A month ago or so I covered the 421 class locomotives operated by the venerable NSW Government Railways and its successors. Now it is time for a roll call of that class’s closest relatives – the 42 class.
Most readers will rejoice here – not because they are particular fans of the 42 class (though there are many of those misguided souls). No, the rejoicing will come from the knowledge that as there are only six members of the 42 class so this author cannot possibly prattle on for too long?
And sadly, this will be a briefer contribution it should otherwise be as I seemed to have missed ever photographing 4202 during its 24 years of service life. So, lets get into a quick review of 83.3 per cent of the NSW Department of Railways’ 42 class locomotives.
Lets get started with the class leader, 4201. While I actually seem to have accumulated a fair few shots of this unit, and not all of them blurred, I have chosen a fairly recent snap.
A reason for this selection? Well, by my calculations this unit is now serving its 30th year in the preservation scene after its withdrawal in February 1983, after serving only 28 years in revenue action.
During this last three decades it has carried a green livery of various hues, first shouldered in 1980 in recognition of the 125th commemoration of the NSW railways. On an autumnal March day in 2007 4201 was captured rolling through the very pleasant bayside village of Koolewong.
And now… the space where 4202 should be... Sorry about this... Normal transmission will resume in the next paragraph.
Like its class-mate 4204, 4203 got to spend a number of years at Cowra. Sadly for 03 it spent its last years in a bizarre livery adjacent to a local caravan park. There wasn’t a real lot of it worth saving after a while, and now its gone to GM heaven (except its nose, which is apparently at Emu Plains). Here’s a shot of lonesome 03 in August 1996.
Now, onto happier times. 4204 lives on, and is a fine specimen these days. Its present livery captures that essence of maroon which isn’t evident in later NSWGR diesel-electrics’ liveries.
In 2010 4204 spent time at Eveleigh, where the following shot was captured. Now, I would normally wince at poles growing out of the centre of a loco, but this pole has a sign atop it which states ‘no parking beyond this point’, which apparently doesn’t apply to 42 class drivers.
Because I am of a particular vintage, my major recollections of 42 class locomotives are on the south and in the shafts. By the former I mean somewhere between Sydney and Goulburn, and by the latter I mean not being the lead locomotive in a multiple unit combination. The following photograph isn’t the finest quality but it does sum it all up – 4205 being led by 42102 and being pushed by a little Alco battler, 48148.
This photograph just screams the dying embers of a quiet Sunday afternoon at me – because it was. About a minute after taking this snap, I knew that the good burghers of Picton had their afternoon solace severely disrupted by the two lead units.
And now, for the wackiest of them all. Not the loco so much, but the combination of loco and location. In the early 1970s both the NSW Rail Transport Museum and the NSW Division of the Australian Rail Historical Society ran ‘Mystery Tours’, usually around 1 April. On one such tour, in a moment of inspired madness, someone let someone else drive 4206 around the Sydney underground.
To whoever dreamt this up, sincerely thank you. To whoever let it happen, thank you, too. And thanks Dad for getting out of the train whilst it was still moving (I recall it was not permitted to stop) to photograph this event and then jump back on. And Mum, thanks for not letting me go with Dad on this once in a lifetime event - I’ll be in therapy for years for that exercise of parental control. Anyway, back to the photograph…
So, that's another class down... not looking forward to the 48ers.