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Newport Railway Museum

David Matheson

 26 October 2022

The Newport Railway Museum has a wide range of locomotives, rolling stock and other items, mostly from the Victorian Railways. It features the largest collection of Victorian Railways steam locomotives. Also on display are diesel and electric locomotives, passenger carriages, freight wagons and steam cranes. The museum is open on Saturdays, and on Saturdays and Sundays during school holidays. Tickets can be pre-booked online. It is located approximately 15 km south-west of Melbourne, near North Williamstown railway station on Melbourne’s suburban Williamstown line.


Some exhibits at the Newport Railway Museum are:

  • A2 Class 4-6-0 express passenger locomotive No. 995. The A2 Class engines became very highly regarded express passenger locomotives. A total of 125 were built at Newport Workshops between 1907 and 1915, and then a further 60 with superheated boilers and Walschaerts vale gear were built at Newport, Ballarat and Bendigo from 1915 to 1922. No. 995 and sister engine No. 996 hauled the last broad gauge run of the Spirit of Progress from Seymour to Melbourne in 1962. During its working life No. 995 recorded 1,270,404 miles (2,044,517 km) in service.

  • C Class 2-8-0 heavy goods locomotive No. 10. When introduced in 1918 the C Class were the heaviest and most powerful locomotives in Australia. A total of 26 were built at Newport Workshops. Although designed for hauling goods trains, they were also used for passenger train working at times. C10 entered service in 1922 and was withdrawn in 1962 after 1,160,856 miles (1,868,217 km) in service.


Steam locomotive C10, Newport Railway Museum, 15 January 2017.


D3 Class steam locomotive No. 635, Newport Railway Museum, 15 January 2017.

  • D3 Class 4-6-0 passenger engine No. 635. The D3 Class locomotives were rebuilt from DD Class engines between 1929 and 1947 with larger superheated boilers similar to the K Class freight engines. No. 635 was built by Baldwin in the United States in 1911 and entered service as DD597; it was renumbered D1 597 in 1930, and was converted to D3 Class and renumbered 635 in 1939. The D3 Class were efficient engines and used extensively throughout Victoria. No. 635 was withdrawn in 1964 after 887,531 miles (1,428,343 km) in service.

  • E Class 2-4-2 suburban passenger engine No. 236. Increasing suburban passenger train traffic during the 1880s led to the need for more powerful tank locomotives. The E Class were introduced by Chief Commissioner Richard Speight in 1889 as one of several new standard motive power designs for Victorian Railways. They fulfilled the role of mainline suburban passenger train engines reliably for around 20 years until relegated to less important duties by larger engines. They were mostly scrapped in the 1920s following electrification of Melbourne’s suburban network. E236 was withdrawn from suburban train working in 1926 but continued operating as a shunting engine at Newport Workshops until 1953.

  • H Class 4-8-4 heavy passenger engine No. 220. On 7 February 1941 the single member of the 4-8-4 H Class, No. 220, entered service and soon gained the nickname Heavy Harry. It weighed 260.05 tons (264.22 tonnes) and was the heaviest locomotive in Australia at the time. It featured three cylinders, a double chimney, mechanical stoker and power-operated reversing gear. The introduction of a large and powerful type of passenger engine was intended to eliminate most of the double-heading then required on The Overland passenger train, which operated between Melbourne and Adelaide. It was also designed to improve locomotive performance on the steep gradients between Melbourne and Ararat. Wartime restrictions meant that bridge strengthening work on the line to Ararat did not occur, resulting in Heavy Harry being restricted to the North-Eastern Line between Melbourne and Albury. It mostly hauled goods trains, but also worked passenger trains and troop transfer trains. It had been intended that another two H Class members would be built but this did not eventuate. H220 was in service for 17 years until 1958 and ran 821,860 miles (1,322,655 km).


Steam locomotive H220 Heavy Harry, Newport Railway Museum, 15 January 2017.


Although it has the number J559, this engine is actually J556. The plates were saved from J559, the last steam engine to enter service in Victoria. Newport Railway Museum, 15 January 2017.

  • J Class 2-8-0 light lines engine No. 556. The J Class engines were based on the earlier K Class but were capable of being converted to standard gauge. A total of 60 were built by the Vulcan Foundry in Lancashire, England. The first 30 were built as coal-burners, while the remaining 30 were oil-fired. They were transported to Australia fully assembled and all entered service during 1954, being used to haul goods and passenger trains, mainly on branch lines. The plates from J559, the last engine to enter service with Victorian Railways, were retained when it was scrapped and attached to J556, so although the engine on display bears the number J559, it is actually J556. It entered service in November 1954 and was withdrawn in 1968 after 190,706 miles (306,912 km) in service.

  • K Class 2-8-0 light lines engine No. 165. The first K Class engine commenced operating in August 1922 and a total of 53 eventually entered service. Their light weight of 107 tonnes meant that they could operate virtually everywhere on the Victorian Railways network. Their work was mostly hauling goods trains, but they were also used for passenger services. They were eventually replaced by diesel locomotives, but some continued operating into the 1970s. During its working life K165 recorded 480,295 miles (772,960 km) in service.

  • R Class 4-6-4 express passenger engine No. 704. The R Class were introduced to replace the ageing A2 Class engines and commenced service in 1951. A total of 70 were built by the North British Locomotive Company in Glasgow. Following some initial teething troubles, they settled in to provide reliable service hauling passenger and fast goods trains. Increasing dieselisation in the 1950s would see the R Class have short operational lives and they were increasingly used on goods trains rather than the passenger trains they were designed for as diesels took over. R704 was in service from 1952 to 1967, covering 200,818 miles (323,185 km).

  • X Class 2-8-2 heavy goods engine No. 36. The X Class were based on the earlier C Class, but with a 2-8-2 wheel arrangement instead of 2-8-0. A total of 29 were built at Newport Workshops, with 11 entering service in 1929 and 1930, and a further 18 from 1937 to 1947. The Royal Commission on Gauge Standardisation in 1921 had recommended that from 1923 all new locomotive designs be capable of conversion from broad to standard gauge, but the X Class remained on broad gauge throughout their working lives. They were considered the most powerful engines in Victoria until the arrival of Heavy Harry in 1941. Their design included a booster engine, which was a small two-cylinder steam engine fitted to the trailing truck beneath the cab. It provided additional power, and was typically used when starting and at low speeds. X36 was the only member off the class not fitted with a booster. It was withdrawn in 1961 after running 741,609 miles (1,193,504 km).

  • Y Class 0-6-0 goods engine No. 108. The Y Class were heavy goods engines introduced in 1889 as one of the new standard motive power types. Their heavy weight saw them initially restricted to main lines. In addition to freight service, they at times worked suburban and long-distance passenger trains. Y108 entered service as Y135 but was renumbered in 1940. When it was withdrawn from service in August 1963, Y108 was the oldest working locomotive on the Victorian Railways and had covered 1,378,380 miles (2,218,288 km) during its 74-year working life.

  • E Class Bo-Bo electric locomotive E1102. Two Victorian Railways electric locomotives entered service in 1923 following the commencement of electric train services in 1919. Their success led to a further ten being built in 1928 and 1929. Although the first two were built with a steeple cab design with single pantograph, the ten later units featured a box cab and two pantographs, and E1102 was part of this second group. They were used in goods and shunting service in Melbourne’s suburban area.

  • B Class Co-Co diesel locomotive B83. The first Victorian Railways mainline diesel-electric locomotive was B60, which commenced service in July 1952. Built by the Clyde Engineering Company in Sydney, a total of 26 members of the class entered service, with all operating within two years. They featured a streamlined cab at each end. The B Class quickly took over working all of Victoria’s major express passenger trains. During the 1980s 11 were converted to become the A Class.

  • L Class Co-Co electric locomotive L1150. With an increase on coal production and the impending electrification of part of the Gippsland railway, Victorian Railways ordered 25 electric locomotives. Built by the English Electric Company in Preston, United Kingdom, they arrived in Melbourne in 1953 and 1954. L1150 was the class leader and its initial service was hauling suburban goods trains because the Gippsland electrification had not yet been completed. Following electrification, they operated goods and passenger trains on the Gippsland Line. All were withdrawn from service in the mid-1980s.

  • F Class 0-6-0 diesel locomotive F211. Victoria’s first diesel locomotives were ten F Class shunting units built by English Electric. Entering service in 1951, they were used for shunting in the metropolitan area of Melbourne as well as at some country locations. Meanwhile the State Electricity Commission of Victoria ordered six of the same locomotives for shunting at Newport Powerhouse. F211 entered service with the State Electricity Commission as SEC3 in 1957 but was acquired by Victorian Railways later that year and renumbered as F211 in 1958. It was the last member of the class to be withdrawn in 1984.

  • Swing Door suburban carriage 8M. The wooden-bodied Swing Door carriages were introduced in 1887 and were named because of their outward-opening doors. Originally locomotive-hauled, between 1917 and 1924 they were converted to electric cars with the electrification of the suburban rail network. They began to be replaced by the Harris trains from the late 1950s and the last remained in service until 1973.



Australian Steam <>.

Newport Railway Museum <>.

Oberg, L, Locomotives of Australia: 1854 to 2007, 5th edn, Rosenberg, Sydney, 2010.

Pearce, WA (Ed.), Railway Museum, North Williamstown, 3rd edn, Australian Railway Historical Society, Victorian Division, Melbourne, 1970.

Scott, J, Power to the rails: a history of Victoria’s diesel and electric locomotives, John Scott, Melbourne, 2011.


Exhibits, Newport Railway Museum, 15 January 2017.


Plates on the side of H220 Heavy Harry, Newport Railway Museum, 15 January 2017.

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