Locomotive, Steam 5595 | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Locomotive, Steam 5595

Item details

Name of item: Locomotive, Steam 5595
Other name/s: 5595 (From 1924), 1447 (From 1924)
Type of item: Movable / Collection
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Locomotives & Rolling Stock
Primary address: Thirlmere Railway Precinct, Thirlmere, NSW 2572
Local govt. area: Wollondilly
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Thirlmere Railway PrecinctThirlmereWollondilly  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Steam Locomotive 5595 has heritage significance as part of a class that was introduced to meet the increasing demand for goods traffic on the NSWGR. The construction of 5595 by Clyde Engineering in 1912, reflects the trend towards the acceptance of local manufacture of railway locomotives and the development of local railway technology. The locomotive is an interesting synthesis of American and British railway design practice, particularly in its use of the unusual American "Southern" valve gear, and successfully remained in traffic until withdrawal in the mid-1960s. Locomotive 5595 is rare as the only survivor of 120 examples of the D-55 Class.
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: MECHANICAL
Locomotive 5595 is a two-cylinder, simple, non-condensing, superheated, coal-fired 2-8-0 ‘Consolidation’ steam engine. Locomotive 5595 is a member of the K class, and is fitted with a Belpaire firebox and Southern patent outside valve gear driving the outside cylinders, with fluted coupling and connecting rods. It is of typical NSWGR profile with a ‘trademark’ William Thow porthole cab window, and has a typically British appearance in the high shapely chimney and dome. Although the running plate is higher, it is relieved in way of the valve gear hangers, slightly valanced and radiused down to the buffer beam forward of the cylinders. It has small diameter wheels for goods working and is fitted with a 5,000 gallon ‘Commonwealth’ bogie tender of riveted construction. The two inside sets of driving wheels are fitted with flange-less tyres. It is provided with electric power driven from a boiler-mounted turbo-generator, driving a headlight and marker lamps. The locomotive and tender are fitted with automatic couplings.

The engine and tender are painted overall black, with red running plat edges, and red rims on the cab porthole windows and with the road numbers in white on the front buffer beam, with brass numerals on the cab sides.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Operational Status: Non-Operational
General Condition: Good Condition
External Condition: Good Condition
Internal Condition: Moderate Condition

The frames, though corroded are in fair condition, with encrusted dirt and grease. The transverse structural members are displaying hard-scab pitting corrosion and scale build-up in crevices with no protective paint system evident. Driving wheels are in good condition with a significant amount of tyre wear remaining. The pony truck bogie and frame is heavily fouled with dirt and grease. The brake system appears intact with many components appear with pitting corrosion. The air receiver is generally covered in surface corrosion and no paint system remains.

The external condition of the boiler shell is unknown, though surface corrosion is expected. The steel cladding is in part corroded at the lower levels, though the paint system is good. Lagging is present under the cladding and appears to be asbestos. The firebox wash out plugs and mudhole door are missing. (A threaded plug was found under the footplate) Injector steam pipe (RHS) missing. Small diameter cylinder lubricating oil delivery piping missing L&RHS.

Corrosion and scale build-up is evident in way of the smokebox, and also the firebox behind the air receiver.

Cylinders are in moderate condition with asbestos lagging present. There is a build-up of corrosion and scale in way of the frames. The motion and rods are in good condition though there is evidence of hard-scab pitting corrosion especially in the fluted area of the RHS connecting rod under the paint system.

The internal condition of the boiler is unknown. The brick arch in the firebox has collapsed, and the grate has generally been removed. Cab ceiling timbers are in moderate condition. Some boiler mountings are missing. Two gauge glasses are missing, one pressure gauge glass is broken, and other instruments and controls have been partially dismantled or are missing capillary lines. The multi-position light switch is incomplete and hoses are perished.

Asbestos is present under cladding on boiler barrel, backhead, cylinders and air compressor. Asbestos may be also present in jointing material on all pipe flanges. Assume lead is present in all extant paint systems.
Date condition updated:09 Nov 09
Modifications and dates: 1920s - built by Clyde Engineering as part of an initial order of 120 locomotives of the K class and completed as builder’s number 334
1924 - entered service
1930s - Rear sandboxes were fitted under the seats in the cab with access from a port in the cab side. 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 in the late 1930s with a standard superheated boiler (used for all three standard goods classes from 1935). Originally fitted with an outside bearing pony truck, this was later (1930s) altered to an inside bearing arrangement.
July 1966 - withdrawn and condemned
1975 - transferred to the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum
Current use: NSW Government Railways Collection
Former use: locomotive


Historical notes: Locomotive 5595 was built by Clyde Engineering as part of an initial order of 120 locomotives of the K class, placed on 13 March 1916. Completed as builder’s number 334, it entered service in 1924. 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 and TF classes. On entry to service the class saw service on all mainlines. The class was the third of the three "Standard Goods" classes. They were allocated in large numbers at Enfield with allocations in major regional depots such as Goulburn, Cowra, Harden and Junee. Mindful of the high cost of maintenance, the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the day, E.E.Lucy, modified Thow’s original specifications further by adopting the ‘Southern’ valve gear and placing the outside bearings on the leading pony truck. These modifications were not totally successful, the valve gear being sensitive to vertical track irregularities, affecting valve events. 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 until the end of steam traction on the NSWGR in 1972. The final years were spent in Sydney and Cowra, mainly on trip trains and suburban shunting, but also some enthusiast trains in the 1960s. Locomotive 5595 was withdrawn and condemned in July 1966. It was transferred to the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum and arrived at Thirlmere in 1975, where it is on display.

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]
Steam Locomotive 5595 has a moderate level of historical significance, associated with the trend towards local production of locomotives by the Railway Workshops, Eveleigh and the private contractor Clyde Engineering. The engine has significance as part of a class that was introduced to meet the increasing demand for goods traffic on the NSWGR.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Based on current knowledge, steam locomotive 5595 is not known to have any special associations with people or events of significance in a local or state context. It does not have significance under this criterion.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Steam Locomotive 5595 has a moderate level of aesthetic significance, with its form and character representing a synthesis between North American and British locomotive designs. It is of typical NSWGR profile with a low running plate and ‘trademark’ Thow porthole cab window.

Steam Locomotive 5595 has a moderate level of technical significance as it demonstrates the early application of a number of contemporary innovations such as a superheater, which it was fitted with from new, and the development of a standard goods class designed with superheated boilers leading to improved efficiencies. The locomotive is significant as it demonstrates the application of the American ‘Southern’ valve gear, a highly unusual system not common in Australia.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The Steam Locomotive 5595 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]
Steam Locomotive 5595 has a moderate level of research significance for its ability to demonstrate the development of goods locomotive design and technology on the NSWGR, in particular the use of superheater and oil fired technology.
SHR Criteria f)
Steam Locomotive 5595 is rare as the sole survivor of 120 examples of the D-55 class, and is one of a handful of mainline goods locomotives to survive.
SHR Criteria g)
Steam Locomotive 5595 is a good example of its type and is representative of a mainline goods locomotive of the early 20th century.
Integrity/Intactness: Steam Locomotive 5595 retains a high level of integrity. Its intactness has been compromised by a number of components missing from the cab and backhead.
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
WrittenDavid Sheedy Architects Pty Ltd2007NSWRTM Rolling Stock Condition Reports, Part 2
WrittenGrunbach, A1989A Compendium of New South Wales Steam Locomotives
WrittenOberg, L1975Locomotives of Australia
WrittenPreston, R.1999Standards 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: 4807234

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

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