About the exhibit
CLASS 46 Electric
TYPE - Co+Co HEAVY GENERAL PURPOSE -- 40 IN CLASS
Transport Heritage NSW trading as Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum
Designed and built by Metropolitan Vickers Ltd., England, these locomotives were used for hauling passenger and goods trains over the severely-graded electrified sections between Sydney, Lithgow and Gosford. No. 4601 went into service in June, 1956, and the last one was ready by the end of 1958.
Buffing gear and couplers are attached to the bogie frames, which are linked by a specially-designed drawgear unit. Haulage stress is thereby confined to the bogies, the locomotive body being solely used to house the electrical control and braking equipment. This arrangement also facilitates the tracking of the bogies on curves.
The electrified lines beyond the Sydney suburban network operate at the same voltage as the suburban lines, viz., 1,500 volts D.C.
The specifications called for extremely powerful locomotives, for they were required to haul 400 tons (406 t) up a continuous grade of 1 in 33 (3.3 %) at 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h). Regenerative braking is provided to assist in holding trains on the steep and lengthy descents.
Text from Century Plus of Locomotives, © Australian Railway Historical Society, 1965. Used by permission