Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum


Locomotive 4601

CLASS 46 Electric

4601 on Valley Heights turntableDesigned and built by Metropolitan Vickers Ltd., England, these locomotives are 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.

4605 on Blue Mountains passenger in western suburbs
4605 on Blue Mountains passenger in western suburbs


Horsepower (max. from motors)    3,780 one hour rating    2819 kW
Horsepower (max. from motors)   3,400 continuous   2535 kW
Tractive effort, starting   48,400 lb/in2 at 20% adhesion   215294 N
Tractive effort, continuous   40,800 lb/in2   217073 N
Total weight   108 tons.   110 t
Maximum permissible speed   65 m.p.h.   105 km/h

Text and photo of 4605 from Century Plus of Locomotives, © Australian Railway Historical Society, 1965. Used by permission.

4601 on Valley Heights turntable
4601 on Valley Heights turntable

More information and photos

NSW Rail Transport Museum exhibit notes

NSW 46 Class Electric Locomotive (Sydney Electric Train Society)

Return to exhibits list