As part of the post-war rehabilitation program, the WAGR ordered three Z class very light diesel locomotives for jetty shunting work at Bunbury, Albany and Esperance. Although ordered from the Drewery Car Co Ltd, they were built under sub contract by Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn Ltd, Newcastle, England and entered service in November 1953. All were withdrawn in January 1983 and subsequently purchased by preservation societies.
Z 1151 is currently owned by Steam town Peterborough
Z 1152 is currently owned by Hotham Valley Tourist Railway
Z 1153 is currently owned by Boulder Loopline Railway
The Z class locomotives are fitted with a Gardiner 8LW, eight cylinder in-line diesel engine rated at 129 brake horse power. Transmission is mechanical and the drive to the six wheels is by external coupling rods. The braking system is air for the locomotive and vacuum for the train. Maximum speed for these 14 ton 18 hundredweight locomotives is 20 miles per hour.
Z 1152 was purchased by Hotham Valley Tourist Railway and was used on work trains during the rehabilitation of the Dwellingup - Etmilyn section of line in 1985/86.
In more recent times Z 1152 has served HVTR well as the Pinjarra depot shunter.
In June 2003 a request was made of Hotham Valley Railway from Works Infrastructure (E.D.I) for use of Z1152 to assist in the construction of the new Urban Rail Car Depot at Nowergup on the new extension of the Northern Suburbs Railway and was transferred to Nowergup by road (Nowergup was not connected by rail at time of movement).
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