origins of the Victorian Railways Y-class lay with the decision by Kitson & Co,
Leeds to place a 0-6-0 freight locomotive on display at the Centennial
International Exhibition, Melbourne in 1888, together with a 2-4-2T suburban
passenger locomotive. This marketing
initiative proved successful as the Victorian Railways were clearly
impressed with these machines, with both purchased after the exhibition and
becoming the patterns for new standard locomotive types. Thirty examples of the 0-6-0 heavy freight
design were ordered from the Phoenix Foundry, Ballarat, becoming the
Y-class for main line heavy freight duties, while the 2-4-2T design became
the E-class for Melbourne suburban passenger duties (represented by
preserved locomotive E 236).
Y-class prove successful in service and accrued high mileages. They were inevitably superseded by more modern
and powerful steam locomotives and a number cascaded into shunting and yard
pilot duties, often with the addition of shunters steps along both
locomotive and tender. Y 112 was one
of the last in service when withdrawn in 1961. Fortunately it was saved for preservation
and plinthed in central Ballarat, ostensibly in commemoration of Phoenix
Foundry. I understand it is owned by
the Sovereign Hill Museums Association.
the 1980’s, Y 112 was leased to Steamrail
Victoria and restored to operation at an industrial site in
Ballarat. Y 112 features an
attractive lined apple green livery and has performed various rail tours
around Victoria since restoration. It
is normally based at the Steamrail depot in Ballarat East.
further information about the Victorian Railway’s Y-class locomotives (and
indeed all early VR motive power), I recommend “Steam Locomotives of the
Victorian Railways – Volume 1: The first 50 years” by Norman Cave, John
Buckland and David Beardsell; this authoritative and details work also
features many historical photographs and drawings. Wikipedia provides some further information
about the Victorian
Railways Y-class steam locomotives.
is a YouTube link showing Y 112 double-heading
with D3 639 on a mail-line run.
(The opening shot also shows in the background several D3
locomotives stored by Steamrail at Ballarat East Depot.)