English Electric Growl 

Classes: K class

K class

© English Electric Growl / Weston Langford

East Goldfields, Western Australia

On August 3rd 1968, K Class no. K207, arrives at Kalgoorlie. This train marked the opening of the standard gauge line from Perth and it was driven by the local MP.

© Weston Langford

  • Overview
  • Status
  • Equipment
  • Specifications
  • History
  • Photographs
English Electric Australia, Rocklea Works, Brisbane, Queensland.
Running Numbers
Number Built


Only 9 members of the original K class were in service together. K202 moved to GML in 1968 and GML purchased K210 for WAGR
Locomotive Status
In Traffic
Stored Unserviceable
English Electric 12CSVT MKII
Main Generator
English Electric 822/16J
Auxiliary Generator
English Electric 755
Traction Motors
English Electric 538-1A x 6
Locomotive Brakes
Air, Vacuum
Train Brakes
Wheel Arrangement
Imperial Metric
 4 ft 8 in
 1435 mm
Minimum Curve  
 330 ft 0 in
 100584 mm
 57 ft 10 in
 17640 mm
 9 ft 6 in
 2896 mm
 13 ft 8 in
 4172 mm
 108 tons
 109.8 tonnes
Fuel Capacity  
 1500 Gallons
 6818 litres
Power Rating  
 1950 / 1795 HP
 1454 / 1339 kW
Tractive Effort (Start)  
 67,000 lbs
 298 kN
Tractive Effort (Cont)  
 50,500 lbs at 12 mph
 225 kN at 19 km/h
 80 mph
 128 km/h

The nine locomotives of the K class built for the Western Australian Government Railways [WAGR], were split into three builds. The first build of three locomotives were delivered to the WAGR in 1966, they were reported to have been the first locomotives delivered across the width of Australia solely by rail and were numbered K201, K202 and K203.

After the initial trials with these locomotives, the first builds were put to use on the construction of the standard gauge lines in Western Australia. WAGR also ordered another six locomotives which were delivered at the end of 1966. The second batch were basically the same design, but changes were made on the request of WAGR to improve maintenance, etc.


With nine locos now available and standard gauge line construction progressing, not all were required on a daily or even weekly basis and many members of the class were static for long periods. Fortunately, this lack of activity was to be beneficial for Goldsworthy Mining Limited[GML]. They had ordered the A class locomotives of the same design as the early K class locos, but unfortunately in the early months of 1968, one was heavily damaged in a collision at Finucane Island. An agreement between GML and WAGR saw K202 move north as a replacement, becoming No. 6 in the A class fleet. In return, GML ordered a replacement K Class locomotive from English Electric for WAGR, to the modified design, which arrived in 1969 as K210.


With the standard gauge lines constructed, the remaining members of the class saw use hauling the subsequent grain traffic over these routes. Over the years of use, they also ventured onto iron ore traffic from Koolyanobbing, and saw use on the iconic ´Indian Pacific´ passenger trains.

During 1986, another K class locomotive was sold to GML by WESTRAIL, the name which WAGR operated at the time, to strengthen its operation in the north. K203 moved north in March of that year and joined the A Class fleet as No. 9.


After withdrawal by Westrail, the remaining 8 locomotives were sold to private companies, K204 went for scrap, with all the remaining units going to Specialized Container Transport [SCT], SCT later sold 3 of these, K205, K206 and K210 to South Spur Rail[SSR]. To date SCT have only made two of their fleet operational, although one of these, K207, has since been heavily cannablised and is stored at Laverton in Victoria. The other, K208, is used as a shunter in the Perth area. K201 and K209 are also stored in Melbourne.

Click on Thumbnails below to see a larger image. [ 90 available ]


This page was last updated on Sunday March 11th 2018