Victorian Railways C Class
C 10 as preserved in the ARHS Museum

Years built



Newport Workshops

Number Produced


Years in Operation


Fleet Numbers

C1 - C26



Number Preserved


Number Scrapped


l x w x h)

65 ft 3 in (19.89 meters)


5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm)

V - E - T - D

The C Class locomotive is a 2-8-0 'Consolidation' steam locomotive that ran on the Victorian Railways of Australia from 1918 to 1962


The C Class was built at Newport Workshops in 1918 for use on heavy goods traffic following from the A2 and Dd Class 4-6-0 Classes as part of the 'modern' VR fleet, taking over from aging 19th century designs

Several bridges were upgraded to hold their weight along the Bendigo and Seymour lines where they were worked

During World War 2, lack of motive power and heavy increase in traffic saw the C's put to work on passenger trains across the North Eastern, Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong lines

After the war, the C Class were being withdrawn due to the arrival of many more powerful and modern classes of locomotives, the last C in regular service, C 7, being withdrawn in 1962

Shortcomings and modificationsEdit

The C Class for all it's power and fuel efficiency was a somewhat less successful design than the A2. Intial problems included a narrow and long firebox that was manually stoked and was prone to clinkering and an undersized boiler. Drafting issues along with that caused the engines to run out of steam when worked too hard

To rectify these issues they, along with the A2's, were fitted with self cleaning smokeboxes in 1933, which increased their performace considerably, so much they were fitted to the K Class 2-8-0, N Class 2-8-2, S Class 4-6-2 and X Class 2-8-2 locomotives, as well as becoming standards on all future VR designs

C 16 was fitted with pulverised brown coal burning equipment in 1929, although this was unsuccessful and C 16 was converted back to coal burning

After the poor quality of coal during and after World War 2, the C Class were converted to oil burning in 1946, which while was more successful than coal burning, still didn't stop the C's from running out of steam


C 10 is the sole surviving C Class, preserved in the ARHS Museum at North Williamstown as a static exhibit


The C Class weighs 130.6 tonnes. The locomotives have 2 cylinders with a 22 inch bore by 28 inch stroke (559 x 711 mm) with a boiler pressure of 200 psi with a tractive effort of 38,400 lbf. The firebox posseses a grate area of 32 square feet (3 m^2).The engine's driving wheels were 61 inches (1.57 m)

The tender is capable of carrying 1500 gallons (6800 litres) of oil and 4700 gallons (21000 litres) of water

[stats for coal burning C would be appreciated]


  • At the time of it's introduction, the C Class was the most powerful locomotive in Australia (capable of hauling 1,200 tons unassisted an level gradients, 420 tons more than an A2 on a level gradient)
  • The C Class initially was problematic in it's design, but was extensively modified during it's career
  • Despite the above, the C Class was 5% more fuel efficient than a superheated steam boilered A2 or Dd Class and 25% more so than a saturated steam boilered A2 or Dd
  • The C Class was the first locomotive class built entirely in house at VR Newport Workshops
  • The C Class' design was later redeveloped to create the 1929 X Class 2-8-2 heavy frieght locomotives, which were superior not only in terms of power, but also didn't suffer from the C's shortcomings
Articles on Trains in Victoria
Steam: A2 Class - C Class - Dd Class - G Class - H Class - J Class - K Class - N Class - NA Class - R Class - V Class - X Class - Y Class

Diesel Electric: F Class - P Class

Diesel Hydraulic: TBA

Rail Tractor: TBA

Railmotors: Walker Railmotors

Electric: TBA

Suburban Electric: TBA