B class diesel electric locomotives
Model: ML2

B 82 at Sth Dynon loco, Sept. 19 1981.
VR's first mainline diesel, the B class were seen all over the state and in every type of service, only the lightest branchlines could not handle them. For most of their lives they were utilised to the max. resulting in very high mileages being run in a very short space of time. (By December 1954 they were averaging 2,630 miles per week)
Until the late 70's they were the only locos used on Bendigo passenger trains. They ran in "jet" service (Adelaide interstate freights) until the late 70's and were also common power on The Overland. They never ran on the Standard Gauge except for a few weeks in 1975 when B 60 was put on the SG to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Harold Clapp. In many ways they were VR's best known and best loved diesel loco. Even now a few are still in service for new operators.

In the early 1980's it was planned to rebuild all 26 B's into A class, after 11 were done the program was stopped.

All of the B's were built at Clyde's Granville N.S.W. plant

B class diagram

Clicking ABOVE will download the operating manual for ML2s. (6.5MB)
Courtesy John McPhee

Until September 1981 all of the B's wore the VR blue and gold paint scheme, after this time most B's were painted in several different schemes as outlined below.

Click on the color schemes for a photo.

vrb VR blue and gold
vic VicRail tangerine and silver
vlo V/Line orange and grey
wcb West Coast Railway blue
mur West Coast Railway special Murraylander scheme
vlo test V/Line orange test scheme
ssr Southern Shorthaul Railroad
cfcla Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia
Road # Serial #
In service
Withdrawn Service life Disposition Color schemes Notes
B 60 ML2-1
11/2/1983 3,523,338 miles to A 60 vrb Named "Harold W Clapp"
B 61 ML2-2
to W.C.R. vrb - vlo - wcb - ssr
B 62 ML2-3
28/10/83 3,443,639 miles to A 62 vrb First diesel loco in Australia to run one million miles
B 63 ML2-4
2/6/1988 to Steamrail vrb - vlo
B 64 ML2-5
to WCR vrb - vic - vlo
B 65 ML2-6
to WCR vrb - wcb - Auscision
B 66 ML2-7
11/5/1984 to A 66 vrb
B 67 ML2-8
18/10/1985 3,242,314 miles scrapped 4/1988 vrb
B 68 ML2-9
19/11/1985 3,283,325 miles scrapped 4/1988 vrb - vic
B 69 ML2-10
e may 1988 scrapped vrb - vic - vlo
B 70 ML2-11
3/6/1984 3,086,350 miles to A70 vrb
B 71 ML2-12
1/7/1982 2,954,620 miles to A 71 vrb
B 72 ML2-13
2/1/1986 3,365,346 miles to Steamrail vrb
B 73 ML2-14
17/11/1981 2,843,394 miles to A 73 vrb
B 74 ML2-15
e may 1988 to SRHC vrb - vic - vlo - vrb
B 75 ML2-16
to WCR then to GN
now privately owned
B 76 ML2-17
to WCR vrb - vlo - wcb
B 77 ML2-18
27/9/1982 2,988,174 miles to A 77 vrb
B 78 ML2-19
29/2/1984 3,016,135 miles to A 78 vrb
B 79 ML2-20
18/6/1984 3,101,884 miles to A 79 vrb
B 80 ML2-21
to WCR vrb - vic - vlo - mur
B 81 ML2-22
15/8/1984 3,072,680 miles to A 81 vrb - vic
B 82 ML2-23
23/5/1988 scrapped vrb - vic - vlo
B 83 ML2-24
e may 1988 to ARHS museum vrb - vic - vlo
B 84 ML2-25
23/5/1988 scrapped vrb - vic - vlo test- vlo
B 85 ML2-26
13/3/1983 2,864,521 miles to A 85 vrb

ABOVE and BELOW: The B's take shape on the factory floor at Clyde's Granville NSW plant 1952
Official VR photos

B 60 at Enfield N.S.W. on its delivery run to Melbourne. Note the absence of number plates and the brand new A. E. Goodwin built GY wagons on flat wagons also being delivered to the VR. July 10 1952
Photo Courtesy Noel Reed

B 60 on its delivery run from Sydney to Melbourne crosses a northbound goods at The Rock in Southern New South Wales. July 1952
Official VR photo

ABOVE: A very new B 72, with original bogies, gets serviced at Nth Melbourne loco, circa 1953.


ABOVE: B 61 in as delivered condition, 1952.

ABOVE: B 62, not too long after delivery but the modifications have already started with the fitting of #3 and 4 control pipes.

ABOVE: B 83 at Albury, Jan. 1957. (photo courtesy Ralph Orton) 

ABOVE: B 66 at Sth Dynon, April 1965. This is the earliest photo I've seen of a B with Flexicoil bogies.
Official VR photo

ABOVE: B 63 at Sth Dynon loco, Sept 19 1981.

ABOVE: B 67 in happier times, awaiting its next run at Sth Dynon loco,  Dec 1985.
BELOW: April 1988 and B 67 is now just a pile of scrap.

B 72 at Sth Dynon loco, Oct 10 1981.
Note the slightly different painting of the area under the anticlimber.

B 75 at Trawalla, 1979

ABOVE: B 78 at Geelong, 1978
Photo courtesy Geoff Winkler

B 61 at Sth Dynon, March 1984, unbelievably B 61 is still in service nearly 60 years after delivery!

ABOVE: Roof view of B 62, 1978
BELOW: Overhead view of B 65, 1982, photo courtesy John Ward

ABOVE: B 60 gets some attention at Nth melbourne loco depot, Dec 1953. (PROV photo)

ABOVE: An early paint scheme proposal. 

Links to more B class photos

please email me with any corrections,comments or questions

page last modified2/25/13