C class Diesel Locomotives
This class of only Three, diesel electric locomotives were introduced to the Western Australian Government Railways in September - October 1962
Classified "C" and numbered C 1701, C1702 and C1703
Built by the English Electric Company at Rocklea, Queensland, the three C's were a trial order to test their suitability for main line work and to compare them with the "A" diesel electric locomotives (A 1501 & A 1502) which had been supplied by Clydes in 1960. A further 3 "A" class (A 1503, A1504 & A1505) also entered service in 1962 with the three "C" class loco's.
The WAGR. decided to go with the "A" class and their subsequent derivates (AA's & AB's) and consequently there were no more "C's" ordered.
These attractive locomotives with a nicely curved hood unit design and smart green with red lining livery were delivered to Western Australia by sea in 1962.
Being mainline locomotives they were very soon put to work on the east west route to Kalgoorlie, hauling through freight trains as well as the WAGR's prestige passenger trains the "Westland" and the "Kalgoorlie".
During their working life, these general purpose locomotives ventured to most parts of the WAGR. - East to Kalgoorlie, South to Albany, Bridgetown, Busselton, North to Geraldton and eventually over most of the out lying branch lines of the wheat belt.
Eventually the "C" were mostly used on freight workings and occasional passenger workings such as the "Australind".
The "C's" were capable of being operated in multiple although it would seem that they were not very compatible and have mostly worked as single units. There are no recorded examples of these engines actually working in MU although in recent years HVTR have double headed ( a crew in each loco) some of their larger tour trains.
During their life span with the WAGR and Westrail the C class has performed effectively and mostly trouble free on the tasks for which they were designed.
The preference of the WAGR for the "A" class Clyde locomotives and the inability of the "C" class locos to be worked effectively in multiple unit, was basically the reason for the demise of the "C" class.
Their last years were spent working in the suburban areas on peak hour services and they were eventually written off with the introduction of the new "P" class diesels.
They were the last of the narrow gauge English Electrics to work for the WAGR.
A New Life for the "C" class
Information still to come
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