The Deutz G601 and G611 Class
In an effort to save a number of lightly used branchlines from permanant closure, CIÉ bought three lightweight diesel locomotives from the German Motorenfabrik Deutz company. Known as the G601 Class, they were delivered in 1956 and 1957, they were powered by the 130bhp Deutz A8L 714 diesel engine driving the four wheels via chains through a Voith hydraulic transmission. They were put to work and postponed the closure of these lines for a number years. Pleased with the success of these diminutive eighteen ton locomotives, CIÉ placed a further order with Deutz for seven more locomotives which arrived in 1962. This second batch differed slightly from the original type and were classified G611. Although powered by the same engine, the output had been increased to 160bhp and the weight had crept up to twenty two tons. The body design was also slightly different. All had been withdrawn by 1977 with five of the G611 Class being sold to Comhlucht Siuicre Éireann (Irish Sugar Company). Five of the locomotives have been preserved, G601, G611, G616 and G617 by the ITG and G613 by the Downpatrick Steam Railway.
No models or kits of the G Class have been produced. However, I did notice a similarity between the Deutz locomotive and one half of an Orenstien & Koppel (O&K) industrial locomotive made by Fleischmann (ref. 4200). I managed to acquire just the body and proceeded to convert it. The O&K locomotive had two bonnets either side of the central cab. I removed one of the bonnets and cab fronts with a razor saw. I then made a new cab end from plascticard and secured in place. The body was then tidied up and painted. A Tenshodo Spud motor bogie was used for power. Although the result looks similar to the Deutz, it is not quite right, so I shall be scratch building both type of G Class locomotive in the future.