-unit goods train was wrecked but driver and 2 crewmen escaped injury
- The train ended up a pile of twisted and torn steel alongside the railway line only a few yards from Wentworth Falls railway station
- Claims that on that occasion air brakes on train failed just out of Katoomba and train built up to 160kmh down the 7km decline to Wentworth Falls

Photos of the 1965 Wentworth Falls derailment can be found here:

Note 4620’s spoked driving wheels.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

GrahamH and NSWRcars thanks for contributing those interesting photos. Looking at the damage sustained to 4620 in 1965 I wonder why they didn't choose to re-build 4620 again in 1977 based on the initial comments in the papers that there was no immediate/automatic decision to write the loco off? I wonder if the final report into the inquiry made any recommendations that the loco not be retained? or perhaps it was a case of 2 strikes and you are out or the fact that there would perhaps be numerous people who would not be happy to see it in service again after the disaster?
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

In this post I will summarise some of the details from my copy of the May 1993 Railway Digest which i dusted off this weekend which gave a short, yet very information rich report on the status of the 46 class and the early withdrawals at that time.

May 1993 Railway Digest page 191

46 class report
- mentions that long term future of this class is at best described as uncertain.
- mentions short term plan is to have 31 of 39 locos retained for service. (4620 since long gone)
- the remaining 8 locos  were to have had their bogies removed and were at the time sitting on ground at various sites waiting to provide spare parts to other members of the class
- mentions that at present there is one set of bogies at Clyde, Kelso, off 4633, one set at Goninans, Newcastle off 4637 and one set at GEC, Rocklea, QLD off 4635. Mentions body of 4635 is also at Rocklea.
- mentions 4637 was brought to Lithgow by road on Nov 13 1992 and placed on 4634's bogies
- mentions the withdrawn 46's are those that were not rebuilt or rewired and have unmodified cabs. Such units having been banned from leading unit status by the AFULE.

Gives list of withdrawn units as follows:-
- 4619 was removed from service April 15, 1992 and stored at Chullora. It was moved to Lithgow during Feb 1993. Unit is to be stripped, bogies removed and placed in 'Lawn Cemetery' at Lithgow Loco.
- 4631, 4632, 4633 and 4634 are at Lithgow and have had their bogies removed, stripped and have been put out to grass.
- 4635 was towed to GEC, Rocklea, QLD on September 11, 1991 for bogie overhaul. The body will eventually make trip to Lithgow for stripping.
- 4636 is currently in traffic but will shortly be stripped and put out to grass at Lithgow. (NOTE: 4636 was last of these 46's that were not re-built/re-wired to be withdrawn. It was pulled from service in February 1994)
- 4640 is currently stored at DELEC having been stripped and will shortly be transferred to Lithgow.
- 4618 was in storage at Chullora and on January 11, 1993 was transferred to Lithgow and on March 20, 1993 it's bogies were removed and placed under 4638.
- The body of 4618 was placed on one of the turntable roads at Lithgow where it will be kept until some replacement bogies arrive. It will then undergo an overhaul and be returned to service. (NOTE: This didn't end up happening and the loco was subsequently put out to grass)

It's worth noting that it seems overwhelmingly most of these earlier (1989 - 1992) withdrawn units  that hadn't been re-built/re-wired still featured all 3 of the round portal windows on the side of the loco and single head lamps. 4636 was one of these but lasted a bit longer (withdrawn 08 Feb 1994). All of these locos, including 4636 were mass scrapped on December 6, 1994 after they were stripped for spares and bogies retained for the rest of the fleet which remained operational for about another 1-2 years. The ones that were then slowly withdrawn in 1994 - 1996 and mass scrapped in mid to late 1998 had 2 of the windows on the side (the middle window panel was replaced with an additional vent panel and probably had something to do with having been re-wired or had a big overhaul that these others never got). Most of these also had the double head lamps. It's interesting that most of these earlier withdrawn units were all in the 463x range, probably because they were due for a big overhaul later after most of the older 46's were done, however when the time came around in the early 1990's it was decided to wind down the 46 class and as such it never happened. Below is a list of those scrapped on December 6, 1994 as per above.

4618 withdrawn 28 Dec 1989
4619 withdrawn 27 May 1992
4631 withdrawn 10 Jan 1991
4632 withdrawn 30 July 1991
4633 withdrawn 30 July 1991
4634 withdrawn 30 July 1991
4635 withdrawn 12 Feb 1991
4636 withdrawn 08 Feb 1994
4637 withdrawn 12 Feb 1991
4640 withdrawn 18 Oct 1990

Photos of some of these early withdrawn units to be scrapped

25 September 1991. 4640 with 48114 at DELEC

c. 1990s. 4640 and 7341 at DELEC. Shows 4640 stripped including its resistor bank, which is open

c. 1991. 4640 at DELEC jacked up waiting for exchange bogies

c. 1992. 4637 withdrawn and set aside for scrapping with 3 others on "rotten row" at Lithgow loco depot c. 1992

c. 1992. 4637 sitting on "rotten row" with bunch of other 46's that had already been withdrawn from service.  Lithgow loco depot

c. 1992 4632, 4629 and others. 4632 is body only lithgow loco

c. 1992 4632 4631 at Lithgow Loco depot bodies only

06 March 1993. Lithgow loco depot Stored, 4637, 4618, 4628 and 4635 at Lithgow Loco Depot

06 March 1993. Bodies only of 4619 and 4632 Lithgow Loco depot

06 March 1993. Bodies only of 4633 and 4634 at Lithgow loco

24 July 1993. 4631 and 4632 at Lithgow loco depot body only

04 Oct 1993 Lithgow Loco Depot. 4619 body only with in background 4612 and other diesels

18 Jan 1994. 4618 and 4619.

c. 1994. 4640 and long string goodwin alco 48 class at DELEC

c. 1994 4631, 4632, 4633 Lithgow Loco depot body only

18 Jan 1994 4633, 4632, 4631, 4634 at Lithgow Loco

c. 1994 4631, 4632, 4633 bodies only at Lithgow Loco

18 Jan 1994 4635 at Lithgow Loco

October 1994. 4634 and other 46's
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

In this post I will list videos showing any of the scrapped 46's in action. (will be updated over time if any further videos are found)

Update: 5 May 2017

4501/7100 prototype and a 46 class at Parramatta in late 1950's / early 1960's 4:40

46's to scrap Thu July 9 1998. Movement of 46 class locos stored at Redfern to Sims Metal at Mascot to be cut up for scrap

46xx/46xx in 1987 with coal train Tickhole Tunnel Newcastle 1987 at 3:00

46xx/46xx/46xx freight 1987 tickhole tunnel newcastle (4:42)

Electric locos sydney underground Aug 1993 because of diversions shows 4622/4606/4639

4604 Oct 22 1994 hauling NSW RTM Farewell to 46 class tour around sydney

4625/46x6 in 1987 going through Wondabyne with north bound freight

4636/46xx hauling Indian Pacific through Lidcombe to Sydney at 4:50 (12 Oct 1984 at 3:35pm)

4639/4625 Up goods Fassifern. 2 locos proceed down Fassifern bank with up goods on 10 April 1986

4605/46xx at Enfield yard Delec at 8:13

4632/46xx/4629 passing through enfield north with freight train probably late 1980s or early 1990s
  MILW Junior Train Controller

Location: Earth
The 46s were always one of the best locomotives in NSW but got relatively little attention. It was a pity to see 4638 rotting away outside at Broadmeadow.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Yes, hopefully there will be a happy ending for 4638, it's amazing to see her in original livery on tours. From what I've seen of the photos the team at Valley Heights have done an amazing job with the restoration of 4601, although not sure if that loco can/will run again. It would be amazing to have the class leader and first of it's type in service which also had honours as the leading unit to haul the first ever Indian Pacific in operating condition, but that is all much easier said than done. From the videos I have seen and judging by the posts on this forum, it seems the 46's have plenty of fans and the videos show the tours being popular. The tours that these could take part in are also of interesting nature because of the locations they typically ran on for commuter traffic, ie, through the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury River, etc and it would be interesting to see them being attached for banking duties/assists for steam services - as they were used back in the day, adding an extra, interesting dimension to steam tours through these locations.

Pics for this post!  

1960's 4632 passing on the main down through Burwood near the overpass bridge adjacent to Burwood Public school

1960's 46 class with commuter train at Sydney Terminal in distance one can see a U-set

1960's 4611 at Enfield South

c. 1974 4603/46xx at Lithgow waiting on Indian Pacific

c. 1975 4636 returning after banking duties

Dec 1977 4608/46xx at Gosford

Dec 1977 4606/46xx at Mt. Victoria

14 June 1980 5917 arrives at Katoomba, assisted up the steep gradients by 4629 from Penrith

1981 4628/4615 on main west

April 6, 1982 4629 Gosford commuter service

1982 4634 approaches Strathfield with short commuter

late 1983 4630, 4609 and another 46 at Enfield

1986 4636 with 4442 on duty

30 Dec 1988 4606/4618 at Cowan with Brisbane bound freight

5 Nov 1989 Candy 4640 at Broadmeadow

9 Sep 1992 Red Terror 4639 at Broadmeadow

3 July 1993 4607/4621/4605 Broadmeadow

29 May 1995 4639/4626/4630/4614 Cockle Creek
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Haven't updated this thread for a while but will post updates when time permits. This particular post is to do with 4601.

The Valley Heights Loco Depot Museum posts regular Depot Diaries every few months giving an update as to what has been happening at the museum. The diaries are in depth and cover a lot of interesting events and work carried out at the museum. It seems that from 2011 onwards, a number of interesting and significant things have happened with 4601. Below I'll list the Depot Diary editions that cover anything related to work done on 4601. This will be particularly interesting to anyone who is a 46 fan or knows a thing or two about the technical aspects of the 46 class and will understand what they referring to in terms of some the technical work done to the loco. By the looks of things the people there have been doing an amazing job and sounds very much like it is a case to try and put pieces of the puzzle back together again and then I guess see what pieces of the puzzle are missing.

Depot Diary No 107 July 2011 - Dec 2011 -

- This diary notes that with 4601 having been withdrawn earlier than some of the other 46's, it had been stripped of some of its parts, including it's main bank of resistors. It notes that the team has a complete set of resistors and installed them into 4601's resistor bank and carried out other restoration work (also contains photos)

Depot Diary No 109 Oct 2012 - Oct 2013 -

- Notes of further restoration work carried out and sorting of spare parts

Depot Diary No 110 January 2015 -

- Notes nearing completion of the static restoration of this loco. (In March 2015, they posted a facebook photo of a completely statically restored 4601 to much positive/excitement by the viewers/followers)

- notes that resistors have been fitted to 4601, apart from the side bays (holding brackets missing)
- a trip was made to Broadmeadow to photograph 4638 in order to help identify and fit missing components from stock

Depot Diary No 113 April 2016 -

- talks of restoration of some of wiring to No 1 End HT and attempt to recover missing "interlock" units
- also talks of plans to create a Train Simulator, ie, a train simulator program running on a pc with screen in front of the driver's seat. Plan to use modified USB keyboard to connect it to computer and to an interface board which is in turn connected to the 46 class controls allowing them to be used to simulate driving the loco

Depot Diary No 114 July 2016

- Talks of wiring work to No 1 end HT and several interlock units having been recovered and installed with several more required
- further work on "Train Simulator"

- talks of work to No 2 end drivers controls, installing a commercial available "sonar alert" to replace missing alarm and repairs to weak field mechanism to working condition
- Talks of No 1 end HT work, noting very poor condition and considerable equipment missing. Notes of installation of 6 interlock units
- Talks of No 2 end HT work, connecting field shunt resistors
- installation of resistors that were missing to detect wheel slips
- Notes of missing Compressed Air Reticulation lines/pipes. Notes that unlike 4638, these are all missing from 4601 and work has commenced on manufacturing replacements.
- Notes of installation (No 1 and 2 ends) of resistor banks into fan compartments that control air compressors and auxillary generator.
- Further work on Train Simulator.
- Notes of restoration to lighting system of loco. Notes that system supplied by 12 volt battery and low energy bulbs used to reduce power consumption. Notes that given condition of the wiring of loco decision made not to energise system at original 120volts and use 12 volt battery.
- Other electrical work

Depot Diary No 115 Jan 2017 -

- Talks about installation of "Arc Chutes" in No 2 end HT
- further work on Train Simulator

The Depot Diary No 116 April 2017  -

- Talks of great progress made with train simulator.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

c. 1958, just before introduction of the u-boats. 4628 hauling "The Chips" near Parramatta

46 class model (of 4601) on float for electrification celebration parade at Gosford January 23, 1960

c. 1960's 46 class electric locos at Gosford

c. 1960's. 4640 (it appears) passing through somewhere in Hawkesbury River area with a Sydney to Newcastle express passenger train. Having passed over the steep gradients, the 46 is then exchanged for a steam or diesel locomotive for rest of the journey to Newcastle.

Would be amazing (if possible) to see 4638 in her original livery make an appearance to mark 60 years of electrification to Gosford in January 2020!

August 27, 1970. 4612 enters sidings at Gosford with a down goods where it is exchanged for the Garratt Steam Locomotive No. 6002.

August 27, 1970. 4636 and 4614 detached from down steel train and running to Gosford station

December 1977. 4614 and 4425 at Gosford

April 6, 1982. 4629 hauling a Gosford commuter service on April 6, 1982 (no idea where)

As always, credit to all relevant parties and owners of these lovely photographs.
  4206 Chief Commissioner

Location: Dorrigo yard
Keep posting, these are great photos and memories
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Given the celebrations of the Blue Mountains railway line this weekend, may as well keep the theme with the images going that way with the 46's, given their importance to this particular line. These photos were all taken from 12 November 1979 - 15 November 1979 by Rob O'Regan, so all credit to him. They show various 46's at work hauling Blue Mountains interurban passenger trains to and from the city.

Photos courtesy of Rob O'Regan at

12 Nov 1979, 4628 with DOWN Passenger passing through Westmead

12 Nov 1979, 4629 with UP Passenger passing through Wentworthville

12 Nov 1979, 4629 with DOWN Passenger passing through Westmead

12 Nov 1979, 4634 with DOWN Passenger passing through Wentworthville

12 Nov 1979, 4640 with DOWN Passenger passing through Westmead

13 Nov 1979, 4611 with DOWN Passenger passing through Wentworthville

15 Nov 1979, 4615 with DOWN Passenger at Blacktown

15 Nov 1979, 4638 with UP Passenger passing the Clyde yards and former Clyburn platform

15 Nov 1979, 4605/4606 with DOWN Indian Pacific passing through Toongabbie

2 Others from flickr

December 1977, 4609 with Passenger train at Katoomba

1982. 4616/46xx glide down hill from Katoomba as seen from cab of Central West XPT
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Just a quick update for today. The following link is from the Valley Heights Depot facebook page showing photos from the early days of restoration work to 4601 and ties in with a previous post I made about 4601's restoration.

It shows some interesting shots including the missing resistors for 4601 and with a portion of a (complete) spare set being installed with the use of a forklift
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Indian Pacific Info and photos and videos

Photo showing 4601/4602 nearest with first portion of IP and 4603/4604 with second portion

Photo of 4601 with headboard leading the inaugural Indian Pacific on February 23, 1970 just before departure

Photo of carriages from Sydney Terminal platform

Souvenir photos of 4601 and cab crew. Not sure of source.

Video showing portions of inaugural ceremony and departure of Indian Pacific (source gettyimages)

Video BBC Great Railway Journeys of the World 1980 The Long Straight Part 1. From 3:50 you can see some IP footage hauled by 4607/46xx

Part 2 of above (official website for the Indian Pacific)

Photo on ebay, taken 17 October 1970 near Kingswood of 4640/46xx hauling Indian Pacific

Comeng 3: Comeng a history of commonwealth engineering vol 3 - Info on Indian Pacific starts pages 27/28

To summarise above in case link doesn't work:-

- On Monday, 23 February 1970, the Commonwealth NSW Government hosted a formal dinner of 500 VIP guests at the Wentworth Hotel in Sydney where the Governor-General Sir Paul Hasluck officially declared the Sydney-Perth standard gauge passenger service open
- That same evening the first of 2 divisions of the inaugural Indian Pacific train departed Sydney's Central Station (Sydney Terminal) at 10:50pm. The first division was hauled by electric locomotives 4601 and 4602 with senior NSW driver from Eveleigh, R. Walkington in charge. 4601, given leading honours was decorated for the occasion with the inaugural headboards.
- The first division, which was primarily comprised of the first-class cars, carried VIP guests - including the Governor-General who travelled in the SSA-class Special Service Car.
- The second division hauled by 4603 and 4604 left shortly after at 11:00pm. This second consist was comprised of a combination of first-class and economy-class cars and carried railway executives and press representatives.
- At Lithgow the 46 class electrics were detached and 2 NSWGR 421 class diesel-electric locomotives (not sure which particular locos) were put in charge of each division through to Broken Hill, beyond the electrified network.
- From Broken Hill to Port Pirie the first division was hauled by 2 SAR 600-class locos and second division by 1 600-class and 1 830-class. At Port Pirie the 2 trains were amalgamated into one huge train of 27 cars that was over 700m in length and weighed around 1320 tonnes. It was the largest and heaviest passenger train ever to operate in Australia at that time.
- The Indian Pacific was hauled as far as Kalgoorlie by 3 Comrails locos - 1 CL-class, 2 GM-class. On the final leg from Kalgoorlie to Perth it was headed by 2 WAGR L-class locos - completing the train's 3962km journey across Australia.
- According to a reporter who was there for the trip large crowds of interested onlookers filled track-side vantage positions to cheer the inaugural journey of the Indian Pacific at almost every town and settlement along the 2461 mile Sydney-Perth standard gauge line. This was particularly noticeable at Sydney Terminal where despite the late hour, thousands of people were waiting to see the train leave from the decorated No 1 Platform.
- Large crowds were also present at Port Pirie to witness the unveiling of a commemorative plaque by Governor-General Sir Paul Hasluck with the ceremony taking place at 12:30am.
- Brief welcoming ceremonies were arranged by local government authorities at Broken Hill, Peterborough and Port Pirie. The Governor-General also met with local residents at some of the isolated settlements that were passed along the way includingTarcoola, Cook and Rawlinna.
- A comprehensive publicity campaign was arranged by the WAGR with 12,000 people joining in festivities at the arrival ceremony at Perth Terminal station which included the invited guests and VIP passengers.
- There is also a photo of Commissioner of Commonwealth Railways Keith Smith in the dining room of the Special Service Car. Interestingly it states that it was forbidden to take photographs inside this car for many years and as such there are no official interior photos available of the car in it's "as built" condition.
- Normal revenue services of the Indian Pacific commenced on 1 March 1970 (Perth to Sydney) and on 2 March 1970 (Sydney to Perth)

The following is some info from the book "Along Parallel Lines: A History of the Railways of New South Wales" by John Gunn (page 467 has some info, below is a summation of points in case the link disappears)

- Mentions that on 23 February 1970 at 10:50pm the Govenor-General Sir Paul Hasluck, the Federal Minister for Shipping and Transport Ian Sinclair and the 6 State Ministers responsible for railways headed the list of dignitaries in evening dress who boarded the inaugural service.
- Neal McCusker, Commissioner for Railways states there been no other event as historic as this in the history of Central Station
- At the controls of 4601 was 63 y.o Bob Walkington who stated that "It'll be a good story for my 7 grandchildren".
- A second train left 10 mins later.
- The first regular passenger services by the Indian-Pacific left Sydney for Perth on 2 March 1970.

For the sake of completeness here is the post by Electra for the composition of the inaugural Indian Pacific, this is a copy paste of his post so as to keep everything here in one thread, so credit to him for the share (original thread here:-

"Fortunately, we have that initial consist recorded by the authors of "Coaching Stock of the NSW Railways - Vol.2" (Eveleigh Press, Sydney, 2002); on page 243:

1st train - Locos 4601 & 4602.
HGM.204  power/brake van.
ER.210     dormitory (crew) car.
ARL.249   first class twinette sleeping car.
ARL.247   first class twinette sleeping car.
ARJ.241   first class roomette sleeping car.
CDF.266  cafeteria-club car.
DF.264    dining car.
AFC.239  first class lounge car.
ARJ.240   first class roomette sleeping car.
ARL.261   first class twinette sleeping car.
ARM.253  first class twinette sleeping car with deluxe compartment.
ARM.252  first class twinette sleeping car with deluxe compartment.
SSA.260  special service car.
HM.259    brake van.

2nd Train - Locos 4603 & 4604
HM.257    brake van.
ER.2O4    dormitory (crew) car.
BRJ.214   economy-class twin-berth sleeping car.
BRJ.218   economy-class twin-berth sleeping car.
BRJ.215   economy-class twin-berth sleeping car.
CDF.229  cafeteria-club car.
DF.235    dining car.
AFC.236  first-class lounge car.
ARJ.242   first-class roomette sleeping car
ARL.262   first-class twinette sleeping car.
ARM.251  first-class twinette with deluxe compartment.
HGM.202  power/brake van.

Obviously, these trains were carrying some carriages which would become spares held at Perth when the first run arrived there.

The normal "I-P" consist at the start was HGM. ER. BRJ. BRJ. BRJ. CDF. DF. AFC. ARM. ARJ. ARL. HM."

Further info on the consist of the Indian Pacific and how it changed over the years can be seen here:-

The following is the February 24, 1970 issue of the Daily Telegraph with a write up on the inaugural run of the Indian Pacific via Fab Sydney Flashbacks

Railway Digest June 1992 issue

It's it's section "20 YEARS AGO" it mentions that the Indian Pacific on 15 June 1972 was worked from Sydney by 4602 and 4601. Both these locos had their buffers removed at the outer ends respectively for Indian Pacific working. Upon reaching St. Marys the trailing locomotive 4601 was failed and detached. As 4602 was fitted with buffers at the Sydney end a 4 wheel S truck was used as a match truck. On arrival at Penrith the S truck was detached and the yard shunter a 48 class diesel locomotive was utilised. At Valley Heights, 4604 was added to the front of the train to assist as far as Katoomba.

Some bonus information - the locos which hauled the Inaugural Indian Pacific

1. Sydney to Lithgow portion
- NSW electric 4601/4602 (1st portion) and NSW electric 4603/4604 (2nd portion)

2. Lithgow to Broken Hill
- 2 x NSW 421 class diesel-electric (1st portion) and 2 x 421 class diesel-electric (2nd portion)

3. Broken Hill to Port Pirie
- 2 x South Australian Railways 600 class diesel-electric (1st portion) and 1 x South Australian Railways 600 class-diesel-electric + 1 x South Australian Railways 830 class diesel-electric (2nd portion)
- According to one source the 2 locos for 1st portion were 604 and 603 and the 2nd portion was 601 and 864

4. The 2 divisions were combined at Port Pirie and then hauled to Kalgoorlie by Commonwealth Railways diesel-electric loco CL1 + 2 Commonwealth Railways GM class diesel-electrics

5. Kalgoorlie to Perth
- This was hauled by 2 West Australian Railways L class diesel-electric locomotives L260 and L261.
- photo here on National Library of Australia Archives:-

There is a photo of the first east bound (Perth to Sydney) Indian Pacific passing through Hillgrange on 28 February 1970 hauled by South Australian Railways locos 604 and 603.

Info if required to the different types of locos above.

Lithgow to Broken Hill NSW 421 class locos

Broken Hill to Port Pirie South Australian 600 and 830 class locos

Port Pirie to Kalgoorlie Commonwealth Railways CL and GM class Locos

Kalgoorlie to Perth L class locos
  4206 Chief Commissioner

Location: Dorrigo yard
More 46 Class photos from Valley Heights Rail Museum
  Shed_Rat Train Controller

Location: 'A' Shop - Swindon Works
4638 has actually been undercover at Broadmeadow since December 2014.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

The following are links to the Weston Langford Railway Photography collection, a site featuring a collection of his photos "Documenting railways and related infrastructure since 1960". There are some truly amazing photographs on this site taken over several decades which are of high quality. (Click on the photo for the HQ version).

I was tempted to put links to the photos sorted by each particular loco Number, but decided to list them in order of the date because I think it is more interesting to see the 46 class in action over the years.

Taken 18 February 1961. 4623 at Lithgow cut off from the DOWN Central West Express

Taken 18 February 1961. This photo now shows steam loco 3827 backing onto the DOWN Central West Express to take it beyond the wires

Taken 27 February 1961. 4620 with the DOWN Newcastle Express through Cowan Bank

Taken 26 December 1961. Preserved 4627 at Sydney Terminal with the DOWN midday Newcastle Express

Taken 8 January 1962. Shows Steam Loco 3830 with the Sydney Central UP am Passenger from Mossvale with a 46 class in the background

Taken 24 April 1962. 4630 at lithgow Locomotive Depot all lit up at night

Taken 27 June 1964. 4606 with a mix of steam and idesel locos (3141, 3830, 3141 and 4448 and 4402)

Taken 27 June 1964. 4606 with steam 3283 at Sydney Central

Taken 28 June 1964. 4620 at Sydney Terminal with an UP SPER Special with steam Loco 3801

Taken 22 March 1965. Preserved 4638 at Sydney Terminal at 12:50pm with the Newcastle Express. A u-set can be seen on the adjoining platform.

Taken 25 March 1965. 4606 at Gosford for the UP Express

Taken 25 March 1965. 4606 with Gosford UP Express and light engine from Express 3803

Taken 4 April 1965. A 46 class at Sydney Terminal with UP North Coast mail hauled by 4443

Taken 28 November 1967. 4617 with UP Newcastle Express at Gosford with steam 3820 adjoining

Taken 11 March 1969. 4610 passes through Ashfield with the DOWN Newcastle Express

Taken 26 December 1974. 4637 stands at Sydney Terminal while diesel 4439 with the DOWN North Mail can also been scene in frame

Taken 4 January 1977. 4640 passing through Macdonaldtown on the suburban UP with an interurban service for Sydney Terminal

Taken 8 January 1977. 4604 passing through Macdonaldtown with the DOWN Central West Express

Taken 8 January 1977. 4633 passing through Macdonaldtown at 6am with the UP passenger from Mount Victoria on the main up

Taken 8 January 1977. 4633 passing through Macdonaldtown with the DOWN Passenger on the main down

Taken 1 December 1991. 4614 at Enfield Yard

Taken 15 July 1995. Preserved class leader 4601 on display at DELEC Open Day. 4601 was withdrawn in May 1994 and was acquired by and now in the care of the Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Museum

Hope this may be of interest Smile
  4206 Chief Commissioner

Location: Dorrigo yard
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  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Some interesting info on the 46 class from the STM's issues of Trolley Wire. (April 1968 issue - Page 7/8)
CAMPBELLTOWN ELECTRIFICATION. (May 4, 2018 will be exactly 50 years to the day)
- Notes that Saturday May 4, 1968 will see extension of electrification to Campbelltown on the main southern railway.
- Event will coincide with the declaration of Campbelltown as a city which itself coincides with the centenary of the municipality.
- Wide suburban stock will operate to Campbelltown
- Power was switched on at Macquarie Fields substation and overhead made live as far as the Leumeah section hut on March 6, 1968
- First trials were held on Monday 11 March 1968 when 2 46-class electric locomotives hauling the overhead inspection car made runs over the line.
- The first suburban train ventured out on Wednesday, 13 March 1968.
- On 18 March 1968 the 2 46 class locos going out for trial runs were requisitioned to haul the "Spirit of Progress" to Sydney from Cabramatta following a series of breakdowns on the way from Albury.

Below is the photograph from the NSW SRA archives of the inaugural train celebrating the extension of electrification to Campbelltown in 1968. The actual official opening day of electric trains to Campbelltown was May 4, 1968. The inaugural train was set S9A (later known as the W sets/Sputniks). No idea of the train carriage composition, but it was comprised of the 1955 type Comeng single-deck suburban motor cars and Tulloch Double Deck trailers.

Photo of inaugural train:-

State Archives NSW on Flickr:- (same photo as above link) (Oct 1969 issue - Page 9)
- Talks of a tour to Oberon with photos from 31 August 1969 with the well-known preserved steam locomotive 3642, noted as being one of the last 2 members of the 36 class in service at the time.
- 3642 was in charge of the train from Sydney to Tarana with assistance from Penrith to Katoomba given by electric locomotive 4639.
- On the branch line with its 1 in 25 grades and 5 chain curves, diesel locomotive 4505 provided the motive power.
- On the return journey 3642 took the train again from Tarana to Sydney with assistance given over the Lithgow to Newnes section of the line by electric locomotive 4613. (Oct 1977 issue - Page 17)
- Mentions that electric loco 4620 had been written off after the January 1977 Granville disaster, the first of it's class to go.
- Notes that damage did not appear to be major and others of the class, notably 4622 which had just emerged from Valley Heights depot received extensive repairs after accident damage.
- Also notes that it was unusual that a public announcement was made concerning 4620 and it was indicated that the opportunity to write it off allowed for much needed spare parts to be obtained.
- Trolley Wire notes that it was likely that the SRA felt it desirable to remove 4620 from public view as the sensationalist seeking press would follow it's future very closely. (April 1980 issue - Page 15/16)
- Notes that electric locos 4603 and 4604 have returned to traffic after major overhaul
- 4603 was overhauled at Chullora and painted at Eveleigh Carriage Works while work to 4604 was carried out at ELCAR.
- Both lost the brass numbers on the sides and the 3 circular port windows on each side were reduced to 2 (middle one removed). (June 1981 issue - Page 14)
- Notes that 4602 was taken to Cardiff workshops in January 1981 for a minor overhaul which created controversey in Sydney workshops as this was only the second occasion that a 46 class had been outside the electrified area. 4610 went to Broadmeadow for crew training prior to opening of the Gosford electrification in January 1960. (Apr 1984 issue - Page 32)
- Photograph of overhead testing carried out on newly wired line for extension of electrification to Wollongong and Port Kembla. Photo shows preserved diesel locomotive 4403 towing electric locos 4608 and 4631 as well as overhead inspection car AL21 for unpowered testing of overhead wiring between Waterfall and Helensburgh on 15 March 1984.
- Notes that electric service to Helensburgh was expected to open in early May 1984 as the first stage of the Illawarra electrification project
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Some interesting articles in the papers from trove which talk of the order of the 46 class locos and electrification scheme, always interesting to look back on such things and how things actually worked out as compared to initial plans and timelines. For those into the finer details of things, this may be of interest as well.

Wednesday, 6 December 1950. Lithgow Mercury
"Forty Electric Locos Ordered for Sydney-Lithgow Line" l-state=New+South+Wales

- Talks of preliminary work on electrification proceeding of the western line to Lithgow, orders have been placed in England for 40 electric locomotives to be used for both passenger and goods traffic.
- Notes that the Australian General Electric Pty. Ltd. obtained an order on behalf of Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Co. Ltd. for 40 electric locos from the NSW Government Railways to be used on Sydney-Lithgow line.
- Mentions that electrification over the mountains is being carried out to facilitate handling of coal traffic into Sydney.
- Also notes that (at the time) Metrovick had been manufacturing traction equipment for NSW Government Railways for last 25 years and had supplied them with more than 500 motor-coach equipment.

Wednesday, 2 May 1951 issue of Construction
"Sydney-Lithgow Electrification" l-state=New+South+Wales

- Notes that 3,000,000 pounds sterling contract for Sydney-Lithgow electrificaton had been let.
- Mentions that the firm of British Insulated Callenders Construction Company had undertaken to electrify the railway between Parramatta and Lithgow at cost of 3 million pounds.
- Notes that electrification will cut journey time by 30 minutes.
- Railways Commissioner Garside noted that the Sydney-Lithgow scheme will cost 7 million pounds, including new rolling stock.
- He also proposed the electrification of Sydney-Newcastle (approx 3.5 million), Sydney-Port Kembla (approx 2.75 million) and Sydney-Goulburn (approx 4.5 million).

Wednesday, 3 October 1951 issue of Construction

- Talks of further details known about the 46 class electric locos at the time including power rating, regen braking features, etc.

Monday, 20 September 1954. Lithgow Mercury
"Progress and Problems of Rail Electrification" l-year=1954 l-state=New+South+Wales

- Notes of temporary setback in 1952-53 electrification of western line was being pushed ahead and that final section proposed between Lithgow and Wallerawang would be the subject of a report from a panel of experts who had studied a site for the location of the terminus.
- Notes that terminus for electrification would, at the very least, be located at Lithgow but that anything beyond that was the subject of study in the report
- Notes of projected target dates for progressive electrification to Blacktown (approx Feb 1955), Penrith (June 1955), Katoomba (April 1956), Mt Victoria (July 1956) and Lithgow (February 1957).
- The Commissioner for Railways also noted that at the time foundations, steelwork and overhead wiring was complete from the Parramatta to Blacktown area, while for the Parramatta to Penrith section foundations were practically complete and steelwork was at 70% complete and overhead wiring between Doonside and Penrith would commence in next month or so.
- Between Penrith and Bowenfels foundations were 30% complete and erection of steelwork beyond Emu Plains would commence at end of the month.

Thursday, 24 February 1955. Nepean Times
"Electric Train service to Blacktown" l-year=1955

- Notes that electric train service between Parramatta and Blacktown will be officially opened by Premier J J Cahill on Saturday February 26, 1955 at Blacktown railway station at 10:45am. The Shire Council planned great celebrations for the occasion.
- An official train would inaugurate the service and depart Sydney Terminal at 9:40am and return from Blacktown at 12:30pm.

Thursday, 28 June 1956. Nepean Times
"Faster Train Service. New Electric Loco." l-year=1956

- Notes that a new electric loco (4601) travelled the 36 miles from Sydney to Penrith on Monday, 25 June 1956 in 40 minutes, reaching a speed of 70 mph (113kmh).
- It is the first of 40 new engines ordered for use on the Mountains.
- It is anticipated that running costs will be reduced by at least 40% on the "old type engines" (steam).
- The Minister for Transport stated that the full benefit of the new engine would be seen when the line had been electrified as far as Lithgow next year.
- Notes that the new locomotives will pull goods trains as fast as passenger trains and will do away with a lot of the dirt, grit and dust which plague train crews.
- Notes that these engines will haul a load from Valley Heights to Katoomba in less than half the time it takes a 57 or 58 class steam locomotive.
- The Minister for Transport stated that the line would be electrified to Katoomba by August 1956 and to Mt. Victoria by the end of the year and to Lithgow by some time next year (first train, hauled by a 46, ended up running to Lithgow in June 1957).
- Notes that powered by one of these new engines, the "Fish" (Mt. Victoria service) would do the journey in 35 minutes less compared to what it takes now hauled by steam engines.
- Notes the new engines would also cut an hour off the ordinary train time from Sydney to Lithgow.
- They would also haul 750 tons of goods from Sydney to Lithgow in 3.5 hours as against a steam engine hauling 450 tons in 6.5 hours.
- Notes that in about 3 weeks time the new engine will be stationed at Penrith and will operate between there and Valley Heights on training runs with the new crew.

Thursday, 1 November 1956. Nepean Times
Lower Mountains Gets First Electric Train. "Chips" Electric Loco, next Monday l-year=1956

- Notes that the first passenger train to be hauled by an electric locomotive over the electrified sections of the Western Line will be the business train known as "The Chips" (Valley Heights service).
- The train will leave Valley Heights for Sydney at 7:21am next Monday, 5 November 1956.
- From Mondays to Fridays for time being the "Chips" will be powered by an electric locomotive between Sydney and Valley Heights, but on Fridays will have a steam engine hauling it, as it extends to Mt. Victoria.
- The 1:25pm train from Sydney to Mt. Victoria was at the time hauled by an electric locomotive from Mondays to Fridays, inclusive, between Sydney and Valley Heights.
- The 7:20pm from Valley Heights to Sydney which begins it's journey at Mt. Victoria will also be hauled by an electric locomotive from Valley Heights to Sydney from Mondays to Fridays.
- Coinciding with the introduction of the electric locomotives to the "Chips", the other business express the "Fish" now runs 4 minutes later from all mountains stations on the journey to Sydney but arrives at the scheduled time of 8:34am.
- The first electric locomotives began running on the Emu Plains-Springwood section of the electrified line on Thursday, 18 October 1956, but were used for railway testing purposes only.
- During the following week the electric locos, hauling empty cars, made 3 scheduled trips daily giving steam engine drivers tuition on the new locomotives.
- On Friday, 26 October 1956, special test runs were made with electric locos hauling trains of over 200 tons dead-weight and times of 18 and 20 minutes were recorded for non-stop trip between Penrith and Valley Heights.
- The "Chips" and the 1:25pm trains from Sydney and also the 5:58pm train from Mt. Victoria will on and after next Monday, 5 November 1956 be hauled between Sydney and Valley Heights and Valley Heights and Sydney (on Mondays to Fridays) by electric locomotives.
- Notes that time table running is being maintained until the introduction of the new time table concurrent with electrification of the line to Mt. Victoria.

Given some of this info, I guess it would be appropriate to post this shot I found of 4601 on a tour train. (Credit David Porter)

Photo taken Saturday, 26 March 1994 at Blacktown. It shows 4601 heading west on the main down with, more than likely, an RTM tour train coinciding with the commencement of final withdrawals of the class in February 1994. It features the same carriages pulled by 4604 on the October 22, 1994 "46 class farewell" tour by RTM (see page 1 for video of tour). 4601 lowered it's pans for the last time within 2 months after this tour and was withdrawn from service on May 17, 1994. The location of this photo was more than likely taken from the vicinity of the corner of Derby St and Railway Pde looking east towards Blacktown station as 4601 heads west towards Doonside.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Not too much to add, some photographs of 4602 taken at Dorrigo on August 3, 2017 - full credit to "Lox Pix" on flickr for these and many other shots in his collection there of other trains at Dorrigo

The following is Bevan Wall's "Diesel Diary" Volume 4, Part 2. Lots of interesting stuff here. On the whole there's not as much video footage out there on electric locos compared to diesel locos but from 19:04 onwards we see electric locos 4606/4604 in action in the Blue Mountains as well as a passing V-set and stationary U-set in the background. All 3 trains once highly common in these parts...well, the V-sets are still very common there and will remain so for a few more years.
  Colonel Leon Junior Train Controller

Here is a cab ride of a 46 in the Mountains. All credits to aussiealco on YouTube.

That traction controller looks very unique.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
I think one of the prime reasons for the eventual demise of the electric locomotives is the inadequacies the 1500 Volt Power system presently in use.
When on reasonable grades and going downhill, it seems to be able to handle that but not when it comes to climbing the Grades from Penrith to Katoomba,
This was forcefully brought home when the Standard Gauge was opened to Perth and 261 Goods from Sydney to Perth was introduced.
Because of the heavy Grade from Valley Heights to Katoomba, a system of Time and Distance was in place to keep each Goods trains apart to prevent overloading the power supply.
Rarely a week night passed without a call from Prince Alfred Sidings requesting the number of the Train that had 'Pulled the Power' numerous times before arriving in Lithgow.
The problem lie not with the Locomotives but the tonnage hauled and the timetable 261 ran to.
During my brief period as a Porter/Shunter at Katoomba I didnt like them as they were too fast on their own but you made allowances for that and enjoyed their other attributes like when they attached to a steam hauled passenger (pre 1958) at Valley Heights and seemingly without any effort hauled the Train over the Mountains.
  Spletsie Chief Commissioner

I think one of the prime reasons for the eventual demise of the electric locomotives is the inadequacies the 1500 Volt Power system presently in use.
It's interesting that New South Wales and Victoria, which use 1500 volts DC, no longer have electric locomotives in regular service.
Queensland, which uses 25,000 volts AC, still uses electric locomotives daily.
However, there may be other factors involved besides the systems used.

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