|B class diesel electric locomotives|
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
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 #||
|Withdrawn||Service life||Disposition||Color schemes||Notes|
|11/2/1983||3,523,338 miles||to A 60||vrb||Named "Harold W Clapp"|
|to W.C.R.||vrb - vlo - wcb - ssr|
|28/10/83||3,443,639 miles||to A 62||vrb||First diesel loco in Australia to run one million miles|
|2/6/1988||to Steamrail||vrb - vlo|
|to WCR||vrb - vic - vlo|
|to WCR||vrb - wcb - Auscision|
|11/5/1984||to A 66||vrb|
|18/10/1985||3,242,314 miles||scrapped 4/1988||vrb|
|19/11/1985||3,283,325 miles||scrapped 4/1988||vrb - vic|
|e may 1988||scrapped||vrb - vic - vlo|
|3/6/1984||3,086,350 miles||to A70||vrb|
|1/7/1982||2,954,620 miles||to A 71||vrb|
|2/1/1986||3,365,346 miles||to Steamrail||vrb|
|17/11/1981||2,843,394 miles||to A 73||vrb|
|e may 1988||to SRHC||vrb - vic - vlo - vrb|
|to WCR then to GN
now privately owned
|to WCR||vrb - vlo - wcb|
|27/9/1982||2,988,174 miles||to A 77||vrb|
|29/2/1984||3,016,135 miles||to A 78||vrb|
|18/6/1984||3,101,884 miles||to A 79||vrb|
|to WCR||vrb - vic - vlo - mur|
|15/8/1984||3,072,680 miles||to A 81||vrb - vic|
|23/5/1988||scrapped||vrb - vic - vlo|
|e may 1988||to ARHS museum||vrb - vic - vlo|
|23/5/1988||scrapped||vrb - vic - vlo test- vlo|
|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 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, 1984.
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
Links to more B class photos
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