Although generally thought of as the small 2-6-0 or 4-6-0 steam locomotives used extensively by the WAGR and most Timber Milling railways in the earlier part of the 1900's, the classification of G was also bestowed upon what was a very small group of Diesel Electric Locomotives
Following dieselisation of the Midland Railway Company in 1958 with the slightly smaller, similar F class Diesel Electric Locomotives, enough rail replacement/upgrade had taken place by 1961 to allow operation of heavier , more powerful locomotives from Midland, as far as Watheroo
An order was placed with the English Electric Company of Australia Pty Ltd of Rocklea, Queensland for 2 six motor Co-Co units of 950 hp with a minimum axle load of 12.5 tons. Arriving by sea at Fremantle, they entered service in May 1963 as G class Nos 50 and 51.
Although the classification G already existed in use with the WAGR, for the Midland Railway, G was the next letter in their classification system to be used.
G 50 entered service on the 7th May 1963 and G51 began service six days later on the 13th May 1963
Like their F class running mates which they were able to multi unit with, they were painted in Midland Railway red with cream roof and lining with the company's initials painted inside a large circle on the front of the nose In 1964 the Midland Railway Company was absorbed by the WAGR and so with it the fleet of locomotives and rolling stock. The G classes were painted into the standard WAGR Larch Green livery in 1968 eventually receiving the Westrail Orange and Blue corporate colour scheme which they carried until the end of their service with Westrail in 1990.
Upon entering service with the Midland Railway the G's were in daily service on the section from Midland to Watheroo although after absorption by the WAGR they were displaced by the lighter X class loco's until heavier rail was extended through to Walkaway, when they then returned to their home territory.
More modern and heavier locomotives eventually saw the G's moved to other areas of the WAGR where the lighter locomotives were necessary giving them a wide area over which they worked.
In later years the usual work for the G class was in the Metropolitan and South West districts, commonly working out of Bunbury Loco Depot over the lower south west lines to Boyup Brook, Busselton and Pemberton.
Although mostly used for working goods and shunting duties, the G's saw occasional use on loco hauled coaching stock services including the Australind and assorted suburban passenger workings
They virtually never worked on the former Midland Railway again.
With the introduction of new P class diesels to the Westrail System in 1990, the need for the G's no longer remained and they were withdrawn from service.
G51 was withdrawn in May 1990, and was scrapped in January 1991
G50 was withdrawn in March 1991 and was preserved by the WA branch of ARHS
As G50 was a going locomotive, a lend/lease agreement was set up between the ARHS and HVTR to enable the loco to be used on tour trains which it has done often and well until more recent times
During shunting operations in Pinjarra yard the Main Generator suffered a major failure causing this are of the engine bay to catch fire.
After being set aside for a period, a start was made in September 2002 to assess the repairs needed to return G50 to operation condition.
At this stage the engine and main generator were removed from the main frame of the locomotive.
The failure of the main generator of G50 was then determined to be far more serious than was originally thought having suffered a major armature winding failure, severely damaging the armature laminations. The lower stator interpole also suffered an insulation failure and winding rupture. A second hand replacement armature to suit an E.E. 819-7E Main Traction Generator or a compatible unit is currently being sought for this unit to enable it return to the mainline
Here below are details and drawings for G class diesels.
Click on thumbnail above for G class Outline Drawings
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