Diesel locomotives

The diesel locomotives are as integral to our operation today as they were in the final decade of Mt Lyell Mining and Rail Co’s operation.

The two Drewry Locomotives operate passenger services primarily out of Strahan, as they are not engineered to operate on the rack section’s third rail. The rack section is a 7-kilometre stretch of track between Lynchford and Dubbil Barril Station on the Queenstown half of the railway. A third diesel, V9, is used primarily for shunting.


Status: In service

D1 was purchased in 1953 and was the first of Mt Lyell Railway’s locomotive purchases since the 1930s, even making the newspapers in both Hobart and Launceston. It was used to minimise the distance travelled by the steam locomotives, meeting them at the railway’s mid-point and relieving them of their copper burden for the second leg to Strahan. The use of a diesel locomotive on this section significantly improved operation of the railway line and the load on the steam locomotives.

D1 was fully refurbished in 2023 with painting and pinstriping completed inhouse at our Carswell Park maintenance facility.

D1 takes carriages to Lynchford in January 2024


Status: Out of traffic

D2 (formally V13) was purchased at the same time as D1 and was also a shunting and transport locomotive engaged out of Regatta Point. Following the shutdown of the railway in 1963, it was initially utilised by the Tasmanian Government Railway (TGR) and, later, on the Zig Zag Railway in NSW.

D2 is currently out of traffic awaiting refurbishment, which will include engine and gearbox rebuilds, air compressor overhaul, cab rewiring and a repaint. We hope to secure funding for this work in 24/25.

Illustration of heritage Drewry diesel
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