English Electric Growl 

Classes: ZC class

ZC class

© English Electric Growl / Dave Craik

Tasmania. Australia

The last remaining ZC Class locomotives were taken out of service by Pacific National with the mothballing of the North East line. ZC Class no.s 2140 and 2145 are seen at East Tamar Shed on November 24th 2005 awaiting their fate

© Dave Craik

  • Overview
  • Status
  • Equipment
  • Specifications
  • History
  • Photographs
Reclassified by
TasRail, Launceston Workshops, Launceston, Tasmania.
Running Numbers
ZC1-ZC45, 2140-2146
Number Reclassified

8 sold and rebuilt as MKA class, 2 sold and rebuilt as CC class

Locomotive Status
English Electric 12CSVT MKII
Main Generator
English Electric 822/16J
Auxiliary Generator
English Electric 755
Traction Motors
English Electric 548 x 6
Locomotive Brakes
Air, Rheostatic.
Train Brakes
Wheel Arrangement
Imperial Metric
 3 ft 6 in
 1067 mm
Minimum Curve  
 264 ft 0 in
 80467 mm
 48 ft
 14630 mm
 9 ft 3 in
 2820 mm
 12 ft 4½ in
 3772 mm
 88 tons
 89.8 tonnes
Fuel Capacity  
 1200 Gallons
 5455 Litres
Power Rating  
 1950 / 1795 HP
 1454 / 1339 kW
Tractive Effort (Start)  
 62,000 lbs
 276 kN
Tractive Effort (Cont)  
 50,400 lbs at 10½ mph
 224 kN at 15 km/h
 60 mph
 96 km/h

All 45 members of the 1300 & 1320 Classes were imported from Queensland at the end of 1988, although only 33 were recommissioned and used on the Tasmanian network.

During recommissioning some minor tweaks were made to the locomotives to obtain better continuous tractive effort and improve reliability issues that had become a problem back in Queensland. All locos that entered service also have buffers removed and couplers modified. Some of these were more successful than others and indeed some of the locomotives only actually had a short working career on 'the island'.

In the early 1990's, the Australian branch of the Morrison Knudsen Corporation was investigating the possibility of obtaining some locomotives that could be refurbished for the ad-hoc hire market. Enquiries and inspections were made at Launceston in Tasmania, and the result was 10 ZC class locomotives were sold to MKC. Of these, 2 were stripped and scrapped in Tasmania, whilst the other 8 were shipped to Whyalla, South Australia, destined to become the MKA Class.

Over the next few years, operational members of the class dwindled, with many dormant locos being scrapped. A further 3 ZC's were sold to CFCLA in 2001 for use on a project called 'Leisure Rail WA', which planned to operate luxury trains around Western Australia. The project failed to get off the ground and the 2 of the locos were sold to a Chemical company in Senegal, West Africa, being overhauled and modified to the CC Class in South Australia. The 'other' forgotten ZC was left to rot at the Don River Railway, Devonport, where it is now slowly being dismantled.

By a strange coincidence, some of the ZC class locomotives that were sold to MKA, returned to the 'Island' in December 2004. Unfortunately these arrivals signalled the end of the line for the remaining ZC class locos as bogies and other spares were needed from these locos to get the MKA's into traffic.

Click on Thumbnails below to see a larger image. [ 52 available ]


This page was last updated on Sunday March 11th 2018