Locomotive 624

South Australian Railways

Broad Gauge



Class operators                                                  South Australian Railways

Condition                                                            Excellent

Ownership                                                          History Trust of South Australia

Provenance                                                        South Australian Railways

Class                                                                  620

Class Builders                                                    S.A.R. Islington Workshops

Number in class                                                 10

Number series                                                    620 - 629

Designer                                                            F. J. Shea

Entered service                                                 17th July 1937

Condemned                                                       7th September 1967

Entered the museum                                         14th April 1967

Length (over coupling points)                            69’ 8’’ (21.234 metres)

Total Weight                                                      140 tons 15 cwt (143,002 kilograms)

Tractive Effort                                                    25,000 lbs

Wheel Arrangement                                          4-6-2

Driving Wheels Diameter                                   66" (1676mm)

Maximum Axle Load                                          15 tons 18 cwt (16,154 kilograms)

Boiler Pressure                                                 200 lbs psi

Cylinders                                                           2x outside - 18.5" x 28" (470mm x 711mm)

Valve Gear                                                        Baker

Coal Capacity                                                   9 tons (9144 kilograms)

Grate Area                                                       33.4 square feet (3.102 square metres)

Water Capacity                                                5,200 gallons (23,639 litres)

Mileage                                                            704,164 miles (1,133,242 kilometres)

Maximum Speed                                              70 mph (112 km/h)


Two classes of ‘Pacific’ locomotives, both designed by Fred Shea, saw service on the South Australian Railways. The first, the powerful 600-class, built under the Webb administration revolutionized the working of heavy express trains, such as the Overland. The second was the 620-class, 10 of which were built at the Islington Workshops between 1936 and 1938, for use over secondary lines laid with 60 lb rail.

The first of these, No.620, was Australia’s first streamlined locomotive, the smokebox being covered with a chromed steel grille similar to those fitted to motor cars of the period, and painted Hawthorn green with yellow stripes. Upon completion it was placed on display at the Wayville Showgrounds for the duration of the Centenary Exhibition. It entered service on 26th June 1936 hauling the ‘Centenary Limited’, a train made up of refurbished end-loading cars in a livery of green and cream. The remainder of the class were built un-streamlined. All were fitted with Baker´s valve gear, the only South Australian locomotives to be so equipped.

No.624 was placed in service on 17th July 1937 and for the next 30 years performed those duties for which the class had been constructed, working to Gladstone, Morgan, Moonta, Port Pirie, Pinnaroo, Renmark and Victor Harbor. In later years, after the onset of dieselisation, 620s were relegated to working Bridgewater and Willunga locals, mixed trains out of Tailem Bend and occasionally even freight trains. 624 entered the Mile End Railway Museum on 14th April 1967 but was not officially written off until 7th September. It moved to the National Railway Museum on 2nd October 1988.

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76 Lipson Street
Port Adelaide
South Australia  5015
Open Daily / 10am – 4:30pm





5-15 yrs & with an adult


2 adults & up to 3 children


  • Prices may vary for special events
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  • Open from 12pm on ANZAC Day
  • Closed Christmas Day

Phone: 8341 1690

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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