F Class Diesel

A little history

These diesel locomotive shunters were built by Dick Kerr Works for the Victorian Railways between 1951 and 1953. They are similar to the British Rail Class 11 and NS Class 600 shunting locomotives also built by English Electric during this period but modified for use on the VR’s 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) broad gauge (also known as Irish Gauge).

Ordered by the Victorian Railways as part of Operation Phoenix, an £80 million program to rebuild a network that had been badly run down by Depression-era underinvestment and wartime overutilisation.

As built the locomotives were originally numbered in the 300-series as F310-319, following on from the last of the S class diesel locomotives, S309, which entered service in February 1958, seven years after the arrival of the first F class locomotives. VR then placed a second order for another eight S class locomotives for use on the new North East standard gauge line which were delivered starting in November 1960. In order to vacate the 300-series numbers for the new mainline diesels, all F class locomotives were renumbered into the 200-series in late May 1958 as F201-211. Unlike their British and Dutch counterparts, the F class locomotives were also later fitted with sideplates covering the side rods and wheel cranks.


These images were taken at the Newport open day, March 13, 2022.



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