NSW Rail Transport Museum


Diesel Electric Locomotive No 4490

1. Exhibit History

The 44 class was the first truly universal diesel electric locomotive in service in N.S.W. It was the first class to feature the versatility of a driver's cabin at each end, and was universal in that it could be found powering any train right across the state.

The 44 class has been the second largest class of locomotive up to the present time. It could also be called the N.S.W. standard locomotive for over 25 years, up to the introduction of the 81 Class locomotives.

There were three versions of the 44 class, although 4401 - 4410 were really hybrid Mark 1's, as they contained many parts intended originally for a repeat order of the 43 class.

The remainder of the Mark 1's, 4411-4460 were the closest in design and technology the "ALCO World Series Locomotives Model DL500B". The Mark 1's are numerically the largest within the class. (A pure DL-500 had a driver's cabin at the No.1 end only; i.e. S.A.R. 930 Class 930-935).

The Mark 2 and Mark 3 versions introduced some Australian design modifications to the original design, and are not a "pure" World Series design.

It would have been preferable to have a locomotive from the group 4411-4460 as a preserved example, but as these locomotives were in a very worn and run down condition, a member from the Mark 3 group 4481-44100 was selected as the example for preservation.

In the latter years of their operations, there were a large number of modifications carried out within the class to reduce the number of parts required across the three sub classes. This was also done to increase their reliability. Some of these modifications were to use components from scrapped Mark 1's such as Main Generators and Traction Motors.

These changes mean that the differences between the various sub-classes were not as clearly defined as they were originally. In the later years, the Railways categorized them as either Mark 1 or Mark 2 locomotives within the class.

The class introduced the Alco 251 series engine to the system, which has been used in 395 locomotives in 4 different classes of Diesel-Electric Locomotives on the N.S.W.R. The introduction of this engine saw a great leap forward in locomotive reliability compared to the 40 and 43 classes.

When chosen, 4490 was the last of the class to receive a full Component-Change-Out, so it was in the best condition of all of the class, and had the potential to remain in restricted service for many years to come.

4490 should be maintained in an operational condition, and be available as an operational exhibit for many years. It should be presented in original colours.