Sunday, May 8, 2011

DC Paint Jobs

The DC class diesel-electric locomotives are the most numerious locomotive class in New Zealand and are used and abused by Kiwi Rail on almost all services, passenger and freight.

The DC's arn't actually 'new' locomotives. They are heavily modified General Motors DA class locomotives. Between 1978 and 1983, 80 locomotives were rebuilt by Clyde Engineering in Aussie and 5 in our very own Hutt Workshops. The rebuild included a modified low nose and cab as well as new engines.

While the DC's have given stirling service over the past three decades, not surprisingly they are getting a little tired yet they continue to be seen working hard on both freight and passenger workings.

With the introduction of the new DL class there is some talk that more and more DC's will be written off.

On the bright side Kiwi Rail has spent some hard earned cash tidying up and repainting a growing number of DC's to cope with increased traffic.

Hopefully the well-loved DC's will still be seen travelling across the Kiwi Rail network for many years to come.

DC 4133 seen in surprisingly clean 'Fruit Salad' while awaiting further duties at Timaru.
The 'Fruit Salad' livery was the first colour scheme worn by the DC's. 24/01/09.

DC 4784 wearing a very tired patched NZ Rail livery while waiting its next banking duty out of Oamaru. 14/08/09.

The NZ Rail livery come into service in 1990 after New Zealand Railways became New Zealand Rail Ltd, a state owned enterprise.
When Tranz Rail purchased NZ Rail in 1995, loco's in this livery had their NZ Rail logo covered (patched) with vinyl stickers with the Tranz Rail logo.

DC 4110 wearing its Tranz Rail livery passing by Hamilton station, its job of hauling the southbound Overlander between Auckland and Hamilton complete.

An EF class electric will haul the train across the rugged central North Island before handing over to a diesel in Palmerston North for the sprint to Wellington. 28/06/06.

DC 4317 wearing 'bumble bee' livery rests at Westfield. 18/05/08.

In the later years of Tranz Rail, a new black and yellow livery was introduced. This livery quickly became known as 'bumble bee' by railfans for obvious reasons.

DC 4254 in its MAXX livery hauls a southbound subbie past the site of the old Panmure station. 13/10/05.

A number of DC and DCP loco's are leased to the Auckland Transport Agency to haul suburban passenger trains around the Auckland suburban network. As loco's were leased they received a general tidy up including a repaint in the MAXX blue livery.

DC 4830 wearing its garish (is that a word?!) Toll Rail livery at Westfield. 27/08/08

In 2003 Toll, an Austrailian freight transport company purchased the rapidly crumbling Tranz Rail system. As if to stick to New Zealand, Toll introduced this atrocity.

The less said the better.

DC 4594 in its nasty Toll Rail livery but with a Kiwi Rail Patch. 21/05/09.

Common sense finally preveiled and in 2008, the then Labour government purchased the rail network from Toll for an inflated price. As part of the purchase agreement, the Toll Rail logo had to be either removed or covered. The red and grey Kiwi Rail patch was applied much improving green and gold Toll livery.

DCP 4559 in Kiwi Rail livery heads to Middleton loco for a service after returning to Christchurch with the southbound Tranz Coastal. 27/01/10.

A number of DC's have now been repainted in a red/grey/yellow Kiwi Rail livery that suits the DC class.

It will be interesting to see what colour schemes DC's will wear n the future.

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