Class operators Commonwealth Railways/Australian National Railways
Entered service 20.3.1955
Condition Good - missing some mechanical parts
Provenance Commonwealth Railways & Australian National
Ownership National Railway Museum
Engine type Sulzer 6LDA28
Traction Motors 4
Gear Ratio 65:14
Fuel capacity 750 gallons
Total Weight 60 tons
Length (over coupling points) 46 ft. 4 in
Number in class 14
Bore & stroke 11 in. x 14.2 in.
Entered the museum 1985
Maximum Axle Load 10 tons
Maximum Speed 50 mph
Tractive Effort (continuous) 15,300 lbs @ 15.25 mph
Tractive Effort (starting) 22,400 lbs
Bogie centres 7.3
Wheel Arrangement A1A-A1A
Withdrawn Pre 1980
Built by Birmingham Carriage and Wagon Company, United Kingdom
Class Builders Birmingham Carriage and Wagon Company, United Kingdom
Cylinders 6 in line
Designer Birmingham Carriage and Wagon Company, United Kingdom
Mileage 1,509,948 Km
Model NSU Class
Number series 51 to 64
The NSU class was purchased by the Commonwealth Railways to replace steam locomotives on the narrow gauge Central Australian Railway, with some of the class serving also on the North Australia Railway narrow gauge system.
The Commonwealth Railways placed a contract for 14 locomotives in early 1951 with the Birmingham Carriage and Wagon Company, England. Each unit would use a Sulzer engine, have a Crompton Parkinson main generator and traction motors, be capable of operating on both narrow and standard gauge and be delivered by the end of 1952.
All 14 NSU’s entered service on the Central Australian Railway, and suffered some minor problems with air and oil filtration equipment, in addition to some voltage regulator repairs done by the component manufactures, but generally they worked well. As work on the standard gauge line progressed to the stage where trains could work over it to Brachina, mainline steam working was almost discontinued, with the majority of services being handled by the NSU’s.
Following the opening of various sections of the Marree standard gauge line, traffic requirements permitted the transfer of two units to the North Australia Railway. These two NSU’s were able to handle all traffic on the North Australia Railway for almost the next 10 years. Traffic levels dropped dramatically after the closure of the Frances Creek iron ore mine in 1974, allowing both units to be returned to the Central Australian Railway.
All 14 locomotives were transferred to Australian National Railways in 1975 and were gradually withdrawn from service, following the closure of the Central Australian Railway in 1980.