Locomotive, Diesel Shunting 7344 | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Locomotive, Diesel Shunting 7344

Item details

Name of item: Locomotive, Diesel Shunting 7344
Type of item: Movable / Collection
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Locomotives & Rolling Stock
Primary address: Large Erecting Shop, Eveleigh, Eveleigh, NSW 2015
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Large Erecting Shop, EveleighEveleighSydney  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Locomotive 7344 has heritage significance as an example of a local off-the-shelf diesel locomotive. Designed and built in Queensland, this locomotive class is historically significant in revolutionising shunting operations in all major NSW goods yards. The class remains the only one to be built in large number with a hydraulic rather than the standard electric transmission. This locomotive is a good example of the final development of the dedicated shunting locomotives and demonstrates the continuity of the line of development of shunting locomotives in New South Wales. Locomotive 7344 is a rare extant example of a once numerous class of diesel shunting locomotives.
Date significance updated: 16 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: Walkers Ltd, Maryborough, Queensland
Builder/Maker: Walkers Ltd, Maryborough, Queensland
Construction years: 1972-
Physical description: EXTERNAL
Locomotive 7344 is a Bo-Bo diesel-hydraulic 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 is fitted with buffers and a pilot at each end, which display a twin-beam headlamp and two illuminated road number boxes, marker lamps and a cluster of multi-chime air horns below the roofline of the cab. The locomotive is painted overall in a light green livery with yellow whiskers and 3801 Ltd branding.

It is powered by a single 8 cylinder, turbo-charged, 4 cycle, ā€˜Vā€™ā€™ formation, trunk piston, compression ignition oil engine, supplied by Caterpillar. The prime mover drives a Voith transmission, which provides power to the final drive units on axles via cardan shafts.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Operational Status: Operational
General Condition: Good Condition
External Condition: Good Condition
Internal Condition: Good Condition

All aspects of this locomotive are in good condition, including the car body, roof, underframe, bogies and tanks systems. The external paint system is poor. The wheels still have a large amount of life left in them (>50%).

Though superficially dirty, all elements of the locomotive interior appear in good condition with no evidence of corrosion or wastage. The main engine and auxiliary machinery is in operational condition. No significant leaks to the hydraulic system were obvious.
Date condition updated:11 Nov 09
Modifications and dates: November 1972 - built by Walkers Ltd. of Maryborough Queensland and commenced service
Late 1980s - buffers removed
April 1992 - withdrawn from general service
1990s - Painted by 3801 Ltd in green and gold livery, Hasler recording speedometer fitted.
Current use: NSW Government Railways Collection
Former use: Diesel Shunting Locomotive


Historical notes: Locomotive 7344 was built by Walkers Ltd. of Maryborough Queensland, to the order of the New South Wales Government Railways. An initial order of 30 locomotives was placed by the NSWGR in October 1969. Locomotive 7344 was part of a subsequent and final order of 20 locomotives, and represents the start of a major exercise to provide diesel-electric motive power for shunting yards and depots. Following letting of the second contract in July 1971, 7344 was delivered and in service by November 1972. The first 20 members of the 73 class were allocated to the north coast and metropolitan areas where they displaced the steam locomotives still involved in shunting operations. This pattern was repeated around the state, though as train weights increased shunting of trainloads in some regional yards was beyond the limited power available from the small 73 class. The class tended to be increasingly concentrated in the Sydney region, where 7344 was allocated to Eveleigh. Towards the end of the 1980s the class numbers fell with withdrawals due to increasing age and unreliability. Locomotive 7344 was withdrawn from general service in April 1992 and subsequently transferred to tourist train operator 3801 Ltd for shunting duties around the Large Erecting Shop, where it has been repainted in their corporate colours with branding.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Industry-Activities associated with the manufacture, production and distribution of goods Making railway journeys-
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 operations workers-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Locomotive 7344 has a high level of historical significance. It demonstrates a totally Australian designed diesel-hydraulic locomotive. It is historically significant as it represented the start of a major exercise to provide diesel-electric motive power for shunting yards and depots and is associated with the policy to replace steam in shunting yards as part of the modernisation of the NSWGR. It is significant as an example of the final development of the dedicated shunting locomotives.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Based on current knowledge, Locomotive 7344 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]
Locomotive 7344 has a moderate level of aesthetic significance. Locomotive 7344 is an example of design parameters being led by utilitarian demands.

Locomotive 7344 has a moderate level of technical significance. Locomotive 7344 represents the start of a major exercise to provide diesel-electric motive power for shunting yards and depots. The 73 class is significant as the class remains the only one to be built in large numbers with a hydraulic rather than the standard electric transmission.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The Locomotive 7344 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 7344 has a moderate level of research significance. It has the potential to reveal information regarding the replacement of steam power for shunting purposes, and also demonstrates the rare Australian designed hydraulic transmission technology.
SHR Criteria f)
Locomotive 7344 has a high level of rarity significance. Locomotive 7344 is one of a small number of survivors of a once numerous class of diesel shunting locomotives. It is a rare example of a hydraulic transmission locomotive.
SHR Criteria g)
Locomotive 7344 is a good representative example of a class of locomotives built for shunting services.
Integrity/Intactness: Locomotive 7344 retains a moderate level of intactness and integrity. Its current livery impacts adversely upon its integrity.
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
WrittenMorahan, M1998Diesel and Electric Locomotives of the NSWGR Volume 2
WrittenOberg,L1975Locomotives of Australia
WrittenSteven Adams Moveable Heritage Consulting20063801 Ltd Rolling Stock Condition Report, Vol. 2

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

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(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: 4807250

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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