C class diesel electric locomotives

The 10 C class were the last locos delivered in VR's classic blue and gold color scheme, they were also VR's first turbocharged locos. Mechanically they were an SD40 (not SD40-2) When introduced their weight meant that they were very restricted as to the lines they could run over. C 501 - 504 were put on the SG running between Melbourne and Albury,C 505 - 510 were kept on BG and ran Melbourne to Serviceton interstate express freights. On 3/8/1979 C 505 and C 506 operated a freight all the way from Melbourne to Adelaide thus ushering in through working of locos between Victoria and South Australia. Upon the formation of National Rail all of the C class were transfered to National Rail (1995) where they ran for a little while before they were removed from traffic due to the arrival of the NR class locos. 2 C's (505 & 508) were later re-issued to traffic as NR shunters in Melbourne

Over the years the C's underwent many external and internal changes including:

  • extra handrail near turbo on firemans side
  • radio equipped stickers and aerials
  • widened coupler pocket
  • Brakepipe and Main reservoir pipe bifuricated
  • Fixed jumper cables
  • Full width handrails on short end
  • Airconditioned
  • Long end wipers
  • Staff exchanger removal
  • Harmon fuel saver devices fitted
All C class were built at Clyde's Rosewater S.A, plant

C class diagram

Until 1985 all of the C's wore the VR blue and gold paint scheme, after this time the C's were painted in several different schemes as outlined below.

Click on the color schemes for a photo.

vrb VR blue and gold
vlo V/Line orange and grey
nr National Rail

Road # Serial #
In service
Withdrawn from NR KM @ 6/95 Disposition Color schemes Notes
C 501 76-824
08/1997 3,130,000 to National Rail 6/95
vrb - vlo(06/89) named "George Brown"
C 502 76-825
09/1997 2,930,000 to National Rail 6/95
vrb - vlo(12/89)
C 503 76-826
12/1996 2,870,000 to National Rail 6/95
vrb - vlo(12/90)
C 504 76-827
09/1997 3,125,000 to National Rail 6/95
vrb - vlo(07/88)
C 505 76-828
07/1997 2,553,000 to National Rail 6/95
vrb - vlo(09/87)
C 506 76-829
09/1997 2,870,000 to National Rail 6/95
vrb - vlo(12/88)
C 507 76-830
09/1997 2,770,000 to National Rail 6/95
vrb - vlo(06/92)
C 508 76-831
08/1997 2,730,000 to National Rail 6/95
vrb - vlo(09/85)
C 509 77-832
08/1997 2,700,000 to National Rail 6/95
vrb - vlo(07/86)
C 510 77-833
08/1997 2,680,000 to National Rail 6/95
vrb - vlo(12/86)

The long end of the C's featured a uniquely styled VR logo that was not found on any other class.

C 502 in "as delivered" condition at Sth Dynon 4 weeks after its delivery July 1977
Photo by Greg Dixon

C 507 at Ararat, circa 1978
Photo courtesy Barry Cooper

C 508 in the V/Line scheme, Jan. 1986.

C 503 just after being painted in the V/Line scheme, circa mid 1980's
Tony Tuccio collection

During the design phase a mockup of the proposed cab was built at Newport workshops for appraisal by union and management. The mock up for the X 45 - 54 is seen on the right.

Feb. 19 1977. Photo courtesy Peter J. Vincent

Silverton Cs 1 (formerley C 507) on transfer bogies at Newport, March 2006

2007 photo, courtesy Daniel McKee.

ABOVE: C 501 in as delivered condition at Albury, Feb. 1978.
BELOW: C 501 in as preserved condition Jan. 2 2010

please email me with any corrections,comments or questions

page last modified9/5/16