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 The other locomotives received limited use on goods and passenger trains throughout the 1960s with H7 being withdrawn in 1966, and H3, H6 & H8 following in 1968.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centenary of railways celebrations in 1971, and H2 became the last steam loco used in regular TGR service when it was withdrawn in 1975.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,
Builder: Vulcan Foundry, Newton-Le-Willows, England
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
Return to Return to TGR class Index
Return to Railway Information Index