Victorian Railways X Class
X 36 as preserved

Years built

1929, 1937, 1942, 1947


Newport Workshops

Number Produced


Years in Operation


Fleet Numbers




Number Preserved


Number Scrapped


(l × w × h)

77 ft 3 1⁄4 in (23.55 meters)


5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm)

V - E - T - D

The X Class is a 2-8-2 "Mikado" steam locomotive that ran on the Victorian Railways of Australia from 1929 to 1961.


With the possibility of Victorian Railways standardising and the current fleet unsuitable for gauge conversion, the VR built modified versions of their existing classes, starting with the N Class 2-8-2, an updated version of the K Class 2-8-0, and declaring everything after that was built in a fashion where gauge conversion could be easily done (relatively speaking) without extensive and expensive redesigning.

The X Class was designed as a gauge convertible version of the C Class 2-8-0 heavy freight locomotives. It's wheel arrangement alowing a larger and wider firegrate placed behind the frames (as opposed to the C's lack of trailing wheels placing the firebox between the frames) which allowed vastly superior steaming capability to the C's. They also possessed a vastly superior coal and water capacity, similar to the 1928 S Class 4-6-2 express passenger locomotives.

The X Class were later (with the the exception of X 35 and X 36) equipped with boosters, increasing their tractive effort considerably and made them better in operation at slow speeds.

A second series X Class was built during the Second World War due to increase in traffic as well as afterwards as part of "Operation Phoenix", adding features such as thermic siphons and combustion chambers as well as newer all steel boilers.

The X Class were one of the first victims of dieselisation, being scrapped by the masses as they had been rendered obsolote by newer B and S Class Co-Co diesel-electric locomotives and L Class Co-Co electric locomotives, being far easier to start and far less maintenence intensive as well as superior in multiple unit operation, being fully withdrawn by 1961.


X 36 is the sole survivor of the X Class, saved by the skin of it's teeth by the ARHS Victorian Division, who realised the X Class was about to become extinct as the S Class had become in 1954 and has since then been placed on static display at the ARHS Museum at North Williamstown.


The X Class weighs 184 tonnes with an axle load of 19.25 tonnes. The boiler has a maximum boiler pressure of 205 psi and is capable of a tractive effort of 39,360 lbf, it's booster is capable of generating 9000 lbf, putting the engine's total tractive effort at 48,360 lbf. The firebox possesses a grate area of 42 square feet (3.9 m^2). The X possesses two cylinders with a 22 inch bore by 28 inch stroke (559 x 711 mm). The driving wheels are 61.63 inches (1.6 meters) in diameter.

The tender can carry up to 9 tons of coal and 8,600 gallons of water (32,554 litres).


  • X 32 was converted to pulverised brown coal burning in 1949. Although this was successful, the technology was not widely adpoted due to how dangerous the tech was if not used properly (i.e. not cleaning the tubes properly could cause the tender to light the entire coal supply and cause an explosion), expense of creating new facilities for it and conversion of engines to fire it, and favor of diesel electric traction
  • X 32 also once hauled the Spirit of Progress, keeping to the timetable, despite being considerably slower than the S Class engines that hauled it, and even H Class 4-8-4 that hauled it on rare occasions
  • A third series X Class was to be built in Sydney by Clyde Engineering, although the order was cancelled in place of newer B Class diesels. Sources suggest that the third series was modified to possess several features in common with the R Class 4-6-4 such as similar cabs, fireboxes, sandboxes, German smoke deflectors, roller bearings, mechanical stokers, etc
  • The X Class were initially built with round top fireboxes similar to the S Class, although later were fitted with all steel boilers with belpaire fireboxes due to the faults of the original boilers
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