Something which may interest a few of you. On my recent travels, I managed to get a photo of CL17 under restoration in Cootamundra, NSW. CL17 was built by Clyde Engineering, Granville NSW in 1972. It is historically significant, as it was the last bulldog/bullnosed diesel built in the world by an affiliate of GM-EMD. The first appeared in the 1940's. CL17 was the seventeenth member of the CL class, which were built for the Commonwealth Railways for traffic across the Nullabor Plain, and featured an EMD 16-645E3 engine, producing around 3000hp at the rail.
In the early 1990's, the entire CL class were taken to Morrison Knudsen Australia, Whyalla South Australia for complete rebuild, which included stripping the locomotives down to the carbody, and installing new electrics and upgraded the engine - an EMD 16-645E3C. Ownership was transferred to MKA, and the finished locomotives were leased back to Australian National Railways (formerly CR). The class was split in two, with the first half being setup for freight traffic. This included lower gearing of the traction motors for better hauling capability, and being classified as CLF. The second half were setup for passenger train haulage, and were fitted with a head end power unit to power the electrics in the passenger carriages, and a higher gear ratio on the traction motors for a quicker take off and speed. These were classified as CLP. The original numbers were not retained, and were swapped about, with CL17 becoming CLP10.
The CLP's were used on all of ANR's passenger services, including The Ghan and Indian Pacific, until these services were sold to Great Southern Railway in 1997, when ANR was dissolved. Ownership of the CLF/CLP was passed to Australian Southern Railroad in 1997, when the MKA business wound up. From then on, all were used in freight traffic Australia wide. In 2006, the ARG was wound up by it's shareholders, and the assets split between Genesee Wyoming Australia, and QR National, who retained the ARG branding for it's Western Australian operations. CLP10 went to QR National, and spent most of it's time running container trains between Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
In 2012 QRN withdrew the CLF/P class as new locomotives entered traffic, and sold them to Apex International for re-sale internationally. They were moved to Ettamogah in Southern NSW for a period of storage in 2013, and again to Goulburn NSW in 2015. In 2017, a fundraiser was launched to save CLP10, given it's historical significance. The fundraiser was announced as being successful in 2018, and another fundraiser was launched to reverse the changes made to the locomotive's external appearance to how it was originally. The fund is also to reactivate the re-born CL17 as a working museum piece, which will haul special trains on a regular basis as well as being displayed at special events. It was moved to Cootamundra for restoration not long the announcement of the fundraiser's success.
This is the progress so far. Much of the bodywork on the driver side is complete, but the fireman's side is still devoid of panelling. The engine and other components have been assessed as sound, with some parts, such as the turbo unit, are currently being overhauled offsite. I hope to be able to visit this weekend for a further look, but given it's a good six hour drive from home, time might be limited. Anyway. Here it is as of two weeks ago: