A2 964

Plinthed at Reservoir


An August 2002 view of A2 964 plinthed in Edwardes Park, Reservoir.

This very successful family of 4-6-0 express passenger locomotives was designed by Victorian Railways engineers to meet a growing demand for main line services and to eliminate double heading of lighter locomotive types. The first 125 examples were built at Newport Workshops between 1907 and 1915 as the A1 class, featuring saturated steam boilers and inside Stephenson valve gear. From 1915 to 1922, a further 60 examples of A2 class were constructed to a modified design featuring superheated boilers, outside Walschaerts valve gear, increased cylinder diameter and higher boiler pressure. In time the A1 class were progressively fitted with superheated boilers and these 125 engines came to be known as the A2 Stephenson locomotives, while the later batch of 60 were known as the A2 Walschaerts locomotives.

With high wheels and handsome proportions, the 185 class members of Victorian Railways A2 class proved highly successful on passenger and fast freight duties and formed the backbone of the VR passenger locomotive fleet for many years. During their working lives the class were further modified with an improved front end to reduce steam back-pressure to and from the cylinders, together with the addition of smoke deflectors and electric lighting.

The A2 class were displaced during the 1950's by the 70 newly delivered R-class 4-6-4's and the growing fleet of diesel locomotives. A2 986 was the last A2 in service when withdrawn in December 1963.

Preserved locomotive A2 964 is an example of the later batch of Walschaerts A2's and was one of only 5 class members (Nos. 944, 948, 964, 986 and 992) fitted with the innovative and distinctive Boxpok wheels. It was constructed at Newport Workshops in 1921 as A2 1064 and renumbered to A2 964 in 1924.

A2 964 was written off by the Victorian Railways in January 1964 and plinthed in Edwardes Park, Reservoir in Melbourne's northern suburbs. The scanned print views of A2 964 on this page date from my August 2002 visit to Edwardes Park.

Broadside view of A2 964 plinthed in Edwardes Park, Reservoir. August 2002.



‘A brief history of Preserved Rolling Stock of Victoria’

by Norm Bray, Peter J Vincent and Daryl M Gregory.

Published by Brief History Books, PO Box 437, Sunbury, Vic 3429.


ARHS (Victorian Division) 'North Williamstown Railway Museum',

Third Edition 1968, revised 1977, reprinted 1980.


‘Locomotives of Australia - 1985 to 2010’

(Fifth Edition), by Leon Oberg,

published 2010 by Rosenberg Publishing Pty Ltd.

Page updated: 19 February 2023

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