Australian Diesel Loco Builders

Who were the Australian diesel loco builders? That’s the question that this page sets out to answer and you may be surprised at what a varied bunch the Australian diesel loco builders were.

They ranged across the globe from England, Belgium and Sweden to China, Canada, the USA and, of course, Australia. Some were extremely well-known while others seemed to be unlikely candidates for inclusion in this list and you may not have even heard of some of the builders listed here.

This list is different to others that you may have seen online or in railway books because this list includes what could loosely be described as “industrial” locomotives.

Some books and lists include a few builders of industrial locomotives but avoid delving too deeply into the interesting depths of mill locos but that’s where this list will take you. And we’ll also go down the mines and into other dark recesses of diesel locos were employed.

I should also point out that the list of Australian diesel locomotive builders isn’t limited to just diesel locomotives. Petrol driven locomotives were also used in Australia in the early days of non-steam propulsion and you will find a few of them listed here.

A E Goodwin – Auburn, NSW
NSWGR – 44 and 48 Class

A Goninan and Company
had plants in NSW, QLD and WA and became UGL
AN, NSWR, PN, QR, QRN WAGR
Pr – BHP (Newcaslte) CFCLA, Lysaghts, Comsteel, Invicta Sugar Mill, Macknade Sugar Mill, Tully Sugar Mill

Alco – USA

Armstrong Holland – Melbourne Victoria
Pr

Aurizon – Redbank, Qld
Aurizon

Avteq – Victoria
PR – CFCLA

Baguley – Burton-on-Trent, UK
QR

Barclay – UK
PR (Silverton Tramway)

Bundaberg Foundry – Bundaberg Qld
PR – Cane railways and coal mines

Bundaberg Foundry and Engineering has rebuilt a number of former QR DH Class locos into extremely useful locos on several mill lines in Queensland. They have also built under licence, a number of locos for underground mines in Queensland.

Clayton – UK

Cleveland Tractor Company – USA
Pr

Clyde Engineering – Australia
This company had plants in NSW at Granville and Kelso, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia
AN, ANR, CR, NSWGR VR, Westrail, PR – Hammersley Iron, various sugarcane networks

Comeng
had plants in NSW & Qld and Western Australia
NSWGR Pr – BHP, various sugarcane networks including Millaquin Mill, Bingera Mill, Qunaba Mill, Gin Gin Mill, Inkerman Mill, Kalamia Sugar Mill, Invicta Sugar Mill,

Commonwealth Railways
CR

Davenport – USA
Pr,

Drewry Car Co – UK
WAGR (under contract from Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn)

EDI Rail – Australia
at plants in NSW, South Australia, Victoria and Queensland
Freightlink, PN, SCT, QN

Eimco

E M Baldwin – Castle Hill NSW
Pr – Cane locos for various sugar mills in Queensland

EMD – Canada
Pr – BHP Billiton, FMG

EMD – La Grange, USA
Pr – BHP Billiton

English Electric
at a plant in Rocklea, Brisbane
QR, SAR, TGR, WAGR PR – BHP, Mount Goldsworthy, Midland Railway

English Electric / Dick Kerr – UK
VR Pr

Freight Australia – Victoria
had workshops at Dynon
Freight Australia

GE Erie – USA
CR, NSWGR, QR Pr

GE PT Lokindo

GMDD – Canada
Freight Rail

Isis Central Sugar Mill – Cordalba Qld
PR – Isis Mill

The Isis Central Sugar Mill, near Childers, re-gauged and rebuilt two for QR DH class locos for use on their extensive cane network and rebuilt another ex QR DH that had already been re-gauged by Walkers

Malcolm Moore
Pr – Bingera Sugar Mill, Isis Mill, Mossman Central Sugar Mill

Metro-Cammell – UK

Metropolitan Vickers / Beyer Peacock – UK
WAGR

Morrison Knudsen – South Australia
AN Pr – ARG

Motive Power Industries – Boise Idaho
CBH, CFCLA

New South Wales Government Railways
had workshops in Newcastle and Sydney and in the days of steam built many different types of passenger and goods locos but when diesels came along construction was limited to just 3 classes – 72 Class (1), X100 Class (2) and X200 (10).

Both X classes were shunting tractors and were quite successful while the 72 Class was designed for heavier shunting but had some serious design flaws and saw little use.

Nohab – Sweden
Pr – LVRF

North British

NREC (National Railway Equipment Company)- USA
Qube

NREC/RTS
at a plant in South Australia
NREC/CFCLA

Pacific National – Victoria
has workshops at Dynon in Victoria
Pr – PN

Pleystowe Sugar Mill
Pr- Pleystowe Mill

in 1994 Pleystowe Mill re-built and re-gauged one former NSW SRA 73 Class standard gauge loco for use on their cane network

Progress Rail – USA
Tasrail

Queensland Railways
at their workshops at Ipswich
QR Pr – Northern Rivers Railroad

Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn – UK
WAGR

Ruston – UK
CR

SAR
at their Islington workshops

SSR – Bendigo
SSR

Tasmanian Government Railways
TGR

Tulloch
NSWR, PTC, Pr

Tully Sugar Mill – Tully Qld
Pr – Tully Sugar Mill

In 2010 Tully Sugar Mill rebuilt and re-gauged one ex-NSW SRA 73 Class locomotive

United Group Limited – Newcastle
ARG, PN, QRN / Aurizon, SSR, Xstrata, Whitehaven

Victorian Railways
had workshops at Newport
VR,

Vulcan Foundry – UK
QR, TGR Pr

WAGR
had workshops in Midland WA
WAGR

Walkers Limited
at their plant in Queensland
NSWGR, QR, WAGR, Pr – Emu Bay Railway

Whitcomb – USA
Pr

Yorkshire Engine Co – UK