Locomotive, Diesel 4807 | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Locomotive, Diesel 4807

Item details

Name of item: Locomotive, Diesel 4807
Type of item: Movable / Collection
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Locomotives & Rolling Stock
Primary address: Arhs (Act) Museum, Canberra, Canberra, NSW 2663
Local govt. area: National
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Arhs (Act) Museum, CanberraCanberraNational  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Diesel Locomotive 4807 has heritage significance as it represents an important class of diesel-electric locomotives which dramatically changed the carriage of passengers and freight on the New South Wales Government Railways. Capitalising on an unprecedented availability for a locomotive of this power, the 48 class returned extraordinary reliability and effectiveness, becoming the standard for secondary line operations with increasing use on the mainline. This locomotive is an example of a class designed with a light axle load and used on every line in NSW. It is significant as the only diesel locomotive class to work on all main line gauges.
Date significance updated: 13 Nov 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: American Locomotive Company (ALCo), Schenectady, New York
Builder/Maker: A.E.Goodwin, St.Marys, New South Wales
Physical description: EXTERNAL
Locomotive 4807 is a Co-Co diesel-electric of hooded design with a full-width cab, displaced longitudinally off-centre. The locomotive is built around a rigid plate frame with the locomotive body being inset from each side. Access to the main engine and other machinery is through hinged panels on either side. A full width cab is fitted which is displaced off-centre to No.1 end. A transition coupling and buffing plate is fitted to each end which displays a twin-beam headlamp and two illuminated road number boxes and marker lamps. There is a cluster of multi-chime air horns above the cab. The locomotive is painted in the original livery of Indian Red and Chrome Yellow.

The locomotive is powered by a single 6 cylinder, supercharged, 4 cycle, ‘in-line’, trunk piston, compression ignition oil engine, supplied by General Electric. The prime mover drives a 950hp generator, coupled by switchgear to six traction motors.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Operational Status: Operational
General Condition: Good Condition
External Condition: Good Condition
Internal Condition: Good Condition

Locomotive 4807 is in fully restored operational condition. It was repainted in its original livery in 2003 and this paintwork remains in good condition.

Good condition.
Date condition updated:10 Nov 09
Modifications and dates: November 1959 - Built by A.E.Goodwin and entered service, numbered 4807.
September 1994 - Officially withdrawn, though subsequently returned to service.
1994 - Transferred to the Regional Heritage Transport Association (RHTA). Placed on static display at Junee Roundhouse.
May 2002 - Delivered to Canberra to the ACT Division of the Australian Railway Historical Society.
2003 - Underwent minor restoration and returned to service. Repainted in original colours.
2008 - Major overhaul at Junee.
Current use: NSW Government Railways Collection
Former use: Diesel/Electric Locomotive


Historical notes: Locomotive 4807 was built by A.E.Goodwin under license from the American Locomotive Company (ALCo) of Schenectady, New York, to the order of the New South Wales Government Railways. As part of initial order of 20 locomotives, it represented the start of a major exercise to provide diesel-electric motive power to branch lines and country and regional depots. Following letting of the contract in March 1958, 4807 was delivered and in service by November 1959. The first 20 were allocated to the north western region, split between Werris Creek and Casino, running to Moree and Murwillumbah respectively. Shortly after a further order was placed with Goodwins for 10 more units with subsequent orders building the class numbers up to 45 by 1963. These locomotives were to be known as the Mk 1 units of the class. The class, when allocated to regional areas displaced steam traction, the practice accelerating during the 1960s as additional orders were placed, with the 165 and final locomotive entering service in October 1970. The 48 class has operated on every branch line on the system and were a powerful vindication of their initial choice and builders. The early members of the class were stored in the early 1990s only to be re-activated during the wheat harvest of 1996. Many of these were subsequently sold, yet many of the Mk2 units remain in service.

Locomotive 4807 was officially withdrawn in September 1994 though it was subsequently returned to service before being transferred to the Regional Heritage Transport Association (RHTA) and placed on static display at the Junee Roundhouse, still in its Freight Corp livery and branding.

On 26 May 2002 the locomotive was delivered to Canberra to the ACT Division of the Australian Railway Historical Society. After being out of service for seven years, the locomotive underwent a minor restoration before being returned to service in 2003. The bodywork was in moderate condition and the Society restored the locomotive livery back to its "as built" colours of Indian red and chrome yellow. The locomotive underwent a major overhaul at Junee in 2008 and has since returned to service as the major operational diesel locomotive used by the ACT Division of the Australian Railway Historical Society.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
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 Railway work culture-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Diesel Locomotive 4807 has historical significance. It is one of 165 48 class locomotives built for the NSW Railways, designed with a light axle load and was capable and did work every line in NSW. The class of locomotive is still being used for commercial operations and several (including 4803 and 4807) are preserved and used on heritage locomotive hauled trains.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Based on current knowledge, Diesel Locomotive 4807 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]
Diesel Locomotive 4807 has a high level of aesthetic significance. Its design is significant because it demonstrates along with the 45 and 47 classes an evolution in design for diesel locomotives for this period. The locomotive has a number of external design features which make it significantly different in the evolution of the development of locomotives in Australia. The locomotive has been restored to its original livery of Indian Red and Chrome Yellow.

Diesel Locomotive 4807 has a high level of technical significance. The 48-class locomotive is the most numerous class of diesel locomotive used in NSW. The class worked on every line due to its light axle load.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The Diesel Locomotive 4807 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]
Diesel Locomotive 4807 has a moderate level of research significance. The locomotive has the potential to reveal information regarding the development of diesel locomotives in Australia.
SHR Criteria f)
Diesel Locomotive 4807 does not have rarity significance. The 48-class locomotive is the most numerous class of diesel locomotive used in NSW, and the locomotive class is not considered rare.
SHR Criteria g)
Diesel Locomotive 4807 is representative of a 48-class locomotive, the most numerous diesel locomotive used in NSW with a total of 165 units eventually placed in service with the NSWGR as well as 44 being built for the South Australian Railways and another 3 for the Broken Hill based Silverton Tramway Company. This locomotive is representative of a first generation secondary line diesel-electric locomotive.
Integrity/Intactness: Diesel Locomotive 4807 retains a high level of integrity and intactness. The locomotive is intact and in its original livery is able to give rise to the above categories of significance.
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
WrittenAustralian Railway Historical Society (ACT Division)2009Diesel-electric Locomotive 4807
WrittenMorahan, M1997Early Diesel and Electric Locomotives of the NSWGR
WrittenOberg, L1975Locomotives of Australia

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

rez rez
(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: State Government
Database number: 4807247

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.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.