L class electric locomotives
In the late 1940's a massive project was began to regrade and electrify the line from Melbourne to Traralgon. The impetus for this program was a major expansion of the Morwell coalfields and briquette plant. At this time the VR only had 12 small electric locos so an order was placed with English Electric for mainline electric locos with vastly higher horsepower than the existing E class. The original order was for 17 locos but the order was increased to 25 for the proposed Geelong electrification which of course never eventuated.

The first L arrived from England in 1953 but the locos had to wait until the electrification was completed, in the meantime a few ran suburban goods service but most were stored.

The L's performed very well on passenger services but due to their light weight were always plagued by wheelslip problems in heavy freight service resulting in their load limits being reduced several times over the years. All L's were equipped with automatic staff exchangers, they were removed during 1976.

All of the L's were built at in England and shipped to Melbourne

L class diagram

Until September 1981 all of the L's wore the VR blue and gold paint scheme, after this time some L'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
vlo test V/Line orange test scheme

Road # Serial #
In service
Withdrawn
Service life Disposition Color schemes Notes
L 1150 1884
21/4/1953
13/6/1987
1,416,792 miles to ARHS museum vrb - vic - vlo named "R. G. Wishart"
L 1151 1885
24/5/1953
29/6/1982
1,146,483 miles scrapped early 1988 vrb
L 1152 1886
29/4/1953
9/10/1986
1,389,450 miles scrapped early 1988 vrb
L 1153 1887
27/6/1953
17/11/1982
1,237,828 miles scrapped early 1988 vrb - vlo
L 1154 1888
12/6/1953
6/10/1986
1,401,257 miles scrapped early 1988 vrb
L 1155 1889
29/6/1953
28/10/1986
1,375,779 miles scrapped early 1988 vrb
L 1156 1890
7/8/1953
11/6/1987
1,360,866 miles scrapped early 1988 vrb - vlo test - vlo
L 1157 1891
23/7/1953
7/2/1987
1,448,483 miles scrapped early 1988 vrb
L 1158 1892
30/7/1953
18/5/1987
1,377643 miles scrapped early 1988 vrb
L 1159 1893
12/8/1953
22/4/1987
scrapped 3/88 vrb - vlo
L 1160 1894
23/8/1953
13/6/87
1,288,162 miles to Elecrail vrb - vlo
L 1161 1895
1/10/1953
11/3/1987
1,416,170 miles scrapped early 1988 vrb
L 1162 1896
4/10/1953
15/6/1987
1,265,170 miles to Elecrail vrb - vlo
L 1163 1897
23/10/1953
5/2/1985
scrapped vrb
L 1164 1898
20/11/1953
19/2/1984
scrapped vrb
L 1165 1899
20/12/1953
3/3/1987
1,449,104 miles scrapped 3/88 vrb
L 1166 1900
26/1/1954
4/3/1987
1,476,446 miles scrapped 3/88 vrb
L 1167 1919
9/2/1954
21/11/1984
1,312,396 miles scrapped ??? vrb
L 1168 1920
18/2/1954
2/11/1986
1,414,927miles scrapped ??? vrb
L 1169 1921
25/3/1954
13/6/1987
1,368,944 miles to Elecrail vrb - vlo
L 1170 1922
9/5/1954
19/10/1986
1,375,779 miles scrapped early 1988 vrb
L 1171 1923
26/4/1954
11/9/1986
1,186,874 miles scrapped early 1988 vrb - vic cab modified late 70's
L 1172 1924
26/7/1954
27/5/1987
1,395,043 miles vrb
L 1173 1925
1/6/1954
Dec. 1986
??? scrapped vrb - modified marker lights
L 1174 1926
3/8/1954
May 1987
??? scrapped??? vrb - vlo


L 1160 shortly after being painted in V/Line orange/grey.


In 1976, L1171 had its nose lowered, the number boards and marker lights were also re-positioned, no other L recieved this modification. A few years later L 1173 emerged from Newport with a few less drastic modifications, repositioned whistle and modified marker lights.


Most of the L's were scrapped in April 1988 when this photo was taken at Spotswood.


The L's normally carried 2 pantographs but it was by no means unusual for just one "panto" to be installed. In winter instructions were issued for an L with two panto's to be in the lead and in frosty weather the lead loco would have both panto's raised, the front panto would knock the ice off the contact wire and the rear panto would thus be able to make good contact with the contact wire.

L 1150 in "as built" condition at Lilydale on a trial run, 1953. Not the abscence of number lights.


Coming off the pit at Sth Dynon, L 1162 didn't get very far before it had a little entaglement with the overhead wire. July 1981



L 1160
L 1169
.

L 1162

L 1150

L 1162

L 1161

L 1165
L 1150

L 1168
L 1157
L 1168
L 1151


The photo and caption below are from the October 1953 VR Newsletter


The photo and article below are from the May 1953 VR Newsletter



The article below is from the July 1953 VR Newsletter

please email me with any corrections,comments or questions

page last modified6/7/08