The streamliner came to Australia in the early 1950s when local firm Clyde Engineering sealed the domestic Electro-Motive Division (EMD) license and set about producing local variants of the F Series, first appearing as the GM1 Class for the Commonwealth Railways. Built concurrently was the South Australian Railway’s ALCo-styled (but English Electric powered) 900 Class. Goodwin of Sydney, NSW, negotiated the Australian license for ALCo products and turned out well over a hundred members of the World Series model DL500A and DL500B, both inspired by the ALCo FA design. Other variants followed right around the country, culminating in the ultimate statement of streamliner – the Commonwealth Railway’s 3,000hp CL Class, the last locomotive design built to the EMD style anywhere in the world. In between came variants from English Electric (EE) and the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company, including 25 EE-built L Class wire-electric locomotives. Among the last streamliners to hit the rails in Australia, however, were our two oldest – former Western Pacific EMD-built F units which survive today in the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia.
On the pages below you'll find a bit of historical background and brief listing of all our Australian streamliners groups and classes. We have had 345 in all – not counting locomotives rebuilt and thus counted twice – that would be cheating.
Check out our fleetlist of surviving streamliner diesel and electric locomotives.