M and MA Class

To supplement the earlier and larger R class, and to enable the elderly A and B classes from mainline services, ten modern although light weight passenger locomotives were ordered as part of the post was reconstruction of the TGR.

The M class were built by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn in 1952, and were based on the Indian and Burmese YB classes. The class initially worked trains of all types over the major lines mostly in the north of the state, although most of their use was on passenger and mixed trains. Due to the ongoing reduction in passenger services, in 1957/58 four locomotives had their 4' 7" driving wheels replaced with surplus 4' 0" Australian Standard Garratt wheels and were reclassified MA. This enable better operation on the steeply graded sections, particularly the North East Line, where the decrease in maximum speed was less of an issue.

Despite total steam locomotive operation declining during the 1960ís, suburban and tour workings out of Hobart allowed most of the M and MA locomotives to stay in service, although M1, M2 and MA3 had been stored by the mid 1960s. The 1971 TGR centenary celebrations, when six of the ten M/MA class locomotives (M3, M4, M5, M6, MA2 & MA4) were operational, was the finale for the type as a few months later all operational M/MA locos were withdrawn simultaneously. M3 was later reinstated to service and spent several years working tour and suburban passenger trains, before being withdrawn in October 1975.

All ten of the locomotives have been preserved to some extent, with four locomotives having seen further service

In October 1960, the locomotives were allocated as follows: M1, M6 and MA4 - Out of traffic at Launceston; M2 and M3 - Devonport, M4 - Smithton, M5, MA1 and MA3 - In service at Launceston and MA2 - Herrick


Builder: Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn
Type: 4-6-2 Tender
Intended use: Mixed traffic
Introduced: 1952 (M), 1957 (MA)
Number in class: 6 (M), 4 (MA)
Boiler pressure: 180 psi
Total Weight: 96t 12c
2 cylinder superheated

Original M
Class numbers
Final M/MA
M1 MA2
M2 MA4
M3 M3
M4 M4
M5 M5
M6 MA3
M7 M1
M8 MA1
M9 M6
M10 M2

Preservation - M Class

M1 - Derwent Valley Railway, New Norfolk (formerly in a park at Ross)
M2 - Tanfield Steam Railway, Gateshead upon Tyne, England (formerly in a park at Stanley)
M3 - Don River Railway, Devonport
M4 - Don River Railway, Devonport
M5 - Tasmanian Transport Museum, Glenorchy, Tasmania
M6 - Bellarine Peninsula Railway, Queenscliff, Victoria

Preservation - MA Class

MA1 - Derwent Valley Railway, New Norfolk (formerly in a park at Granton)
MA2 - Don River Railway, Devonport
MA3 - Park, Margate
MA4 - Don River Railway, Devonport

Picture: MA4 on a North East Line special passenger train, 13 March 1966
© ARHS Tasmania Collection

MA4, 13 March 1966, ARHS Tas Collection

Class images, sounds and video

There are 31 matching items
TGR outline diagram for M class locos (L24)
TGR outline diagram for MA class locos (L26)
M2 at Burnie on the Devonport-Burnie Workers Train during 1958. This train conveyed employees to the
A well weathered M6 stands at the head of the Devonport -
Burnie <i>Workers Train</i>, after arriva
MA1 at Launceston, early 1960s
M6 and side-door carriages BBA2 and ABD1 pause for a photostop whilst forming an AREA special train
MA4 and mainline stock form the second part of an AREA train from Launceston to Herrick and return,
M5 on a tour train at Hobart station, 1967
Whilst in the final months of TGR ownership, M5 is pictured stored in Hobart yard, May 1974
In  May 1986, MA2 headed the first steam-hauled, main line passenger train in 10 years. The train fr
With the arrival of 45 diesel locos from Queensland, space became tight at Launceston Workshops. Aft
M4 and train of assorted historical carriages waits for departure at Coles Beach before returning to
M6 sits at the head of its train waiting for departure time from Drysdale on the Bellarine Peninsula
MA2 and M5 at Relbia with a combined train of Don River Railway and Tasmanian Transport Museum rolli
MA2 and M5 perform a photostop at Relbia (near Launceston) with a combined train of Don River Railwa
Tasmanian Transport Museum's steam loco M5 approaching Hobart yard. 21 November 2001
Tasmanian Transport Museum locomotive M5 on a charter at Colebrook, July 2002
The Tasmanian Transport Museum's locomotive M5 leads a charter train consisting of museum carriages
On 3 November 2002, the Tasmanian Transport Museum ran a charter train from Glenorchy to Westerway a
As part of their 25th anniversary weekend, mixed trains were operated with locomotives M4 and V2. Th
M4 waits at New Norfolk for departure on a statewide tour train, October 2003
Tasmanian Transport Museum locomotive M5 rests at National Park after arrival with a charter train,
Tasmanian Transport Museum's loco M5 heads a Derwent Valley Railway charter train at Granton, Octobe
Hauling a train for the Derwent Valley Railway, M5 approaches Hayes, October 2004
Loco M5 and vintage carriages in operation at the museum, December 2004
Having been split from its tender and turned, the front part of M5 waits for its next move around th
Tender 67, most recently paired to loco M5, waits to be reunited with its locomotive unit, July 2005
An unusual photo of the smokebox of M5 after removal of the baffle plates.
MA3 is preserved at Margate south of Hobart as a tourist & retail attraction along with a rake of ca
Locomotive M4 runs around its train at Coles Beach station on the Don River Railway, February 2015

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