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New Zealand DA class
DA1400.jpg
DA 1400 on static display at MOTAT
Specifications
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder General Motors Diesel (Canada)
Electro-Motive Division (USA)
Clyde Engineering (Australia)
Model EMD G12
Build date 1955 - 1967
UIC classification A1A-A1A
Gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm)
Length GMD/EMD 14.1 metres (46 ft 3 in)
Clyde 14.6 metres (47 ft 11 in)
Weight on drivers 59.0 tonnes (58.1 long tons; 65.0 short tons)
Locomotive weight GMD/EMD 81.0 tonnes (79.7 long tons; 89.3 short tons)
Clyde 79.0 tonnes (77.8 long tons)
Fuel type Diesel
Prime mover EMD 12-567C and EMD 12-567E
Engine RPM range 835 rpm
Aspiration Roots type supercharger
Displacement 111.49 L (6,804 cu in)
Traction motors Four EMD D19 or D29
Cylinders V12
Cylinder size 216 mm × 254 mm (8.5 in × 10.0 in)
Top speed 100 km/h (62 mph)
Power output 1,060 kW (1,420 hp)
Tractive effort 140 kN (31,000 lbf)
Career
Number in class 146
Number DA 1400–1545 (original)
DA 11–996 (TMS)
First run 1955 - 1967
Last run 1977 - 1989
Current owner Motat, Steam Incorporated, Dean McQuoid, Feilding and District Steam Rail Society
Disposition 85 rebuilt as DC Class
6 as DAA (defunct), 1 as DAR 517 (withdrawn); 0 in service

The New Zealand DA class diesel-electric mainline locomotives operated on the New Zealand railway system between 1955 and 1989. With 146 locomotives, it was the most numerous class to ever operate in New Zealand, with five more than the AB class steam locomotive.

The class were A1A-A1A versions of the Electro-Motive Diesel G12 model, with the design altered slightly to run on New Zealand's 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) rail system, and fit the small loading gauge. They were introduced between 1955 and 1967, and were the first class of diesel locomotives to seriously displace steam traction.

Between 1978 and 1983, 85 were rebuilt as the DC class, of which many are still in use. All but one of the remainder were withdrawn by 1989, with six preserved. The last locomotive was refitted for shunting duties, becoming DAR 517.

Introduction[edit]

The DA class have their origins in the post-World War II environment. Like most nations New Zealand’s dominant form of traction was steam, with electrification being used in Wellington. The General Manager of the Railways Department, Frederick Aicken, was an advocate for electrifying the entire North Island Main Trunk (NIMT) to alleviate the shortage of coal and the cost of importing diesel fuel; though he also recognised that steam and diesel traction would be required on other lines.

Aicken went as far as negotiating a tentative contract for construction, but fell out with the Government in 1951 and retired. His successor, H.C. Lusty, terminated the contract and entered into an agreement with General Motors for the supply of 40 EMD G12 model locomotives, designated by the Railways Department as the DA class.

The first 30 of these (DA 1400-1429) were built at GM's La Grange, Illinois USA, plant and entered service in between September 1955 and January 1956, following the DF class locomotives that were introduced in 1954. The final 10 of the first order (DA 1430-1439) were built at Clyde Engineering in Australia and entered service during 1957.

Three further batches were ordered, all supplied by General Motors Canada from their Montreal plant. The first 12 units (DA 1440-1451) were dubbed as 'Phase II' and entered service in 1961, with the 94 'Phase III' units entering service from 1962-64 (40) and 1966-67 (54), taking the total number to 146.

In service[edit]

The class operated predominantly in the North Island, with only limited service in the South Island for many years. They were employed mainly on the major lines in the North Island – the NIMT, Marton-New Plymouth, Palmerston North-Gisborne and North Auckland lines – where they displaced the steam locomotives that had dominated NZR operation until that time.

The class did face some operating restrictions. They were excluded from operating on many branch lines on account of their weight, and were restricted in their operations on the East Coast Main Trunk beyond Paeroa due to the line through the Karangahake and Athenree gorges with NZR using the lighter DF and DB class to handle traffic on this line. These restrictions were reduced as bridges were progressively strengthened, and in the case of the ECMT the opening of the Kaimai Tunnel in 1978.

The class were also unable initially to access Wellington via the NIMT, as the tunnels south of Paekakariki built in the 1880s by the WMR were not large enough for them. The operational practice remained the same as it had in the steam age with an exchange with ED and EW electric locomotives taking place at Paekakariki, until the tunnel floors were lowered in 1967 and they could operate through to Wellington. Access to Wellington before this time could only be achieved via the Wairarapa line and the Rimutaka Tunnel.

The class hauled all manner of freight and passenger services, including the "Scenic Daylight" service on the NIMT. The prestigious "Silver Star" overnight sleeper train was initially hauled by a pair of DA locomotives when it was introduced in 1971. A dedicated pool of locomotives - DAs 1520-1527 and later joined by 1528 - were used for this service.

However the need for a more powerful locomotive that could haul longer and heavier trains on the NIMT had been identified and in 1972 the first 15 DX class locomotives were introduced. While a single DX produced 70 kW less than a pair of DAs, it weighed 97.5 tonnes compared to the combined DAs 162 tonnes, which combined with more powered axles gave better traction and higher power to weight.

The Silver Star service was later transferred to the DXs, while the Scenic Daylight service had earlier been replaced by the "Blue Streak" railcars. The introduction of further DX class locomotives in 1975-76 effectively removed the DAs from NIMT service.

Units were also employed on the Auckland suburban network, hauling 56-foot carriages. These services terminated at the Auckland Railway Station, forerunning the services run by many of the DC class today.

Those locomotives that were not converted to the DC class continued in service throughout most of the 1980s. However the combination, the deregulation of land transport and decline in rail freight volumes, reduced inter-regional passenger numbers, and the electrification of the NIMT saw them become surplus to requirements.

DAR517, in Toll Rail livery, at Whareroa near Hawera in 2006. Photograph by Andrew Hamblyn.

Numbering[edit]

The DA class established the initial numbering practice for NZR diesel locomotives, numbering the units sequentially with the class leader numbered in reference to the locomotives horsepower. As such the locomotives were numbered from 1400 up to 1545.

In 1980 the computerised Traffic Management System (TMS) was introduced, with the remaining members of the class renumbered in sequence and the classification capitalised. Because this took place during the DC rebuild programme some units received a new 'DA' series number before being withdrawn for conversion, upon which they received a new 'DC' number. Under the numbering DA 1400 became DA 11 and DA 1516 became DA 996, prior to it being rebuilt into DC 4830.

Livery[edit]

From introduction the class were painted in an overall deep red colour christened as New Zealand Government Railways red. White or silver stripes were added along much of the length of the body, culminating in 'wings' on each end. The units redesignated as DAA received gold stripes to differentiate them from other DAs and the DB units. Following the introduction of TMS many had their new road numbers applied to the long hood.

During the 1980s some units were repainted in the 'International Orange' livery (red sides, grey upper and lower surfaces and yellow safety ends) then being applied to other NZR locomotives, with the road number applied in large white type on the long hood. However, many units were retired still wearing the original NZGR red.

Conversions and Rebuilds[edit]

The DAA class[edit]

In 1970, locomotives DA 1400-04 and 1406 were withdrawn from mainline duties and reassigned as heavy shunters to work in the new Te Rapa hump yard. They received additional low speed controls to assist in these operations and were reclassified as the DAA class. These locomotives were identifiable by their yellow hood stripes, which were treated so to denote them as being used in special service apart from the DA class. The locomotives were later superseded by the DSG and DSJ class shunting locomotives, which were purpose-built for shunting as opposed to the DAA class being converted for that purpose, and were withdrawn progressively in the 1980s.

Two DAA class locomotives have been preserved. On its withdrawal in 1983, DAA 1400 (TMS DA 11) was cosmetically restored as DA 1400 and donated to the Museum of Transport and Technology in Auckland, where it remains on static display. It is significant as the first of the DA class to have been built.

The other, DAA 1401 (TMS DA 28) was withdrawn in 1986 and forwarded to Sims-PMI scrap yard at Otahuhu. In 1988, the locomotive was purchased by enthusiast Tony Bachelor, who moved it around various homes in the Auckland area as part of his Pacific Rail Trust. In 1999 it was leased to Tranz Rail, but received little use and was stored at Hutt Workshops. In 2005, the locomotive was re-activated, and in 2007 was loaned to Feilding District Steam & Rail at the conclusion of the lease agreement with Tranz Rail and Toll Rail. DA 1401 was gifted to the FDS&R in 2008, who are now planning for its eventual restoration.[1]

The DC class[edit]

Between 1977 and 1983, NZR decided to rebuild many of the later 'Phase III' GM Canada-built DA class locomotives into the EMD G22AR model to become the DC class. During the seven-year rebuilding period, 80 locomotives were shipped to Adelaide and railed to Clyde Engineering in Australia for rebuilding, while a further five locomotives were rebuilt at Hutt Workshops using a mixture of componentry built at Hutt and Clyde.

Only one of the final batch of 54 'Phase III' DA class locomotives was not rebuilt - DA 1517 had been scrapped in 1974 due to damage sustained when it ran into a landslip at the entrance to the Fordell tunnel in 1973. Two locomotives - DAs 1533 and 1470 were both rebuilt from heavily damaged conditions sustained in accidents running light engine. 1533 was damaged in an accident while returning from National Park on banking duty in 1975; due to rivalry between loco drivers at Taumarunui depot, the locomotive entered a curve too fast and overturned, killing the locomotive engineer. 1470 derailed on the steep Pukerua Bay section in 1978 returning to Wellington due to overspeeding on a curve, and nearly ended up on State Highway 1 below the line; both crew were killed.

Ten of the initial 'Phase III' batch were also not rebuilt. Two of the 'Phase II' locomotives - DAs 1441 & 1446 - were amongst those rebuilt.

Many of the DC class remain in service today with ownership held by KiwiRail, and several leased to Auckland Transport. One, DC 4588, was exported to Tasmania in 1999, but found to be unsuccessful and was withdrawn in October 2002 with serious motor problems. After a long period of inactivity, the locomotive, which had been partway through a rebuild to make it more suitable for Tasmanian conditions, was sold for scrap by TasRail in mid-2011.[2]

DAR class[edit]

In 1989, Tasman Pulp and Paper was looking to replace their resident Kawerau shunting locomotive, Bagnall 0-6-0DM NO 3079. This locomotive had been rebuilt in the late 1970s with a new Caterpillar D343T diesel engine and torque converter to make it more effective as a heavy shunter, but due to increases in traffic, was no longer able to keep up.

New Zealand Rail initially offered a DH class locomotive as a replacement, however, Tasman did not feel the locomotive would be up to the task.[3] At the time, NZ Rail was withdrawing the last DA class locomotives, and the decision was made to offer DA 512 as a new heavy shunter.

The locomotive was altered by 'chopping' the front hood containing the dynamic brake components and altering the cab for better forward visibility. It retained its DA 512 identity, and was painted in Tasman's orange-brown colours before it entered service at Kawerau. This allowed the Bagnall to be withdrawn, and later scrapped after briefly being offered to the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway.

In 1998, Tasman decided to sell its locomotive back to Tranz Rail, who would then take over the duties of shunting the Kawerau yard with more conventional shunting locomotives. As a result, DA 512 was sold to Tranz Rail, who immediately moved it to Hutt Workshops for further alterations to make it more suitable as a heavy shunting locomotive. This included fitting shunter's refuges at either end of the locomotive, and extended drawgear to accommodate the extra length of the refuges, as well as a repaint in the then-current 'Cato Blue' livery.

Renumbered as DAR 517, the locomotive was released from Hutt in 1999 and allocated after much speculation to the Kiwi Dairies milk factory at Whareroa, near Hawera. Here, it replaced ex-NZR Bagnall DSA 414 (DSA 240, the sub-class leader) as the resident shunting locomotive. It was repainted in the Toll Rail 'Corn Cob' colours in 2005, but was withdrawn from service in 2010 and placed in storage at Hutt Workshops. Currently, there are no plans for its return to service.

Withdrawal[edit]

With the lack of ongoing operational requirements and the age of the units that were not rebuilt themselves the number of units was drawndown throughout the 1980s, Most of the first batch delivered were withdrawn by the end of 1986 with the remainder almost all out of service by the end of the decade. Following withdrawal most units were taken to Hutt for scrapping during the early 1990s, though a few were scrapped elsewhere.

Preservation[edit]

Six DA class locomotives have been preserved:

  • DA 1400/DAA 1400 (TMS DA 11) was donated to MOTAT in Auckland in 1983 as the class leader of the DA class. Statically restored for static display, it is due to move from its current location to the museum's Meola Road site in 2013.
  • DAA 1401/DAA 1401 (TMS DA 28) was sold to Sims-PMI for scrap in 1986 but remained intact until purchased by Tony Bachelor in 1988 for his Pacific Rail Trust. Moved around Auckland, it was leased by the now-inactive PRT to Tranz Rail in 1997 although it only saw limited service and was quickly stored at Hutt Workshops. It was reactivated for Feilding and District Steam Rail Society by Toll Rail in 2005 and went on lease to them in 2007 before being donated by Bachelor to F&DSR in 2008.
  • DA 1410 (TMS DA 126) was purchased from NZ Rail in 1988 by Steam Incorporated. Initially only requiring a repaint, it was overhauled in 1999 shortly before being sent on loan to the Railway Enthusiasts Society, who based it at theGlenbrook Vintage Railway. 1410 is currently in storage there but will return to Paekakariki in future with J 1234.
  • DA 1429 (TMS DA 322) was purchased in 1987 by Tony Bachelor direct from NZR service. It moved around Auckland until leased to Tranz Rail in 1997 and saw regular service until 2003 when it ended up in stohops and later Otahuhu. In 2010, Bachelor sold the locomotive to Auckland enthusiast Dean McQuoid who had it moved to the GVR where it is now based and used occasionally.
  • DA 1431 (TMS DA 345) was purchased from NZ Rail in 1989 by Steam Incorporated. It was also placed on loan to the Railway Enthusiasts Society in 1998. Stored at the GVR until 2008, it returned to Paekakariki in 2008 for restoration with RES-owned guards' van F 345. The restored locomotive returned to service in 2009.
  • DA 1448 (TMS DA 512) was rebuilt in 1989 for Tasman Pulp & Paper as a heavy shunter DA 885. It returned to Tranz Rail control in 1999 and was rebuilt as DAR 517. Withdrawn in 2009 by Toll Rail. In 2010 the DAR was moved to Hutt Workshops for storage with no clear future.
  • DA 1471 (TMS DA 725) was retained by Palmerston North depot staff in 1988 as a heritage unit. In 2002 it was leased to Steam Incorporated but was called back from its restoration base at Masterton by Toll Rail in 2007. Stored at Hutt Workshops, the locomotive deteriorated until purchased by Steam Inc. for preservation in 2012. It is currently under restoration.

Of the locomotives, only DA 1431 is currently mainline certified although there are plans for DA 1429 and DA 1401 to be so.

Class register[edit]

Key: In service Out of service Auckland Transport service Preserved Overhaul/Repair Scrapped
Original no. TMS no. Introduced Withdrawn Livery Notes
1400 11 September 1955 November 1983 On static display at MOTAT. Was DAA 1400
1401 28 September 1955 July 1987 In service for the Feilding and District Steam Rail Society. Was DAA 1401
1402 34 October 1955 February 1988 Scrapped. Was DAA 1402
1403 40 October 1955 February 1988 Scrapped. Was DAA 1403
1404 57 October 1955 February 1988 Scrapped. Was DAA 1404
1405 October 1955 April 1974 Scrapped. Written-off after an accident at Napier. Was rebuilt with Phase 3 components after an earlier accident in 1959
1406 63 November 1955 February 1988 Scrapped. Was DAA 1406
1407 86 November 1955 April 1984 Scrapped.
1408 92 November 1955 March 1981 Scrapped.
1409 103 December 1955 November 1982 Scrapped.
1410 126 November 1955 June 1988 Owned by Steam Incorporated. Stored at the Glenbrook Vintage Railway.
1411 132 November 1955 April 1984 Scrapped.
1412 149 December 1955 November 1982 Scrapped.
1413 155 December 1955 April 1983 Scrapped.
1414 161 December 1955 April 1986 Scrapped.
1415 178 January 1956 April 1983 Scrapped.
1416 184 December 1955 November 1983 Scrapped.
1417 190 December 1955 June 1986 Scrapped.
1418 201 December 1955 November 1983 Scrapped.
1419 218 December 1955 February 1988 Scrapped.
1420 224 December 1955 November 1983 Scrapped.
1421 230 January 1956 February 1986 Scrapped.
1422 247 December 1955 February 1986 Scrapped.
1423 253 December 1955 November 1983 Scrapped.
1424 276 January 1956 April 1983 Scrapped.
1425 282 December 1955 November 1983 Scrapped.
1426 January 1956 March 23, 1977 Scrapped. Head-on collision with DX 2639 between Parnell and Newmarket.
1427 299 January 1956 November 1982 Scrapped.
1428 316 January 1956 November 1982 Scrapped.
1429 322 January 1956 December 1987 Preserved.
1430 339 April 1957 May 1986 Scrapped.
1431 345 April 1957 June 1988 In service for Steam Incorporated. Mainline registered. Former Sesqui 1990 colours.
1432 351 June 1957 November 1983 Scrapped.
1433 368 June 1957 May 1984 Scrapped.
1434 374 July 1957 November 1983 Scrapped.
1435 380 July 1957 October 1985 Scrapped.
1436 August 1957 March 19, 1979 Scrapped. Written off after an accident at Matapihi, Tauranga.
1437 408 August 1957 February 1988 Scrapped.
1438 414 September 1957 May 1986 Scrapped.
1439 420 September 1957 March 1986 Scrapped.
1440 437 August 1961 February 1988 Scrapped.
1441 August 1961 Rebuilt as DC 4421
1442 443 August 1961 December 1988 Scrapped.
1443 466 August 1961 May 1986 Scrapped.
1444 472 August 1961 February 1989 Scrapped.
1445 489 August 1961 February 1989 Scrapped.
1446 495 August 1961 Rebuilt as DC 4513
1447 506 August 1961 December 1988 Scrapped.
1448 512 September 1961 2009 Toll Rail ("Corn Cob") Sold to Tasman Forestry and rebuilt. Repurchased by Tranz Rail and designated DAR 517. Currently stored at Hutt Workshops
1449 529 September 1961 December 1988 Scrapped.
1450 535 September 1961 December 1988 Scrapped.
1451 541 September 1961 February 1988 Scrapped.
1452 558 October 1962 May 1989 Scrapped.
1453 564 November 1962 Rebuilt as DC 4916
1454 570 November 1962 August 1989 Scrapped.
1455 October 1962 Rebuilt as DC 4254
1456 587 November 1962 Rebuilt as DC 4945
1457 593 November 1962 Rebuilt as DC 4939
1458 November 1962 Rebuilt as DC 4450
1459 604 November 1962 Rebuilt as DC 4951
1460 610 November 1962 April 1989 Scrapped.
1461 627 November 1962 December 1988 Scrapped.
1462 633 October 1963 December 1988 Scrapped.
1463 656 October 1963 December 1988 Scrapped.
1464 662 October 1963 Rebuilt as DC 4565
1465 679 November 1963 Rebuilt as DC 4686
1466 685 November 1963 Rebuilt as DC 4640
1467 691 December 1963 December 1988 Scrapped.
1468 702 December 1963 December 1988 Scrapped.
1469 719 December 1963 Rebuilt as DC 4761.
1470 December 1963 Rebuilt as DC 4317.
1471 725 December 1963 August 1988 Under restoration at Steam Incorporated.
1472 731 September 1964 Rebuilt as DC 4703
1473 748 October 1964 December 1988 Scrapped.
1474 754 October 1964 Rebuilt as DC 4634
1475 760 October 1964 Rebuilt as DC 4847
1476 777 September 1964 Rebuilt as DC 4784
1477 783 October 1964 Rebuilt as DC 4657
1478 September 1964 Rebuilt as DC 4162
1479 800 November 1964 Rebuilt as DC 4922
1480 817 November 1964 Rebuilt as DC 4692
1481 823 November 1964 Rebuilt as DC 4818
1482 846 December 1964 Rebuilt as DC 4790
1483 December 1964 Rebuilt as DC 4277
1484 852 November 1964 Rebuilt as DC 4801
1485 869 December 1964 Rebuilt as DC 4853
1486 875 December 1964 Rebuilt as DC 4824
1487 881 December 1964 Rebuilt as DC 4778
1488 898 December 1964 Rebuilt as DC 4663
1489 909 December 1964 Rebuilt as DC 4588
1490 December 1964 Rebuilt as DC 4323
1491 915 December 1964 Rebuilt as DC 4628
1492 921 March 1966 Rebuilt as DC 4876
1493 March 1966 Rebuilt as DC 4283
1494 938 March 1966 Rebuilt as DC 4726
1495 944 March 1966 Rebuilt as DC 4749
1496 950 March 1966 Rebuilt as DC 4755
1497 April 1966 Rebuilt as DC 4473
1498 967 May 1966 Rebuilt as DC 4611
1499 973 May 1966 Rebuilt as DC 4732
1500 May 1966 Rebuilt as DC 4185
1501 April 1966 Rebuilt as DC 4035
1502 May 1966 Rebuilt as DC 4248
1503 May 1966 Rebuilt as DC 4438
1504 September 1966 Rebuilt as DC 4058
1505 September 1966 Rebuilt as DC 4536
1506 September 1966 Rebuilt as DC 4225
1507 July 1966 Rebuilt as DC 4041
1508 July 1966 Rebuilt as DC 4191
1509 August 1966 Rebuilt as DC 4110
1510 July 1966 Rebuilt as DC 4369
1511 September 1966 Rebuilt as DC 4179
1512 August 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4064
1513 August 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4156
1514 September 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4070
1515 September 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4087
1516 996 August 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4830
1517 August 1967 May 1974 Scrapped. Written off after running into landslip at entrance to Fordell Tunnel in 1973.
1518 August 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4300
1519 September 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4133
1520 October 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4104
1521 October 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4127
1522 October 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4571
1523 October 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4093
1524 October 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4605
1525 September 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4006
1526 October 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4444
1527 October 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4219
1528 September 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4352
1529 November 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4231
1530 October 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4415
1531 October 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4260
1532 October 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4012
1533 November 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4029
1534 October 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4496
1535 October 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4202
1536 October 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4346
1537 November 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4542
1538 October 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4594
1539 November 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4559
1540 November 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4375
1541 November 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4467
1542 November 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4398
1543 November 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4409
1544 November 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4381
1545 November 1967 Rebuilt as DC 4507

Models[edit]

Brazilian model railways manufacturer Frateschi produces a DA class look-alike in HO scale.[4]

New Zealand manufacturers Online Models[5] and Railmaster[6] also produce DA class kitsets in 1:64 scale (S scale narrow gauge, running on HO scale track).

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Despite being nominally operational, DA 1401 will require some remedial work before it can run on the mainline.
  2. ^ http://www.railtasmania.com/loco/loco.php?id=dc
  3. ^ In more recent years, the DH class has occasionally worked at Kawerau, and has been able to keep up with demands.
  4. ^ "Frateschi - Locomotivas". Frateschi. 7 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Online Models - DA class". 8 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "Sn3 gallery". RailMaster. 

Books[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_DA_class_locomotive — Please support Wikipedia.
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