H Class

As part of the post-war reconstruction, the TGR ordered eight heavy freight locomotives of similar size and power to the existing Q class. The Vulcan Foundry in England was at the time constructing an order for similar locomotives for the Gold Coast Railway (now Ghana) in Africa, so their 248 class locomotives was adopted as the basis for the TGR order with minor modifications including a tapered cab and buffers & screw couplings. The use of roller bearings and modern design boilers made these and the concurrent M class reasonably modern by Australian standards.

The H class were delivered in a single shipment from the Vulcan Foundry in October 1951, and all locos had entered service within 8 weeks of arrival. The concurrent deliveries of X class diesel locomotives, and the initial restriction of the H class to the northern parts of the system, resulted in the class having only a relatively short life. Although primarily used on freight trains, the H class saw much use on passenger trains, both regular and excursion.

Most overhauls on steam locomotives stopped when the first of the Y class diesel-electric locomotives entered service in 1961 and by mid 1962 H1, H2 and H4 were stored, although H2 later received a heavy overhaul due to later withdrawals. The other locomotives received limited use on goods and passenger trains throughout the 1960s with H7 being withdrawn in 1966, and H3, H6 & H8 following in 1968. H2 and H5 worked during the centenary of railways celebrations in 1971, and H2 became the last steam loco used in regular TGR service when it was withdrawn in 1975.

The class was originally delivered in green, but H2 & H6 were repainted red in 1956, being joined by H3 in 1961 and H5 in 1970



H1 - Tasmanian Transport Museum, Glenorchy, Tasmania
H2 - Derwent Valley Railway, New Norfolk, Tasmania (under restoration)
H5 - Derwent Valley Railway, New Norfolk, Tasmania (formerly on display at strawberry farm, Hillwood)
H6 (engine unit only) - Park, Perth, Tasmania
H7 - Don River Railway, Devonport, Tasmania
H8 (wheels and engine underframe only) - Queen Victoria Museum, Launceston, Tasmania



Builder: Vulcan Foundry, Newton-Le-Willows, England
Type: 4-8-2 Tender
Intended use: Heavy Goods
Introduced: 1951
Number in class: 8
Boiler pressure: 200 psi
Total Weight: 110t 14c
2 Cylinder superheated

In October 1960, the locomotives were allocated as follows: H1, H2 and H4 - In service at Launceston, H3 and H6 - Out of traffic at Launceston, H5 - Parattah, H7 - Conara and H8 - Devonport

Class images, sounds and video

There are 18 matching items
TGR outline diagram for H class locos (L23)
H3 at Launceston, early 1960s
As part of the 1965 Railfans Festival, H3 leads a special passenger train consisting of Tasman Limit
H3 and an AREA special train pauses for water at Ross, March 1965
H7 on a Launceston to Fingal goods train at Western Junction. March 1966
H8 is serviced at St Marys after hauling a special passenger train from Launceston, March 1966
H2 conducts a photo stop near Llewellyn whilst hauling an ARHS excursion train to St Marys in April
H2 waits at the end of the line at Hobart station having arrived back with a special train operated
The first public excursion operated by the Tasmanian Locomotive Company and its newly restored locom
Q loco whistle fitted to H2 during preservation
H2 stands at the head of it train after arrival at National Park on an excursion train in September
Weighbridge building at Inveresk with frame of H8
H1 on display at the Museum, November 2004
H2 undergoing major overhaul at New Norfolk, December 2004
The engine portion of H6 is on display in Perth in northern Tasmania. January 2005
H5 was photographed at the Derwent Valley Railway, New Norfolk in May 2016
The Tasmanian Transport Museum's H1 made a rare appearance outside in September 2016 for cleaning an
The Tasmanian Transport Museum's H1 made a rare appearance outside in September 2016 for cleaning an

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