ICI Ruston Industrial Diesel Locomotive W. L. Raws

ICI / Penrice Soda Products

Broad Gauge


Class operators: ICI / Penrice Soda Products

Condition: Good

Entered service: 1951

Entered the museum: 5.12.1991

Number in class: 1

Ownership: Port Dock Station Railway Trust

Provenance: ICI / Penrice Soda Products

Wheel Arrangement: 0-4-0

Withdrawn: 1991

Model: 0-4-0 hydraulic Ruston Hornsby shunt locomotive

Total Weight: 27 Ton


This 0-4-0 industrial locomotive is an example of a standard Ruston Hornsby design that was used not only in the United Kingdom and Australia, but all over the world on various railway gauges.

The locomotive was ordered by Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) for use at its South Australian plant at Osbourne. This locomotive is unique amongst the Australian orders, as it was built to broad gauge so it would be compatible with the South Australian Railways (SAR). Other locomotives of this type delivered to Australia were set to standard gauge. Before delivery to ICI Australia, this locomotive was selected by Ruston Hornsby for display at the 1951 Festival of Britain, and was painted in a blue livery, with yellow lining.

In late 1951 the locomotive arrived at Port Adelaide and was transferred to Osbourne by rail. Its task at Osbourne was to shunt wagons throughout the many sidings which once made up the complex ICI plant. These wagons were mainly carrying limestone from Penrice or soda ash bound for locations throughout Australia. Not long after delivery this locomotive was named W. L. Raws after the first Managing Director of ICI Australia and New Zealand, Sir William Lennon Raws.

The locomotive was overhauled at least twice by the SAR at their Islington Workshops in 1968 and 1977. In 1988 ICI sold the South Australian assets of its business including the locomotive to Penrice Soda Products (PSP). By this time the locomotive was in need of another major overhaul and upgrading, and in 1988 this was undertaken by private contractor at Gepps Cross. Unfortunately due to changed operating practices the engine became unsuitable for the task at hand and was stored with its engine removed. During this time Australian National 500 class diesel shunt locomotives were hired to Penrice Soda Products, taking over the Ruston’s duties.

In 1991 the locomotive was cosmetically restored by Penrice Soda Products into its later orange livery, and donated to the Museum, with it entering the Museum on the 5th of December 1991.

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The National Railway Museum acknowledges the Kaurna people as the traditional owners and custodians of the Adelaide Plains. We honour and respect their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to this country. We aim to respect the cultural heritage, customs and beliefs of all Indigenous people.

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