Locomotive 801

South Australian Railways

Broad Gauge



Class operators                                                   South Australian Railways; Australian National Railways

Condition                                                             Excellent

Provenance                                                         South Australian Railways; Australian National Railways

Ownership                                                           Port Dock Station Railway Trust

Class Builders                                                     English Electric, Rocklea, Queensland

Number in class                                                  10

Entered service                                                  9th June 1956.

Withdrawn                                                          1992

Entered the museum                                          1992

Total Weight                                                       72 tons (72,000 kilograms)

Length (over coupling points)                            44’ 10’’ (13.67m)

Engine type                                                        EE 6SRKT

Horsepower                                                        750 hp

Wheel Arrangement                                           Bo-Bo

Traction Motors                                                  4x

Gear Ratio                                                         56:15

Fuel capacity                                                     700 gallons (3,182 litres)

Bogie centres                                                    6.80

Built by                                                              English Electric, Rocklea, Queensland

Mileage                                                             721,420 KM

Condemned                                                      1992

Cylinders                                                           6 in line

Designer                                                           English Electric, Rocklea, Queensland

Height                                                               4.19m

Maximum Axle Load                                         18.3t (18,300 kilograms)

Maximum Speed                                               97 km/h

Model                                                               800 class

Number series                                                 800 to 809

Tractive Effort (continuous)                             102 kN at 14 km/h

Tractive Effort (starting)                                  179 kN

Width                                                              2.90m


The first orders for broad-gauge diesel-electric motive power placed by the SAR in the early 1950s were for main line locomotives - the 900 and 930-classes. However, ageing steam locomotives were still used for shunting and it was increasingly evident that their replacement was overdue. Therefore, in 1955, an order was placed with English Electric, Rocklea, Queensland, for ten 750 horsepower Bo-Bo machines. These were delivered in 1956-57 and became the 800-class No.800-809.

No.801 was the second of the order, carrying works number A-002, and was placed in service on 9th June 1956.

Most were allocated to the Port Adelaide depot where they replaced the small P-class 2-4-0 tank engines (No.117 is preserved in this museum), and provided shunting power for the area for the next 30 years. They were not restricted exclusively to these duties, but regularly hauled transfer freight trains around suburban Adelaide, and occasionally worked local passenger trains.

All were taken into Australian National ownership on 1st March 1978, but began to be withdrawn from service and cut up in the early 1990s. No.801 was withdrawn and sold to the railway museum in 1992. It is in full working order and is occasionally used for shunting.

Visit the NRM

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
  • EFTPOS is preferred payment method
  • 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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