History of the Z and ZA class diesel locomotives.

Z class  – The Z class locomotives were built for the new log traffic and were initially used on the Western, Fingal and Bell Bay lines and on the northern part of the Main Line. They were based on the West Australian Railways R/RA classes, as English Electric were offering four locos based on this design at a cheaper rate and quicker delivery.

From 1984 the train braking system on these locos was converted from Vacuum to Westinghouse air brake, and later all locos were repainted AN green.  Between  and 2001 all four locos were modified to allow Driver-Only-Operation.  The locomotives remained in service until mid 2014 when they were all stored.


ZA class – The ZA class locomotives were the Tasmanian Governement Railways initial choice for hauling log trains to Longreach on the Bell Bay line, although the Z class were ordered and delivered first. The ZA class are based on the Queensland Railways 2350 class, although with bogies similar to those used by  Z class.  Initially four ZA class were order and delivered in 1973, with a final two locos arriving in 1976. The second of this pair, ZA6, became the last locomotive built by GEC in Australia and the last new loco built for Tasmanian service for another 38 years. The last operational ZA locomotive (2114) was stored in 2014.

After many years of negotiations, 2118 (formerly ZA6) was donated to the Tasmanian Transport Museum and delivered to Glenorchy in January 2021.

UNIT NO. / NAME

DATE / EVENT

Z1

  • Mid 1972 - Built by English Electric (Australia), Rocklea Works, Brisbane, Queensland. Fitted with EE 12CSVT Mk.II engine

  • 04/12/1972 - Arrived in Burnie (ship unknown)

  • 12/1972 - Entered service (painted in TGR Tiger stripe livery)

  • 12/1983 - Converted from vacuum brake to air-brake

  • 2/1988 - Repainted in AN green / yellow livery

  • 2/1995 - 13/11/1995 - Out of service for overhaul

  • 3/1995 - Repainted in AN yellow / green livery

  • 8/1998 - Renumbered to No. 2110

  • 10/1998 - Driver Only Operating (DOO) cab modifications completed

  • 23/06/2003 - 05/09/2003 - Out of service for overhaul

  • 11/06/2014 - Stored out of service (surplus) - East Tamar Junction

Z2

  • Mid 1972 - Built by English Electric (Australia), Rocklea Works, Brisbane, Queensland. Fitted with EE 12CSVT Mk.II engine

  • 04/12/1972 - Arrived in Burnie (ship unknown)

  • 12/1972 - Entered service (painted in TGR Tiger stripe livery)

  • 11/1984 - Converted from vacuum to air-brake

  • 1/1985 - Repainted in AN green / yellow livery

  • 10/1995 - 7/1996 - Out of service for overhaul

  • 6/1996 - Repainted in AN yellow / green livery

  • 8/1998 - Renumbered to No. 2111

  • 11/1998 - Driver Only Operating (DOO) cab modifications completed

  • 13/01/2004 - 6/2004 - Out of service awaiting electrical repairs

  • 2/2005 - 29/05/2006 - Out of service for overhaul

  • 11/06/2014 - Stored out of service (surplus) - East Tamar Junction

Z3

  • Mid 1972 - Built by English Electric (Australia), Rocklea Works, Brisbane, Queensland. Fitted with EE 12CSVT Mk.II engine

  • 04/12/1972 - Arrived in Burnie (ship unknown)

  • 12/1972 - Entered service (painted in TGR Tiger stripe livery)

  • 10/1985 - Converted from vacuum to air-brake

  • 4/1989 - Repainted in AN green / yellow livery

  • 11/1990 - 5/1992 - Out of service for overhaul

  • 12/1996 - Repainted in AN yellow / green livery

  • 08/1998 - Renumbered to No. 2112

  • 26/05/1999 - 3/2000 - Out of service for overhaul

  • 8/1999 - Driver Only Operating (DOO) cab modifications completed

  • 4/2000 - Repainted in ATN maroon livery

  • 07/01/2004 - 24/03/2004 - Out of service (generator problems)

  • 8/2006 - 3/2007 - Out of service (generator problems)

  • 6/2007 - 1/2008 - Out of service (generator problems)

  • 11/2009 - 09/06/2010 - Out of service (engine problems)

  • 11/06/2014 - Stored out of service (surplus) - East Tamar Junction

Z4

  • Mid 1972 - Built by English Electric (Australia), Rocklea Works, Brisbane, Queensland. Fitted with EE 12CSVT Mk.II engine

  • 04/12/1972 - Arrived in Burnie (ship unknown)

  • 1/1973 - Entered service (painted in TGR Tiger stripe livery)

  • 1/1984 - Converted from vacuum brake to air-brake

  • 5/1989 - Repainted in AN green / yellow livery

  • 10/1992 - 16/09/1993 - Out of service for overhaul

  • 1/1997 - Repainted in AN yellow / green livery

  • 11/1998 - Renumbered to No. 2113

  • 6/2000 - Driver Only Operating (DOO) cab modifications completed

  • 12/2000 - Repainted in ATN maroon livery

  • 11/06/2014 - Stored out of service (surplus) - East Tamar Junction

ZA1

  • Early 1973 - Built by English Electric (Australia), Rocklea Works, Brisbane, Queensland. Fitted with EE 12CSVT Mk.III engine

  • 1973 - Arrived in Burnie (ship unknown)

  • 7/1973 - Entered service (painted in TGR Tiger stripe livery)

  • 11/10/1982 - Conversion from vacuum brake to air-brakes & repainted in AN green / yellow livery

  • 11/08/1994 - 17/04/1995 - Out of service for overhaul

  • 1/1997 - Repainted in AN yellow / green livery

  • 8/1998 - Renumbered to No. 2114

  • 01/05/2014 - Stored out of service (surplus) - East Tamar Junction

ZA2

  • Early 1973 - Built by English Electric (Australia), Rocklea Works, Brisbane, Queensland. Fitted with EE 12CSVT Mk.III engine

  • 1973 - Arrived in Burnie (ship unknown)

  • 7/1973 - Entered service (painted in TGR Tiger stripe livery)

  • 22/08/1983 - Conversion from vacuum brake to air-brakes complete

  • 4/1989 - Repainted in AN green / yellow livery

  • 06/06/1995 - 03/07/1997 - Out of service (oil leaks) awaiting overhaul

  • 6/1997 - Repainted in AN yellow / green livery

  • 8/1998 - Renumbered to No. 2115

  • 1/ 2006 - Stored out of service (and traction motors removed for other locomotives) - East Tamar Junction

  • 2021 - Parts donor for ZA6

ZA3

  • Early 1973 - Built by English Electric (Australia), Rocklea Works, Brisbane, Queensland. Fitted with EE 12CSVT Mk.III

  • 1973 - Arrived in Burnie (ship unknown)

  • 8/1973 - Entered service (painted in TGR Tiger stripe livery)

  • 7/1983 - Converted from vacuum to air-brakes

  • 9/1988 - Repainted in AN green / yellow livery

  • 1/1997 - Repainted in AN yellow / green livery

  • 6/1998 - Renumbered to No. 2116

  • ATN era - Head on collison at Western Junction, nose and front end severely damaged. Replacement parts and nose from ZA4

  • 29/10/2004 - mid 2/2005 - Out of service (electrical problems)

  • 12/2005 - 2/2006 - Out of service (traction motor problems)

  • 05/10/2010 - Stored out of service (engine failure) - East Tamar Junction

  • 17/06/2012 - Written off & sold to One Steel, Bell Bay

  • 9/2012 - Scrapped

ZA4

  • Early 1973 - Built by English Electric (Australia), Rocklea Works, Brisbane, Queensland. Fitted with EE 12CSVT Mk.III

  • 1973 - Arrived in Burnie (ship unknown)

  • 9/1973 - Entered service (painted in TGR Tiger stripe livery)

  • 4/1983 - Converted from vacuum to air-brakes & repainted in AN green / yellow livery

  • 5/1996 - Out of service (water leaks) 

  • 10/07/1996 - Stored out of service (parts donor) - East Tamar Junction

  • 1997 - Was to become the next ZR class rebuild until the sale of AN to ATN

  • ATN era - Used for horn sound testing as part of a corinial investigation which saw the horns and partial air system reactivated

  • ATN era - Nose, handrails and other fittings removed to repair ZA3 after head on collision at Western Junction

  • 04/07/2011 - Written off & sold to One Steel, Bell Bay

  • 10/2011 - Scrapped

ZA5

  • Late 1975 - Built by GEC (Australia), Rocklea Works, Brisbane, Qld. Fitted with EE 12CSVT Mk.III

  • 1976 - Arrived in Burnie (ship unknown)

  • 4/1976 - Entered service (painted in TGR Tiger stripe livery)

  • 5/1983 - Converted from vacuum to air-brakes

  • 6/1989 -  Repainted in AN green / yellow livery

  • 14/03/1995 - 19/12/1995 - Out of service for overhaul

  • 11/1996 - Repainted in AN yellow / green livery

  • 6/1998 - Renumbered to No. 2117

  • 2/2006 - Stored out of service (engine block damage) - East Tamar Junction

  • 11/06/2012 - Written off & sold to One Steel, Bell Bay

  • 9/2012 - Scrapped

ZA6

  • Late 1975 - Final loco built by GEC (Australia), Rocklea Works, Brisbane, Queensland. Fitted with EE 12CSVT Mk.III

  • 1976 - Arrived in Burnie (ship unknown)

  • 6/1976 - Entered service (painted in TGR Tiger stripe livery)

  • 3/1984 - Converted from vacuum to air-brakes.

  • 4/1988 -  Repainted in AN green / yellow with Australian Bi-centenary logos

  • 12/1996 - Repainted to AN yellow / green, retaining Australian Bi-centenary logos

  • 8/1998 - Renumbered to No. 2118

  • 7/2005 - Stored out of service (traction motors) - East Tamar Junction

  • 01/06/2012 - Set aside for preservation by TASRAIL

  • 15/01/2021 - Trucked from East Tamar Junction to TTMS Glenorchy

  • 19/06/2021 - Moved into TTMS Roundhouse to enable restoration works

With thanks to Stephen Zvillis.

Photos by Nevin Shakespeare, Andrew Dix, Stuart Rutherford