B-B Diesel Hydraulic
These Australian built locomotives were purchased second hand from Queensland Railways in Australia, where they were that systems DH class. Originally built for QR's 3 ft 6inch gauge they were regauged for VN's metre gauge. Strangely they still carry the QR logo even after repainting in VN! Maybe no-one in Vietnam understands what it is? They were built from 1968 to 70 by Walkers Ltd at Maryborough in Queensland and are rated at 500 hp. In Queensland they were used mainly for shunting (switching) but in VN are employed in a much broader range of tasks. The first one (DH54) was ex Redbank Workshops 8/91, DH42&65 ex Redbank 10/93, DH6,8-9,15,33,39,44,57,58, ex Redbank 2/95, DH26 ex Redbank 6/95. They are sometimes seen coupled with Second D10H class (DFH21). They are used almost exclusively in the north and mainly on freight services on the Hà Nội - Lào Cai line.
13 locomotives were delivered between 1993 and 1995. All appear to be still in operation and are allocated to the Yên Viên Depot.
Click on Thumbnail for fullsize image
Above: Queensland Railways DH Class
In Australia all other members of the class have been out of service for a number of years, though some have been extensively rebuilt to operate on the privately run 2ft gauge sugar cane railways.
Steam Locomotives generally used the traditional French classification system. A steam locomotive with a 2-8-2 wheel arrangement is classified as 141 class, a locomotive with 4-6-2 wheel arrangement is classified as 231 class etc. To differentiate between different locomotives with the same wheel arrangement, the initial road number was added, e.g. 231-400 and 231-500. Some northern locomotives of Chinese origin were also known by their Chinese classification. e.g. 141 also known as ZL.
Diesel locomotives have a completely dfferent clasification system.
All diesel classes start with the letter 'D' (for diesel or possibly dau may for engine?) then a number which I believe is related to the locomotives power output. The third character defines Electric' (E) or hydraulic (H).
e.g. D5H class = Diesel + 500 hp + hydraulic.
Before 1975 in the south diesels used the French system , e.g. BB for Bo-Bo type locomotive then the initial road number. e.g. BB901 class.
In the North there appears to have been a mixture of different systems.
There is also a semi-official system where locomotives are classified by their country of origin. e.g D5H is also known as 'Ừc' (Australian).
Railways in Vietnam
website © 2009-2013 David Gurnett
Please feel free to contact me at