RAIL MOTOR CPH 11
Glenreagh Mountain Railway Inc. Notes prepared by Dr John Kramer, 2
CPH 11 is one of the famous ‘42-footer’ Rail Motors of the NSW Railways. Officially classified as CPH class, they were commonly known as ‘Tin Hares’, a title that owes its origins to the
greyhound tracks of NSW between the two World Wars. In all, there were 37 CPH’s in NSW Railway service. The first CPH was introduced in 1923 and they rapidly revolutionised passenger transport on branch lines throughout NSW. When many of these lines were closed from the 1960s onwards, they were redeployed to non-electrified passenger lines in Sydney and Wollongong until the mid 1980s. They are amongst the best known and most widely travelled rail vehicles in NSW.
CPH Rail Motors were powered by a GM diesel engine rated at 150hp. They have a driver’s compartment at each end, a central guard’s compartment and passenger accommodation at both ends. When they reached the end of their journey, the driver simply locked up the end he had been using and walked up to the other end. No need for turntables or triangles with this handy little machine!
During 1970, CPH 11 was based at Richmond for use on commuter services to Blacktown. By the following year, it had moved to Moree to run out on the Inverell, Boggabilla and Mungindi lines. In 1974, it was running from The Rock (south of Wagga Wagga) to Oaklands in southern NSW. Next year saw it based at Cootamundra to run out on the line to Tumut. In 1978 it was transferred back to Sutherland to work on Illawarra line services. Electrification of this line to Waterfall resulted in its transfer to Wollongong where it saw out its days until retired in the mid-1980s.
CPH 11 was initially bought by the Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum. Ownership passed to GMR in the late 1990s. Its transfer to Glenreagh West did not occur until late 2003. Its general condition was poor after lengthy exposure to the weather. Much of the coach work was beyond restoration and required reconstruction. Much work will be required to return CPH 11 to operating condition, but in time it will become a vital part of GMR's operational fleet