R 761

Maintained by Steamrail Victoria


This photo is kindly provided by Trevor Staats and shows R 761 and R 707 doubleheading near Maryborough on 17 May 2003. 


North British Locomotive Co, Glasgow

Builder’s Number & Year

27051 of 1951


Victorian Railways

Wheel Arrangement

4-6-4  “Hudson”

Entered Service

9 April 1952

Withdrawn from Service

6 July 1964

R 761 was commissioned in 1952 as one of 70 members of the Victorian Railway's R-class 4-6-4 "Hudson" main line passenger locomotives.  These locomotives were designed by Victorian Railways and were urgently required by the post World War 2 period, however construction was delayed by competing priorities.  Eventually construction was outsourced to the North British Locomotive Company, Glasgow but, as with so many post-war steam locomotives orders, delivery ultimately came many years after the demand required.

The R-class superseded the A2-class 4-6-0 locomotives on fast passenger turns however the simultaneous arrival of first-generation diesels reduced their usefulness and the R-class was destined for relatively short lives and low mileages.

R 761 was withdrawn as early as 1964 and placed in storage at Newport Workshops.  It outlived most other steam locomotives withdrawn around this time, eventually passing into the care of Steamrail Victoria.

R 761 has been immaculately maintained by Steamrail Victoria at their Newport Workshops base for many years.  It wears authentic black livery with red running boards and “blinker” smoke deflectors.  R 761 has delighted both rail fans and the public with many fast main-line excursions over several decades of Steamrail Victoria excursions, often double-heading with either R 707, R 711 or R 766.

Wikipedia provides further information about the Victorian Railways R-class locomotives.

YouTube has several videos of R 761 in railtour service, including this fine example “Snow Train 2013 with Hudson Steam Engine R761: Australian Trains showing R 761 on high-speed run pasts during the Snow Train II tour of 2013.  In addition, John Hurst has many images of R 761 in railtour duty in his excellent collection of railway photographs.

My thanks to John Hurst for this slide view captioned "R 761 waits at Pakenham for clearance", taken on 10 April 1994

The SCOAP wheel centres are prominent in this view.

The North British builder's plate centrally mounted on the German-style "blinker" smoke deflectors.

This view was taken as R 761 awaited departure from Bendigo during an Easter 1995 railtour.




"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:  5 March 2015

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