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8606 Is Back In Action Again


In 2018 SETS partnered with Pacific National to reactivate 8606 for use on heritage excursions and for use by Sydney Trains on their Robel Rail train. This gallery page showcases various images of the loco and covers the major events since the loco returned to Lithgow on the 17th June.
More images will be added in due course.

On Sunday the 22nd July 2018, after being back in Lithgow for 5 weeks, 48120 shunted 8606 out of the Loco Maintenance Centre into the sunshine on Brown's Siding for ventilation, battery charging and limited functional testing. It was a very successful day, and the locomotive's reappearence came as a surprise to many. Photo by Michael Grantham
On the 25th October 2018 SETS electric locomotive 8606 was taken under its own power for a successful test run to Mount Victoria and back. 8606, with Lithgow Shunter 48120 in tow, are seen here near Zig Zag. Photo by Alistaire Harris
8606 awaits departure from Lithgow down yard for Clyde in Sydney as light engine on X714 on 27th October 2018. The locomotive was previously electrically operated light-engine on the main line almost exactly 13 years earlier! Photograph by Hugh Burns.
After being drawn from Clyde yard by 8134, due to a missing overhead wiring section, 8606, with Robel train attached, awaits departure from Clyde Station for its trip to the City Underground as E702, on the evening of Monday 29th October 2018. Photo by Greg Wotton
Again on October 29 2018, 8606 stands on platform 16 at Central after hauling the Robel train from Clyde Yard as E702. In a spectacular relaunch, 8606 went on to draw the train over the Sydney Harbour Bridge before running around the train to change direction at North Sydney. The train then returned to Town Hall to drop rail on the up shore line. This was the first time 8606 had operated a train under electric power since 29th October 2005. Photo by Trent Nicholson
On the 28th November 2018, 8606 passes through Central leading E704 for its first rail drop on the Eastern Suburbs Railway, heading to drop replacement rail on the viaduct. Photo by Behnam Emery
See also video of 8606's Central ESR visit from Bevan Wall and Behnam Emery
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8606 stands at Central platform 17 with a double Robel train set on E802, heading to drop rail on the City Inner, on Wednesday 9th January 2019. Photo by Trent Nicholson
On the second of May 2019, 8606 heads E702 passing through the historic Museum Station on its final night for the week on the City Inner, heading to Circular Quay to commence dropping rail from Circular Quay to Town Hall. Unlike most locomotives, electric loco 8606 is quite at home as a frequent visitor to the underground, where it runs on one pantograph due to limited tension in the overhead wiring. Photo by Thomas Bulic
Due to Pacific National's trackwork commitments, 8606 was moved from Enfield to Central, for display at the Transport Heritage Expo, on the evening of Thursday 6th June 2019. The loco was placed out of the way on the middle run-around road between platforms 3 and 4, and is seen here shortly after arrival having been hauled by an 81 class. Photo by Thomas Bulic
From the 8th to 10th June 2019, 8606 was on display at Transport Heritage Expo held at Central station, with its cab open for public inspection. Here 8606 is shown in the twilight after the exhibition closed for Saturday evening. Hundreds of people took the opportunity to visit the loco. Photo by Aaron Pearce
Keeping 8606 operational involves quite a number of people working behind the scenes. Some tasks need specialists beyond SETS, Pacific National or their maintenance contractor Progress Rail. Rebuilding of worn and damaged pantographs is one example of critical works needing such knowledge and expertise, together with specialist parts. Here we see LRW's pantograph expert, Matt, together with his handiwork; the newly rebuilt SMC pantograph #659, which is now fitted to 8606. Photo by Lindsay Harvey
8606's rebuilt number 2 end pantograph was refitted to the loco on Tuesday the 24th September 2019 at Delec. The loco was then moved to Clyde to be near the Progress Rail Maintenance Centre and be under the overhead for testing, to enable further minor works and internal cleaning. The loco is shown operational on overhead power with both pantographs raised on the afternoon of Friday the 27th September. Photo by Hugh Burns

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Sydney Electric Train Society