Locomotive, Electric 7100 | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Locomotive, Electric 7100

Item details

Name of item: Locomotive, Electric 7100
Other name/s: 4501
Type of item: Movable / Collection
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Locomotives & Rolling Stock
Primary address: Broadmeadow Locomotive Depot, Broadmeadow, NSW 2292
Local govt. area: Newcastle
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Broadmeadow Locomotive DepotBroadmeadowNewcastle  Primary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Prototype Electric Locomotive 7100 has heritage significance, as the first mainline electric locomotive built for any Australian government railway system, built in 1952. It is rare as it was the only electric locomotive constructed by the Railways, the remaining 100 coming from outside contractors. It has a distinctive utilitarian form and character, particularly in comparison with later diesel and electric locomotives. The locomotive was constructed utilising components common with the suburban electric rolling stock, indicating a level of care to ensure that there would not be a proliferation of spare parts for different vehicles. The locomotive represents an important step in electric locomotive development, and was a precursor to the successful 46 class locomotives introduced in 1956. The locomotive has the potential to reveal information regarding the early design and development of electric locomotive technology. The locomotive demonstrates the almost self-sufficient nature of the NSWGR who, by absorbing the development costs within its own structure, could afford to produce one-off items for testing, where outside contractors would charge more and apply patents to design features.
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.

Description

Designer/Maker: New South Wales Government Railways
Builder/Maker: New South Wales Government Railways Chullora Workshops
Construction years: 1948-1952
Physical description: EXTERNAL
Prototype Electric Locomotive 7100 is of steel construction throughout, and has a very angular square box-shaped body with slight tapering on the sides at each end. Two driving cabs are fitted, one at each end. The locomotive underframe carries the body which houses the electrical equipment. No haulage stresses are taken through the body as these are absorbed by the two interconnected bogies each of which is fitted with six-wheels. Two pantographs are mounted on the roof along with other electrical equipment. The cabs are fitted with two square windows for forward vision. Rubber sealed cab side windows were fitted at the 1968 overhaul. Doors, which give access to the equipment areas, were fitted to 7100 in 1968. Previously the sides were smooth steel with ventilation louvres and windows being provided in the upper part of the body. At present the body is painted in the Railways standard colours of red with buff lining. When built it was painted pastoral green with buff lining.

INTERNAL
Fittings include cab heaters, hot plate, water bottle holder, austere crew seating, fuse box, door handles and marker lights.

MECHANICAL
The bogies are of an outside framed cast steel and riveted construction, running on spoked wheels, through compensated sprung roller bearing axle-boxes. The locomotive is fitted with a Westinghouse air braking system, operating 4 brake cylinders, acting on the brake rigging to apply inside bearing clasp brakes to all axles. A mechanical hand brake is fitted in both driving cabs, acting on the brake rigging via a hand-wheel located on the fireman’s side. The locomotive is fitted with Alliance bottom lift automatic couplers and Cammell buffers. The two bogies are connected through a single forged drawbar. Electrical power is collected by 2 pantographs mounted on the roof, and transferred through AGE body mounted electrical switchgear to 6 DC bogie mounted traction motors, one on each axle.

Length 16.88m
Width 2.92m
Height 3.99m
Tare 108 t
Horsepower 2700h.p
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Operational Status: Non-Operational
General Condition: Good Condition
External Condition: Good Condition
Internal Condition: Good Condition

EXTERNAL CONDITION
Apart from some minor surface corrosion the body is in very good external condition, with all fittings and glazing complete and intact. The pantographs and roof mounted electrical equipment appear complete with mild corrosion on the pantograph arms and leaf litter present in voids. The underframe appears to be in good condition with only minor surface corrosion visible beneath general road grime and grease. The bogie frames appear complete with spoked wheels retaining an acceptable profile and wear. Brake cylinders and rigging are complete and operational with this vehicle having been moved by rail to this location in April 2009. The 6 bogie mounted traction motors have been removed. Minor surface corrosion and road grime are present. The external Indian Red with Yellow lining paint finish is 90% complete however becoming chalky, the silver roof paint shows signs of failure with surface corrosion and staining evident on exposed corners. The Black paint system on the bogies is 80% complete although covered with road grime, grease and dirt.

Westinghouse air brake equipment and brake rigging are complete and operational but has not been overhauled, with both mechanical hand brakes operational. The running gear, axle boxes and wheels are heavily encrusted with dirt and oil and although intact their condition is unknown. The Alliance bottom lift automatic couplers and Cammell buffers are complete and operational. The single forged drawbar appears sound though close inspection was not possible. All electrical power systems are inoperable due to missing components including switchgear and the 6 bogie mounted traction motors.

INTERNAL CONDITION
The internal areas of the locomotive can be divided into 2 distinct areas, namely the driver's cabs and the high tension electrical compartments and corridors. The cab conditions are moderate, exhibiting a build up of dirt and grime on surfaces. The drivers control stand and electrical gauge panels have missing fittings, loose wiring and open cabinets. The high-tension cabinets have been stripped of the majority of their electrical components however their doors and locks are complete. The connecting corridor is in good condition with many original stencils and instruction panels remaining. There is little if any internal corrosion evident though there is a large build up in areas of dirt and road grime on both the checker plate corridor floor and linoleum covered cab floors.

Internally the driver’s cabs have a cream paint system applied, which has extensive chipping and degradation through soiling. The high-tension electrical cabinets and corridor appear to have a silver grey painted surface, which is 75% intact though highly soiled. Various cab electrical fittings are missing and the serviceability of other components is unknown. The cab seats are complete though ripped in places. Door handles and locks are intact and operational.

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
Asbestos contamination risk from high tension electrical cabinet ark shields and insulation, as well as from heat shielding around cab hotplates and heaters. Paint on body may contain lead due to age of vehicle.
Date condition updated:11 Nov 09
Modifications and dates: June 1952 - Entered service as 4501. Originally painted Verdant Green with Chrome Yellow lining.
20 October 1961 - Renumbered 7100.
1968 - Overhaul including installation of rubber-sealed cab side windows and mirrors to improve vision. Doors giving access to the equipment areas also fitted (previously the locomotive sides were smooth steel with ventilation louvres and windows being provided in the upper part of the body). Repainted in the standard Indian Red with Yellow lining.

Vigilance equipment has been fitted to the locomotive in later years.
Further information: Externally the only obvious missing components are the 6 AGE bogie mounted traction motors with all other fittings and equipment present and complete. Internally the high-tension cabinets have been stripped of the majority of their electrical buzz bars, and switch gear. The locomotives air compressor is also missing. The drivers cabs at both ends of the locomotive have numerous gauges and electrical fittings broken or missing. The removal of these components most likely took place before the locomotive was placed into preservation.
Current use: NSW Government Railways Collection
Former use: Prototype Electric haulage locomotive of NSW Government Railways

History

Historical notes: Although proposals for electric locomotives had been prepared in the mid and late 1920s, they were never built. However, a design was prepared in the late 1930s that formed the basis of the 45 class, later 7100. The locomotive was constructed at the Railways Chullora workshops utilising components common with the suburban electric rolling stock, with the AGE electrical equipment, and bogies manufactured by Commonwealth Engineering.

The locomotive 4501 first trial was on 19th June 1952 painted in Verdant Green with Chrome Yellow lining, and became known as the "Green Beetle". Its purpose was to provide the necessary experience of operating powerful electric locomotives prior to the arrival of the 46 class, which were on order from Metropolitan Vickers England and designed for use on the Blue Mountains line between Sydney and Lithgow. Once electrification reached Penrith in October 1955, 4501 had its first opportunity to haul passenger trains. Six months later, when the 46 class arrived, this locomotive saw regular service on the steeply graded northern line to Hornsby as an assistant engine and as the locomotive power for the Chullora workers train. This provided the Railways with the opportunity to train drivers in the operation of electric locomotives. Because of its non standard configuration it was not required for mainline use, and was assigned to the Flemington Electric car sheds in the early 1960s where it was used to shunt and marshal the long distance locomotive hauled air-conditioned trains which were also maintained at this depot.

It was renumbered into the shunting locomotive series as 7100 on 20 October 1961. This renumbering also coincided with the introduction of a new class of diesel electric locomotive known as the 45 class.

Withdrawn in 1965 due to increasingly regular mechanical problems it sat idle for 3 years. It was overhauled in 1968, fitted with external equipment doors and several tonnes of additional ballast and repainted Indian Red with Yellow lining for use on the newly opened Glenlee electrification hauling coal trains from Glenlee to the Rozelle coal loader, commencing duties in May 1968. Its non-standard design, failures in service and lack of equipment compatibility with the 46 class saw it withdrawn from service after a traction motor failure on the 10th February 1969. Stored at DELEC awaiting repairs it was written off in October 1974 and transferred to the Rail Transport Museum at Enfield before being relocated to Thirlmere. The locomotive was a museum exhibit at Thirlmere until transferred by rail to Broadmeadow in April 2009.

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 Transporting troops and equipment-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Remembering railway accidents-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Prototype Electric locomotive 7100 has historical significance as the first mainline electric locomotive built for any Australian government railway system. Being the forerunner of an eventual fleet of 101 electric locomotives built for the New South Wales Railways, this locomotive has great historical significance. It was the only electric locomotive constructed by the Railways, the remaining 100 coming from outside contractors.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Based on current knowledge, Prototype Electric locomotive 7100 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]
Prototype Electric locomotive 7100 has a low level of aesthetic significance. Aesthetic considerations did not appear to play a very important role in the development of this locomotive, with the body being of a rather utilitarian design and construction. This causes it to contrast greatly with later diesel and electric locomotives where style was an important feature of design.

Prototype Electric locomotive 7100 has technical significance as the locomotive was constructed at the Railways Chullora workshops utilising components common with the suburban electric rolling stock, with the AGE electrical equipment, and bogies manufactured by Commonwealth Engineering. Its purpose was to provide the necessary experience of operating powerful electric locomotives prior to the arrival of the 46 class, which were on order from Metropolitan Vickers England and designed for use on the Blue Mountains line between Sydney and Lithgow. The locomotive represents an important step in electric locomotive development. The technical features of this locomotive paved the way for the successful 46 class locomotives introduced in 1956.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The Prototype Electric locomotive 7100 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]
Prototype Electric locomotive 7100 has a high level of research significance. At the time this locomotive was first conceived electric and diesel locomotive design still bore influences of early 20th century design. The locomotive has the potential to reveal information regarding the early design and development of electric locomotive technology.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Prototype Electric locomotive 7100 has rarity significance as the only one of its kind built. It is the only electric locomotive constructed by the Railways, the remaining 100 that were later built being constructed by outside contractors.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Prototype Electric locomotive 7100 is an excellent representative example of an early attempt to design and construct an electric locomotive for use on the NSW Railways. The locomotive demonstrates the almost self-sufficient nature of the NSWGR who, by absorbing the development costs within its own structure, could afford to produce one-off items for testing, where outside contractors would charge more and apply patents to design features.
Integrity/Intactness: Prototype Electric locomotive 7100 retains a high level of integrity and intactness. This locomotive is basically the same as when it was built. Some minor external changes have been made, but these can be removed if it is desired to restore the locomotive to its as built condition.
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.

Listings

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 Consultants  Yes
S170 Rolling Stock Review2009 NSW Department of Commerce  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenLeon Oberg1996Locomotives of Australia

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: 4807248


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