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Diesel Locomotive - History of G12      

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Two 1300 hp diesel-electric locomotives built by the Clyde Engineering Co. Pty. Ltd., Granville, NSW, to the order of the Government of Hong Kong, undergoing trials on the NSW Railways prior to delivery for service on the Kowloon-Canton Railway.

Australian-Built Diesel Locomotives
Enter Service on Hong Kong Railway

(Railway Transportation - OCTOBER, 1955)

HONG KONG – Two general-purpose, diesel-electric
locomotives built by the Clyde Engineering Co. Pty Ltd., of Granville, NSW, for the British section of the Kowloon Canton Railway, arrived recently in Hong Kong in the vessel “Eastern” and placed in service early in September.

The vessel was met on the arrival by the Australian
government Trade Commissioner (Mr. H. C. Menzies) and Mr. I. B. Trevor, C.B.E., M.C., General Manager of the British Section of the Kowloon Canton Railway. A number of press representatives and photographers were also present to record the arrival of the first diesel electric locomotives ever seen in Hong Kong.

The two locomotive superstructures were carried on the forward well-deck, one on each side, with the four bogies in the square of No. 2 hatch. No heavy weather was encountered during the voyage and the locomotives arrived in perfect condition and were swung over the ship’s side and lowered on to their bogies without any untoward incident.

In the course of an interview, Mr. Trevor, general manager of the Kowloon Canton Railway, paid a very handsome tribute to the Clyde Engineering Co. Pty. Ltd. for delivering the locomotives two months ahead of schedule.

Mr. K. L. Thomas, service engineer of Clyde Engineering, was present to supervise the unloading and assembly of the locomotives on their bogies on the wharf. He remained in Hong Kong for several weeks to make final adjustments to the locomotives and supervise the training of Chinese locomotive drivers and maintenance staff.

Already two senior Chinese engineers of the Kowloon Canton Railway spent about two months in Australia earlier this year, watching the locomotives being built and undergoing a special course in their maintenance at Clyde Engineering.





It is hoped that the introduction of these diesel-electric locomotives will considerably speed-up train schedules on the British section of the railway and effect substantial economies in operating costs, similar to those achieved by diesel-electric locomotives already in service in Australia.

At present there are twelve “austerity” steam locomotives and four steam tank locomotives operating on the British section of the railway and if the two diesel-electrics fulfill expectations, it is anticipated that all steam locomotives will be replaced with diesel-electric motive power in due course.

Prior to shipment from Sydney the locomotives were tested on the NSW Government Railways, during which they performed with complete satisfaction.

Brief specifications of the locomotives are:


Production model
Gauge of track

Wheel Arrangement
Diesel engine
Weight roadworthy
Starting tractive effort
(25% adhesion)
Continuous tractive effort
Speed at continuous rating
Max permissible speed
Gear ratio
Wheel diameter
Fuel capacity
Cooling water
Bogie centres
Bogie wheelbase
Minimum curve radius
Length over couplers
Height above rail level
Width overall

4ft. 8 ½in. (1435mm)
12 cyl. 567C
73 tons

12 mph
60 mph
40 in.
770 gallons
137 gallons
12 cu.ft.
26ft. 6in.
8ft. 0in.
47ft. 8in.
12ft. 2in.
9ft. 2in.

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