Australian National was formed in 1976 with the merging of the South Australian Railways (SAR), the Commonwealth Railways (CR), and the Tasmanian Government Railways (TGR). The latter later became known as TasRail. This was one of the few good things to come out of the Whitlam Government. SAR locos had numeric class designations, while CR locos had alphabetic class designations. Those classes beginning with "N" were used on the narrow gauge lines. The last two had some interesting stories behind these designations.
The creation of National Rail was to result in the loss of much of
AN's intercapital freight, and this caused a downturn. In 1997, the
split AN up into three different sections, and sold them off.
The maintenance and intrastate South Australian freight services have been sold to Australia Southern Railroad (ASR), a consortium consisting of Genesee and Wyoming Inc, and Clyde Engineering and Transfield. In October 2000, ASR and Westrail were merged to become Australian Rail Group (ARG), following Genesee and Wyoming's purchase of Westrail upon privatisation. ASR own all operational mainland locos, apart from the AN, BL and DL classes, which are used by National Rail (now Pacific National).
ASR has around 100 locos in its fleet, these being from the 422, 500, 600, 700, 830, 930, ALF, CK, CLF, CLP, DA, GM, and NJ classes. They have also taken over BHP's operations at Whyalla, and now operate the latter's DE class locos.
ARG's locos with alphanumeric numbers are likely to be renumbered to an all-numeric numbering system.
Those locos now in ASR's livery are: 2201-6, 2208, 2210, 2212-2216, 508, 527, 703-704, 844, 847, 851, 859, ALF18-24, CLF1-5, CLF6-8, CLP9-14, CLP16-17, DA4-7 (includes 904), GM37, GM40, GM42-44, GM46, 1601-1602 (NJ1-2), 1604-1605 (NJ4-5), as well as ex-BHP DE1, DE3-4, DE7 and DE8 at Whyalla. 42207 also has a new livery, looking more like the old Freightcorp livery.
The interstate passenger services (Indian-Pacific, Ghan,
Overland) have been sold to the Great Southern Railway (GSR),
consisting of SERCO, Rail America, and Macquarie Bank. GSR do not own
locos, and PacNat handle the haulage on their services.
The Tasmanian freight services have been sold to the Australian Transport Network (ATN), owned by Wisconsin Central (who also bought and now operate TranzRail, the former NZR), and Faye Richwhite & Berkshire. They own all operational TasRail locos, and more loco rebuilds are possible. ATN have also started mainland operations; more information is on the Private Operators page. ATN have recently been bought by Pacific National.
For convenience, I will cover all AN locos here for the time being.
In February 2006, ASR was split up, as part was purchased by QRNational, and Genesee and Wyoming Australia (GWA) took over the remainder (this being the SA freight business). See the Fleetlist page for a list of which locos are going to which operator. QRN has around 25 operational locos and GWA has around 60 operational locos.
508; 1603, 1606, ALF18, ALF22, CLF5 and GM47 are in the GWA livery.
CLP13 is in the QRN livery.
Many of AN's locos were used by National Rail, until the latter's
contract was completed.
Prior to the sale and splitting up, AN operated around 170 locomotives on some 6100km of track.
There is a separate site - TasTrain - for information
the former TasRail (and now ATN) locomotives.
Commonwealth Railways (CR), Australian National (ANR/AN), Australia Southern Railroad (ASR)
Locomotive Page Introduction
© Copyright John Cleverdon