Locomotive 3642 is part of the Transport Heritage NSW collection.
Locomotive 3642 is a ﬁne example of the penultimate design of express passenger steam locomotives in NSW. The 36 class was introduced to service in the 1920’s completing long distance mainline passenger services with shorter journey times and increased levels of service.
The 36 class were designed for long distance nonstop running, with reduced maintenance needs and long range Tenders. They were the ﬁrst NSW mainline engine to be ﬁtted with Walschaerts valve gear, which became standard on all subsequent NSWR steam locomotive classes. The class was rebuilt in the 1950s with 3642 undergoing extensive works in 1956. This included a new boiler with Belpaire ﬁrebox, higher steam pressure at 200 lbs psi, an enclosed cab, some technical improvements including more superheater elements and a smokebox regulator as ﬁtted to the 38 class. In the late 1960s, some of the class, including 3642, were ﬁtted with a power reverser.
3642 was built by Clyde Engineering in Granville as works number 376, and entered service in 1926. Clyde Engineering built all but 10 of the class of 75. On introduction, 3642 was placed with the rest of the class on mainline passenger services replacing the older 32 and 35 classes.
As the 36 class matured they were replaced by the 38 class locomotives and reassigned as mail trains. Mail trains were an important part of NSW Railways for nearly 100 years. These trains delivered mail to country areas, generally travelling overnight, and offered passenger accommodation as well. As such the 3642 you see today is a great representation of a 1940’s to 1950’s NSW mail train.
Following the withdrawal of 3642 from revenue service in 1969, it was used for heritage steam tours by Transport Heritage NSW until 1973. Since then it has been in their permanent custody.
Between 1979 and 1981, the locomotive was overhauled and ﬁtted with a replacement boiler at Goulburn Locomotive Depot on a ‘spare time’ basis under an agreement with Transport Heritage NSW. Whilst being overhauled at Goulburn its current paint scheme was applied as a representation of the green livery carried by several of the 36 Class in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Following the overhaul 3642 continued steam tours until 1996 when the boiler again needed major work.