New South Wales 46 Class Locomotive

t15138 t15139I recently visited a museum at Valley Heights (in the Blue Mountains) NSW Australia. The main purpose was to view a 46 class locomotive built by Metro Vicks at Bowesfield Works, Yarm Road Stockton in 1956.
Quite a bit of restoration work has been carried out. They were designed to generate enough power coming down the mountain, to drive another locomotive back up the mountain. Considered one of the most powerful electric locomotives of its time.

Photographs and details courtesy of Colin Booth.

7 thoughts on “New South Wales 46 Class Locomotive

  1. I am trying to do some research on these handsome Electric locos. Does anyone know if the build numbers and the dates they were exported exist? Also from which Docks did they leave?


    • Cant be sure but I think they were shipped from Liverpool as deck cargo. They were transported by road. They were in operation when I arrived in Sydney, not many of the left now. all in museums. You can contact me if you like through Picture Stockton Team. They can give you my email address


  2. In 1919 the Metropolitan Carriage, Wagon and Finance Company and British Westinghouse were acquired by Vickers Armaments. Vickers had started out in the foundry business in Sheffield under the leadership of Edward Vickers and George Naylor. By 1917 Vickers were manufacturing ships, armaments, cars and aircraft. This merger added railway carriage manufacturing interests to Vickers books. In 1928 Metro-Vickers merged with the British Thomson-Houston company of similar size and basically the same product line up The next year the combined company was purchased by the Associated Electrical Industries (AEI)

    AEI’s technical excellence was highlighted in 1935 as Metro-Vicker and B.T.H. became the first two firms in the world to construct jet engines (independently from each other). AEI’s greatest work during the war years was its aircraft production. In 1938, it entered into a joint venture with AEI, Metro-Vickers and A.V. Roe to manufacture the ‘Lancaster’ and ‘Lincoln’ bombers, at Trafford Park, Manchester. By the end of the war, M-V’s had built 1,080 Lancasters and 79 Avro Lincoln aircraft, until production ceased in December 1945, Metro-Vickers then sold off that business to Armstrong Siddeley in 1947. Commencing in the 1950s they were involved in the development of Diesel-Electric locomotives. The Trafford Park aircraft factory, Manchester, was closed even though at one time it had employed 20,000 people.

    Teesside Branch: The Bowesfield Lane works was a railway locomotive manufacturing plant in Stockton-on-Tees, a joint venture company called to design and manufacture diesel, electric and gas turbine locomotives. The Bowesfield Lane factory had been built in 1946 for the American construction machinery company LeTourneau, it was almost new and covered an area of around 95,000 square feet. The works had its own railway siding running from Bowesfield Junction to the north east of the works. The first locomotives built at the works were fourteen electric locomotives for the Rede Mineira railway company of Brazil. In 1954–55, the works built forty New South Wales 46 class electric locomotives for NSW Railways in Australia, along with forty-eight X class diesel electric locomotives built for Western Australian Railways. The only locomotives built for British Railways at the works, were the twenty BR Class 28 diesel electrics during 1958-59. In addition to building railway locomotives, the works also constructed twelve battery powered under-ground mining locomotives for the National Coal Board 1959. The last locomotives built at the works was a batch of 135, SAR Class Series 1 electric locomotives, for South African Railways during 1958–60. Metropolitan-Vickers holds a place in history as the builders of the first commercial transistor computer, the Metrovick 950, and the first British axial-jet engine. Their factory in Trafford Park, Manchester, was for most of the 20th century one of the most important heavy engineering facilities in Britain and the world. (Bob Wilson from www-sources)


    • Hi Bob. Very interesting article. I have in the back of my mind, that the site was called Bowesfield works but the actually address was Yarm Road. As I have said before, my apprenticeship was with Metrovicks & I worked on all the projects except the BR locomotives. Once again an informative article Thank you


  3. Started working as an apprentice fitter and turner in 1953 at Metro Vickers. Well remember the locomotives and how we apprentices had to do the pipe testing in freezing weather outside. I ended up in the drawing office so got out of it eventually.


      • Hi Colin, Have to admit I can’t place you. Some I remember, Gary Burns, Mike McCullogh, Jimmy Rook. I left and went to F. Hills on Norton Road but eventually went into teaching. Finished up teaching in Hurworth, taught woodwork and metalwork. Now well retired and live in Heighington, keeping bees and doing a bit of walking.


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.