Locomotive, Steam 5461 | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Locomotive, Steam 5461

Item details

Name of item: Locomotive, Steam 5461
Other name/s: 210 (To 1916), 1174 (To 1923)
Type of item: Movable / Collection
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Locomotives & Rolling Stock
Primary address: Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Museum, Valley Heights, NSW 2777
Local govt. area: Blue Mountains
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Valley Heights Locomotive Depot MuseumValley HeightsBlue Mountains   Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Locomotive 5461 has heritage significance as a good example of the TF class, a development of the first class of locomotives (the T or D50 Class) built for heavy goods service on the NSWGR, to a standard design in large numbers. The locomotive is an interesting synthesis of American and British railway design practice, successfully remaining in traffic until the demise of steam motive power in the early 1970s. The construction of 5461 by Clyde Engineering at Granville in 1916, reflects the trend towards the acceptance of local manufacture of railway locomotives and the development of local railway technology. It demonstrates the early application of a number of contemporary innovations such as a superheater, which it was fitted with from new. Locomotive 5461 is a rare survivor of a class of goods locomotive that once numbered over 500.
Date significance updated: 18 Dec 09
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Designer/Maker: William Thow and EE Lucy
Builder/Maker: Clyde Engineering Ltd, Granville, NSW
Physical description: Locomotive 5461 is a two-cylinder, simple, non-condensing, superheated, 2-8-0 ‘Consolidation’ steam engine.

It has small diameter wheels for goods working and is fitted with a bogie tender of riveted construction. The locomotive has a typical British appearance in the high shapely chimney and dome, though the running plate is higher, slightly valanced and radiused down to the buffer beam forward of the cylinders. Locomotive 5461 is fitted with a Belpaire boiler and Allan’s inside valve gear driving the outside cylinders which are fitted with fluted coupling and connecting rods. The enclosed cab incorporates the characteristic porthole window of William Thow. The two inside sets of driving wheels are fitted with flange-less tyres.

The locomotive and tender are fitted with buffers and screw couplings, and the engine is provided with electrics. The engine and tender are painted overall black, with the road numbers in white on the front buffer beam, brass numerals on the cab sides, and yellow on the tender rear. Some of the class at various times had red running plate edges, and red rims on the cab portholes, but it is uncertain if locomotive 5461 was ever detailed in this way.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Operational Status: Non-Operational
General Condition: Moderate Condition
External Condition: Moderate Condition
Internal Condition: Moderate Condition

The locomotive is in reasonable condition externally and substantially intact, but in need of re-paint. It is currently undergoing cosmetic restoration.

There is a danger of asbestos contamination, and lead is assumed to be in all painted surfaces.
Date condition updated:11 Nov 09
Modifications and dates: 1915 - built by Clyde Engineering as part of an initial order of 100 locomotives of the TF class, placed on 3 July 1912, completed as builder’s number 210
14 November 1916 - entered service
1919 - 10'' air compressor and associated governor
1920s - External feed lines and clack valves were fitted from the injectors to the boiler
1923 - recoded 5461
1950s - new turret tender fitted
October 1968 - withdrawn and condemned
1975 - transferred to the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum
Subsequently: transferred to the Museum’s premises at the former Roundhouse at Valley Heights
Rear sandboxes were fitted under the seats in the cab with access from a port in the cab side. A pressed metal smoke box door was fitted replacing the original door of cast iron manufacture. Originally fitted with flanges on all driving wheels, these were progressively removed from the two inside sets of drivers. The original tapered boiler was replaced with a standard superheated boiler (used for all three standard goods classes from 1935) having a parallel section.
Current use: NSW Government Railways Collection
Former use: Standard Goods Locomotive


Historical notes: Locomotive 5461 was built by Clyde Engineering as part of an initial order of 100 locomotives of the TF class, placed on 3 July 1912. Completed as builder’s number 210, it was completed and entered service on 14 November 1916. In 1923 the locomotive was recoded 5461 in 1923. The class was introduced to meet the increasing demand for goods traffic on the NSWGR. Constrained by existing axle load restrictions on many lines (no increase in axle loadings could be made) the class remained a development of the earlier T class. On entry to service the class saw service on all mainlines. They were allocated in large numbers at Enfield with allocations in major regional depots such as Lithgow, Bathurst and Broadmeadow. As with the earlier T class their route availability was high with few lines being closed to them. The class was the second of the three "Standard Goods" classes.

Displaced from the heaviest mainline goods traffic by the D57 class and the later D58 class engines, the standard goods continued on in service past the more modern larger classes to see the end of steam traction on the NSWGR in 1972. The final years were spent in the Newcastle area on coal traffic. Locomotive 5461 was withdrawn and condemned in October 1968. Transferred to the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum, it arrived at Thirlmere in 1975. The locomotive was subsequently transferred to the Museum’s premises at the former Roundhouse at Valley Heights, where it is on display and undergoing cosmetic restoration.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Mining-Activities associated with the identification, extraction, processing and distribution of mineral ores, precious stones and other such inorganic substances. Transport of goods-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Technology-Activities and processes associated with the knowledge or use of mechanical arts and applied sciences Shaping inland settlements-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Transport-Activities associated with the moving of people and goods from one place to another, and systems for the provision of such movements Transporting troops and equipment-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Locomotive 5461 has a moderate level of historical significance as an example of a class introduced to meet the increasing demand for goods traffic on the NSWGR in the early 20th century. The locomotive represents a development of the standard goods model designed with superheated boilers leading to improved efficiencies, and is associated with the trend towards local production of locomotives by the Railway Workshops, Eveleigh and the private contractor Clyde Engineering.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Locomotive 5461 has associations with poet and engineman Frank Brown. Numbered as 1174 prior to 1924, the locomotive became well known at the hands of Frank Brown, an engineman from early 20th century who used this engine as the subject of two poems which speak of the toil involved in driving and the peculiarities of this engine.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Locomotive 5461 has a moderate aesthetic significance as it represents a synthesis between North American and British design outlines, with the tapered boiler (no longer fitted) and raised running plate lending more of a British appearance. The locomotive reflects the influence of Chief Mechanical Engineer William Thow and his attempt to create a standard appearance for all NSWGR locomotives.

Locomotive 5461 has a moderate level of technical significance. Constrained by existing axle load restrictions on many lines (no increase in axle loadings could be made) the class remained a development of the earlier T class. It demonstrates the early application of a number of contemporary innovations such as a superheater.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The Locomotive, Steam 5461 is likely to have a degree of social value for the community-based associations who have demonstrated an ongoing interest in its conservation and management. This item may also have a degree of social significance to a broader section of the community linked to its historic, aesthetic and associative values.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Locomotive 5461 has a moderate level of research significance. It has the potential to reveal information regarding the evolution of the "Standard Goods" class of locomotive and the application of superheater technology to standard locomotive design.
SHR Criteria f)
Locomotive 5461 is rare as one of few surviving mainline goods locomotives of a class which numbered over 500 engines.
SHR Criteria g)
Locomotive 5461 is an excellent representative example of a mainline goods locomotive of the early 20th century.
Integrity/Intactness: Locomotive 5461 retains a high level of integrity and intactness.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
SRA Heritage Rolling Stock Stage 2b Heritage Assessments2000 David Sheedy Pty Ltd Architects and Heritage ConsultantsSteven Adams Yes
S170 Rolling Stock Review2009 NSW Department of Commerce  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenGreen Air Services Pty Ltd2007SRA Rolling Stock Condition and Maintenance Assessment, Part 2
WrittenGrunbach, A1989A Compendium of New South Wales Steam Locomotives
WrittenOberg, L1975Locomotives of Australia
WrittenPreston, R1999Standards in Steam, the 53 and 55 Class

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: State Government
Database number: 4807233

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