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Ixion Model Railways Australia is proud to announce that their next HO Scale loco will be the Victorian Railways J Class 2-8-0 in both coal- and oil-burning tender versions.
The J Class locomotive was the Victorian Railways’ last steam locomotive, and was used for secondary passenger and goods traffic right across Victoria. The J Class locomotive was introduced in 1954 as part of Operation Phoenix, a massive upgrading of the Victorian Railways fleet.
The J Class was an evolution of the highly successful K class design, made to be gauge convertible with a number of modernized features. A total of 50 J Class locomotives were ordered and built by Vulcan Foundry in England, 30 as coal burners and 30 as oil burners. With it’s high-set boiler and red German-style smoke deflectors the J class was one of the more distinct steam locomotives operated by Victorian Railways.
The J Class’ life was relatively short, being introduced at the start of the diesel era, only a year before the T Class which was to replace it. As the J Class was gradually superseded by the T Class into the 1960s it was relegated to shunting duties in various country yards. The first J class was scrapped in 1967 with the last J class surviving in revenue service until 1972.
A number of class members are still preserved with operational or under restoration. J549 was recently overhauled and is currently operational at the Victorian Goldfields Railways, and J515 and J541 are both being overhauled to return to service.
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