X-Class Balsa Loco Model

X31 Balsa Model Project

Victorian Railways (Australia) X31 diesel locomotive. Mainly balsa, with some 3D printed parts.

Click image for larger view

The model is at 1:20 scale, approximately 980 mm long. Construction began in 2015, but the project got shelved many times. Covid lockdowns provided time to finish the model… almost!


24 X-Class mainline diesel locomotives were manufactured in Australia by Clyde Engineering under licence from General Motors EMD (ElectroMotive Division.) In 2015 EMD was sold by GM to Progress Rail, a subsidiary of Caterpillar, and renamed Electro Motive Diesel.

The X series locos were delivered to Victorian Railways in three batches between 1966 and 1976. Series one (model G16C) X31 to X36 and series two (model G26C) X37 to X44, were manufactured in Clyde’s Granville NSW plant; the third series (also G26C models) X45 – X54 were made at Clyde’s Rosewater plant in South Australia.

Clyde’s Builder’s Plate on the X31


Inspiration and source material

The X31 commenced service with Victorian Railways on 16th August 1966 and was withdrawn from service in 2009. In january 2010 the X31 was transferred to the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre, where it was restored and has since been regularly hired out to commercial rail operators. A visit to an SRHC open day provided the opportunity to take lots of photos of the X31. In addition, web-sourced photographic and diagram resources were used.

X-31 at Seymour Railway Heritage Centre open day, 22 October 2015

Clyde engineering diagram of X31 – X36