Bent, battered, and broken – MZ1438

The MZ III class were built in the early 70s for the Danish Railways (DSB), but despite being more powerful than the earlier versions, they proved less reliable and were retired before the older MZ II. Nonetheless the then LVRF (now IRA) purchased and imported 16 of the class to Australia. Two of the units were damaged beyond economic repair on the way over from Denmark, and the remaining 14 were brought into line with Australian standards by Bradken Engineering in Braemar NSW. Sadly they haven’t proven very reliable over here either, and at any given time a number seem to be out of service.

Local rail enthusiasts haven’t warmed to them much, either outright hating their older European styling, or being largely indifferent to them. I wasn’t a fan at first either, however their unique styling has grown on me, and they add variety to a scene where most newer locomotives carry one standard appearance.


On 18 December 2011, MZ1438 was reportedly leading four other MZs during shunting, and failed to stop, hitting a rake of wagons. The design of the loco to take the impact but protect the crew seems to have worked, but resulted in, well see for yourself below …

With reports that she was to be moved by truck to Braemar this weekend, for probable stripping of parts and scrapping, I decided to see what shots I could get. Note that all shots are taken from public areas.

Saturday 21 April 2012
Sitting on jacks at the end of Swinbourne Street awaiting removal. Vandals had clearly enjoyed her five month stay in Botany, being covered in graffiti, and things like the number boards missing.



Distant EMD cousins – MZ1438 with twin Pacific National 81 class (8111/8126) in the background:


The extent of the damage seemed visible, though what I didn’t know was the other side was worse:

The normally smooth panel along the top with now distinguishable ripples:


Sunday 22 April 2012
I came back the next day in hope of seeing her on the truck, and I wasn’t to be disappointed. Thanks to those tasked with the removal for letting me get today’s shots. Unfortunately the lighting was difficult, distracting me from more artistic opportunities I thought of later …



The crumple point in the frame:


With access to the other side now, I could see more of the damage:


A distinctive feature of the MZs, the light fitting of MZ1438 used to help secure the damaged cab to the deck of the truck.

Water dripping from the front (shedding tears knowing her fate?):

The cab not only bending down, but sideways as well:



3 thoughts on “Bent, battered, and broken – MZ1438

  1. What a wonderful little gallery and essay. As a big fan of the MZs, I found a lot here to enjoy and be inspired by! Incidentally, 1438 was the last of the MZs to be recommissioned in Australia.

  2. +1. Really great photos, thanks for posting! Now looking at your other blog entries…

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