These standard British shunting units started the dieselisation of the TGR when four locomotives were delivered in 1948. The TGR acquired a further four V class from England (two in each of 1951 and 1955) and built a further four in their Launceston Workshops between 1959 and 1968. The Tasmanian built locomotives exhibited some substantial differences from their UK built predecessors, particularly in the body size and details. The Mt Lyell Mining and Railway Company purchased two similar units from the UK in 1953. These were not numbered, but were believed to have been known by their builders numbers . With the closure of that railway in 1963, one loco went to the TGR and became V13, while the other went to the Emu Bay Railway and became their number 22.
Throughout the years, these locomotives were fitted with different cab designs, either when new (TGR built units) or through subsequent modifications (all units). Single or double cab side windows, two or three back windows and square or tear-drop shaped windows were some of the visible variations received. The TGR fitted two units (V1, V8) with lower power (118 kW) motors as the VA class in 1958, keeping the same numbers. VA8 later reverted to standard configuration, with the motor being fitted to V3.
All the TGR units were withdrawn from service between 1983 and 1987, the locomotives/ being popular for preservation groups around the country and also with fisherman for their motors. V6 was the last locomotive in service in Tasmania to carry the old TGR red colours, while V8 was the last of the class in regular service. EBR 22 remained under EBR, and later Tasrail ownership until early 2000, when it was sold to become part of the West Coast Wilderness Railway. The second of the ex Mt Lyell units, latterly TGR's V13, was returned to Tasmania in 2001 for use on the West Coast Wilderness Railway, for which it has been fitted with a rack drive unit. This loco was was previously at the Zig Zag Railway in New South Wales.
In October 1960, the locomotives were allocated as follows: V1 - Launceston, V2 - Hobart, V3 - Hobart, V4 - Deloraine, V5 - Launceston (probably under overhaul for part of the month), V6 - Launceston, V7 - Hobart, V8 - Deloraine and V9 - Smithton. V10, V11 and V12 were yet to be constructed, and the two Mt Lyell locomotive operated out of Regatta Point.
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