E class electric locomotives

Melbourne's electrification had not been in service for long when it was decided to build 2 small electric locos (1100 & 1101) of a "steeple cab" design for suburban goods service. Five years later a further 10 electric locos (1102 - 1111) were constructed to a "box cab" design. These locos shared much mechanical and electrical equipment with Tait suburban trains. 1922 VR correspondence refers to the class a "E class" it appears that until 1955 they were simply known as "Electric Locos" with the introduction of the L class electrics they were classed as "E class"

The E's were quite a significant loco in that they were the first locomotive VR ever built that wasn't a steam loco.

Feb 3 1955 application of letter "E"

Jan 12 1955 approval given to remove trip gear

April 12 1965 approval to be painted blue/gold

June 20 1967 E's to remain at Jolimont and mannned by ERD drivers until hump built

All of the E's were built by the Victorian Railways at Newport Workshops

Oct. 1955 VR newsletter states that the 2 steeple cabs are to be scrapped as their underframes are not suitable for conversion to auto couplers

Below are some comments fron Des Jowett about the original E class electrics.

The shot of the Dive Bomber 1100 at Elsternwick may be one of the test trains. On 6-8-24 a 586 ton train ran, and the next day a 34 vehicle train ran.  They are written up in "The Argus" of 8-8-24.
Interestingly they were apparently built for one man operation and were never ever provided with a seat for the Loco Assistant - only a portable stool. They were fitted with a GE C 90E Controller (the others had a C 90F) which had dead mans button similar to the reds and looked like a larger version of them. When I used to ride them on the Caulfield goods 1950-52, the buttons were still there but flat on top of the handle with no spring pressure. The Jolimont Branch meeting of 9-11-23  received news from the Dept that a second man would be provided and Fireman Rochester was acting as Loco Assistant. Read about it in The Footplate for Nov/Dec 1923 p287  The Electrical Engineering Branch Corres in 1923 at the  P.R.O. re the tests in Flinders St yard call them E class, but this was soon knocked on the head and PJV has corres refs. to them to remaining unclassed. They were pretty noisy as the crew sat in with the contactors and dynamotor without any proper cab.  In winter to keep warm they used to run them on a grid notch, rather than full series or series parallel, to use the grids as a radiator.

Until 1965 the E's were painted black, in April 1965 approval was given to paint the remaining E's in blue and gold. No E's made it into V/Line orange.

Click on the color schemes for a photo.

vrb VR blue and gold
Road #
In service
Withdrawn Disposition Color schemes Notes
1954 scrapped 1955 Black
1954 scrapped 1955 Black
E 1102
03/1983 preserved ARHS museum Black - vrb
E 1103
3/6/1980 scrapped Black - vrb
E 1104
1/9/1980 scrapped June 1981 Black - vrb
E 1105
28/12/1980 scrapped Black - vrb
E 1106
to Steamrail, stored Black - vrb
E 1107
1981 scrapped Black - vrb
E 1108
Oct. 1981 to Steamrail, stored Black - vrb
E 1109
to Steamrail, under restoration Black - vrb
E 1110
July 1982 scrapped Black - vrb
E 1111
1981 scrapped Black - vrb

1102 as built
OfficialVR photo

E 1102 as preserved at the ARHS museum painted back into its original scheme. Photo Aug 2005

E 1103 at Sth Dynon, 1978

E 1104 at Flinders Street yard . Jan. 4 1977
Photo courtesy Peter J. Vincent

E 1104 at Williamstown, 1978.

E 1106 at Sth Dynon loco, 1978

E 1107 at Flinders Street yard. April 20 1977
Photo courtesy Peter J. Vincent
Below, photo courtesy Rob O'Regan

E 1108 at Sth Dynon loco, 1978

E 1109 at Flinders St, 1979
Photo courtesy Peter J Vincent.

E1110 at Sth Dynon, 1979

E 1111 at Sth Dynon July 1979
Photo courtesy Rob O'Regan

Left, undated end view of 1100. Right, E 1109 at Fairfield APM siding, 1983

The photos, above and below, show interior views of one of the steeplecabs
Official VR photographs

E 1102 at Sth Dynon, 1981.

Click on a thumbnail for more E class photos

please email me with any corrections,comments or questions

page last modified2/20/12