The first rail tractor entered service in 1932. It was a low powered unit with a wooden cab and was used in some line construction.
Between 1957 and 1969 more rail tractors entered service. These units were designed for shunting loose trucks with station limits only and were driven by suitably qualified station staff. They were for general shunting when train engines were not available and they were a replacement for horse shunting.
Most four wheel wagons were fitted with hooks on each side. At large station yards, a horse and attendant were provided to move and spot wagons as required. These were gradually phased out.
On flat ground, The RT maximum load was 200ton; about 10 loaded four wheel wagons.
The rail tractors were built on short wheelbase _I__ wagon underframes. Built onto this underframe was a farm tractor engine and metal cab. The transmission was chain drive to one axle with each axle connected by another chain. A large lever handbrake only was provided. The cab was complete with spring steel supported metal tractor seat. The cab was fitted with external mirrors to allow the operator to view both sides in both directions from the central seat position.
The 1932 rail tractor was No.1 and is currently preserved at the Newport Railway Museum.
RT 2 to 51 were converted ex I wagon underframes.
RT 54 was ex Port of Portland shunter about 1975.
RT 52, 53: author has no information
Most rail tractors were withdrawn from service in the 1980's when freight distribution was removed from many stations and consolidated to regional freight depots.
Some RT's are still in use.
A second rail tractor was built similar to the first design. This tractor was for yard use inside Newport Workshops. From local information the tractor was a failure. The underframe of this tractor still exists at November 2007. It is used as a parts platform.
Vehicle history list
Photos for 'RT '
FileID Description................................................AI885 RT - FA scheme, Kensington, 14/8/2002, [oPJV]CR276 RT - FA scheme, shunting, Kensington, 23/7/2002, [oPJV]CR277 RT - with shunter, pushing grain wagons, Kensington, 23/7/2002, [oPJV]AU245 RT - distant, Bairnsdale, 22/9/1975, [oPJV]BC932 RT 4, Oakleigh, 21/1/1977, [oRXO]CF665 RT 4, Ballarat Workshops, 17/4/1978, [oPJV]AW740 RT 6, Bairnsdale, 1/1967, [oPJV]AQ085 RT 6, Bairnsdale, 1967, [oPJV]AW741 RT 6, Bairnsdale, 1/1967, [oPJV]EA865 RT 6 - over pit, stock horse in background, Bairnsdale, 1965, [oPJV]AQ088 RT 7, [oPJV]AI356 RT 7 - Vline, no engine, Bendigo, 25/3/2000, [oPJV]BC933 RT 9, Bendigo, 1/11/1976, [oRXO]BC934 RT 12, Yarrawonga, 18/9/1976, [oRXO]CB203 RT 12, Oakleigh, 13/4/1979, [oPJV]BC936 RT 14, Camperdown, 28/11/1976, [oRXO]BK417 RT 17, Yarraglen, [sNET]DH256 RT 17 - detail: axle sprockets for chain drive, Yarraglen, 4/7/2003, [oPJV]DH255 RT 17 - front view, stored, no chains, Yarraglen, 4/7/2003, [oPJV]DH266 RT 17 - lettering: BOL 5.93, Yarraglen, 4/7/2003, [oPJV]DH265 RT 17 - lettering: P 12.72 BO, Yarraglen, 4/7/2003, [oPJV]DH267 RT 17 - lettering: tare X10.5.0.0, Yarraglen, 4/7/2003, [oPJV]DH253 RT 17 - part view: cab lettering/drivers seat, Yarraglen, 4/7/2003, [oPJV]DH270 RT 17 - sand b ox operating lever, in cab, Yarraglen, 4/7/2003, [oPJV]DH269 RT 17 - sand box and cab lever detail, Yarraglen, 4/7/2003, [oPJV]DH271 RT 17 - sandbox/tail disc, Yarraglen, 4/7/2003, [oPJV]DH252 RT 17 - stripped/no chains, Yarraglen, 4/7/2003, [oPJV]DH268 RT 17 - underframe detail: waybill clip, Yarraglen, 4/7/2003, [oPJV]11020 RT 18 - part view/driver, Irymple, 20/4/1978, [oPJV]BC937 RT 21, Warragul, 9/10/1976, [oRXO]CA903 RT 23, Numurkah, 15/4/1979, [oPJV]BA439 RT 25 - Orange, Vline, [sRXO]CF867 RT 26 - shows tractor seat, Birchip, 19/4/1978, [oPJV]BM119 RT 27, Williamstown, 12/6/1980, [oPJV]DE612 RT 27 - FA scheme, at Ballarat Tractors , Ballarat West, 21/4/2003, [oPJV]CG235 RT 28, Sealake, 21/4/1978, [oPJV]AF190 RT 31, Shepparton, [oDMG]BC938 RT 33, Oakleigh, 26/9/1976, [oRXO]AT819 RT 33, Korong Vale, 22/4/1979, [oPJV]11016 RT 34, Irymple, 20/4/1978, [oPJV]EA861 RT 35, Moe, 9/1965, [oPJV]B3150 RT 35, Footscray Goods Yard, 25/3/1979, [oPJV]AI257 RT 36 - fresh paint job, FA, Kensington, 10/7/2002, [oPJV]CP646 RT 38 - FA repaint, Kensington, 5/7/2002, [oPJV]AQ086 RT 39, [oPJV]BC939 RT 39, Warragul, 9/10/1976, [oRXO]DG861 RT 39 - e1p, stored, South Dynon, 18/6/2003, [oPJV]DG845 RT 39 - stored, South Dynon, 18/6/2003, [oPJV]DE615 RT 43 - part dismantled, Vline, at Ballarat Tractors , Ballarat West, 21/4/2003, [oPJV]AQ087 RT 46, [oPJV]BG642 RT 46, Newport Workshops, 6/11/1975, [oPJV]CU383 RT 46 - e1p, Spotswood Rec Depot, 11/1/1979, [oPJV]CU382 RT 46 - e1q, Spotswood Rec Depot, 11/1/1979, [oPJV]CU384 RT 46 - e2p, Spotswood Rec Depot, 11/1/1979, [oPJV]CU385 RT 46 - s2e2c, Spotswood Rec Depot, 11/1/1979, [oPJV]CU381 RT 46 - s2p, Spotswood Rec Depot, 11/1/1979, [oPJV]CU380 RT 46 - s2q, Spotswood Rec Depot, 11/1/1979, [oPJV]AS093 RT 47, 1999, [oDMG]BC940 RT 49, Morwell, 9/10/1976, [oRXO]BC941 RT 52, Castlemaine, 13/11/1976, [oRXO]AC490 RT 52 - orange/Vline logo, [oBXY]
No diagrams found for RT
File c466m compiled by Peter J. Vincent, updated 24/11/2007