PLM-P204S8175 Powerline Old-Mech 81-Class #8175 SRA Stealth HO scale DC-Only
Old Mech 81-class #8175 Co-Co Diesel-Electric SRA Stealth
DC Only (Hardwire required for DCC)
The 81 class are a class of diesel locomotives built by Clyde Engineering, Kelso for the State Rail Authority.
Eighty 81 class locomotives were built by Clyde Engineering, Kelso between September 1982 and February 1986, to replace 1950s vintage 42 and 44 class locomotives as well as provide additional capacity. The first 42 were based at Broadmeadow Locomotive Depot to operate Hunter Valley coal trains, while the remaining 38 were concentrated on the Main South line between Sydney and Albury hauling both passenger and freight trains. The final 15 were equipped with V/Line radios, and from July 1986 operated through to Melbourne. They are mechanically very similar to the V/Line G class and Australian National BL class.
In 1991, a further four units were built at Kelso using many components from spares held. Following the delivery of the 90 class in 1994, the Broadmeadow based units were released to replace older locomotives on other freight duties. This saw their sphere of operation extended to Brisbane and Broken Hill.
In the mid-1990s some of the later locomotives were leased to National Rail. These were later exchanged for 13 of the earlier locomotives which were permanently transferred to National Rail for use as high-power shunters around Australia. All were reunited when National Rail and FreightCorp were both sold to form Pacific National in February 2002.
In February 1999, 81s began operating in South Australia when FreightCorp won a contract to haul brown coal on the Leigh Creek to Stirling North line from Leigh Creek to the Northern Power Station in Port Augusta.
As at February 2013, Pacific National operated 83, primarily in New South Wales. 8147 was written off following a derailment near Forbes on 11 March 2007.