A True Australian Railway Icon
C38 Class locomotive was commissioned for the New South Wales Government Railways to eliminate the expense and complications of double heading express passenger and mail trains on the demanding line between Sydney and Albury.
Designed and built in Australia they boasted an impressive 200 tonnes and up to 2500 horsepower.
The first five locomotives were constructed by Clyde Engineering of Sydney. They each featured a streamline design that was considered fashionable to attract passengers of the time. The first locomotive appeared in January 1943.
After a successful introduction, the second batch of 25 non-streamlined locomotives were ordered in 1943, the even numbers built ate Eveleigh and the odd numbers built at the Cardiff workshops. The first non-streamlined locomotive rolled out in November 1945.
The late 1950s saw the rise of the diesel locomotive and the loss of the prestigious passenger duties for the C38s as they went on the haul mixed freight. 1962 saw the beginning of the C38 withdrawal from service with the final C38 withdrawn in December 1970.
The C38 is often seen as Australia's most successful steam passenger locomotive... A true Australian railway icon.