The D50 class (formerly the T524 class before 1924 re-classification) is a class of 2-8-0 steam locomotive built for and operated by the New South Wales Government Railways of Australia.
In 1896, Beyer, Peacock and Company delivered the first five of the now ‘Australian Consolidation’ type heavy duty goods locomotive, these being the forerunners of the numerically largest class on the system, finally totalling 280 representatives. in the operation of goods trains they followed up the successful record of their passenger counterparts, the P(6)-class, being most effective on the steep gradients and sharp curves of the main lines over mountainous sections. Their second and third coupled wheel tyres were flangeless to reduce curve friction. The five builders who contributed to the numbers were:- Beyer, Peacock and Company: 151 Dübs and Company: 5 Neilson and Company: 10 North British Locomotive Company: 84 Clyde Engineering Company Limited: 30 During the First World War, an additional 10 locomotives of this class were under construction at the North British Locomotive Company, but these were not delivered to Australia, being taken over by the British War Office for the Royal Engineers Railway Operating Division. After the war, they were offered back to the N.S.W.G.R. at higher than new prices and in a badly worn condition. They were declined and were subsequently acquired by a Belgian railway and, following rebuilding, assigned to work coal trains along the Meuse Valley. The Commonwealth Railways also chose this design to be their first goods locomotive class, the K-class, for the Trans-Australian Railway.
Many of the D50-class received a turret type tender in later years which provided better visibility when operating in reverse. During their many years of service, almost to the end of the steam era, there were few lines over which they were not permitted to work. It was often the practice at holiday times to press them into service hauling the extra excursion trains operating to Gosford and Wollongong where their restricted speed had little effect on the schedules. These locomotives, together with the later D53-class and the D55-class, became known as the Standard Goods engines. In the later years, the saturated, i.e. non-superheated, members of the class were normally restricted to working coal trains, commonly made up of 4-wheel hopper wagons not fitted with continuous air-brakes, in the Hunter Valley and shunting duties in the larger marshalling yards throughout the system.
5096, the first locomotive to be built by Clyde Engineering Company at Granville, has been preserved by the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum and is presently stored at Broadmeadow Roundhouse. 5069 and 5132 are preserved by the Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum whilst 5112 is in the care of Bathurst Regional Council. 5112 was preserved because it was regularly allocated to Bathurst-based locomotive driver Ben Chifley, who later became Prime Minister of Australia. In the 1980s it was moved to Orange for restoration to running. The project stalled and the loco was returned to Bathurst and stored in pieces. In 2005 it was moved to the State Mine Heritage Park & Museum at Lithgow for restoration, then to the Hunter Valley Railway Trust for cosmetic restoration only. It returned to Bathurst in November 2010 and is now on permanent display outside Bathurst railway station.