An historic moment for UGL

May 24, 2022
  • Manufacturing
  • Operations and Maintenance

Across our sites and projects, we are proud to support the communities in which we work.

The UGL team in Bassendean, Western Australia (WA) recently had an opportunity to assist Rail Heritage WA, a volunteer led rail preservation society, with unloading the historic locomotive, GM 1. 


What is GM 1?

Built in 1951, GM 1 was the first standard gauge, mainline diesel locomotive in WA, making it the first interstate diesel locomotive in Australia replacing steam technology.

At the time, being able to operate diesel locomotives instead of steam across the Nullarbor reduced the logistical challenges of supplying water and coal in the remote area. They could also travel at higher speeds and haul bigger loads.

GM 1 was originally well known for hauling the Trans-Australian passenger train and later, it hauled the Indian-Pacific on its 4,000km journey between Sydney and Perth. 

After almost five decades of service, GM 1 found a temporary home in Parkes, NSW. This year, Rail Heritage WA organised its relocation back to its new home at the Rail Heritage Museum in WA.

Supporting our community

As a close neighbour to Rail Heritage WA’s museum, the UGL team at our Bassendean workshop offered to help unload GM 1 at the end of the journey, assisting with the preservation of the historic locomotive and supporting the local community.

The journey across the country

In March 2022, Doolan’s Heavy Haulage float and prime mover (an oversized load trailer and a large truck) picked up GM 1 in Parkes, ready to haul across the continent.

Upon arriving at Bassendean, the UGL team welcomed GM 1 into the UGL workshop. The following day, the team facilitated lifting the loco off the float and onto the tracks, celebrating the historic moment of its return to WA. 

GM 1 spent the weekend in the UGL workshop and was delivered to the museum the following Monday.


The UGL Bassendean site completes servicing, maintenance and overhaul of various components supporting the rail and mining sector in WA. This includes components such as engines, wheel sets, bogies, electric motors and alternators from locomotives and off highway vehicles. The site also maintains and assembles rail wagons.

The current long-distance Indian Pacific passenger carriages are maintained by UGL in Keswick, South Australia.



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