CSAR Class C 2-8-4T

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CSAR Class C 2-8-4T
ex IMR "Western Australian" 2-8-4T
CSAR Class C 2-8-4T (IMR 100).jpg
IMR "Western Australian" no. 100, November 1901
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer Neilson, Reid & Company
Builder Neilson, Reid & Company
Serial number 5897-5902
Build date 1900
Total produced 6
Configuration 2-8-4T "Berkshire"
Gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge
Leading wheel
25 in (635 mm)
Driver diameter 38 in (965 mm)
Trailing wheel
25 in (635 mm)
Wheelbase 11 ft 3 in (3.429 m) drivers
4 ft 6 in (1.372 m) trailing bogie
28 ft (8.534 m) overall
Length 36 ft 1 12 in (11.011 m) over buffers
Height 12 ft 7 12 in (3.848 m)
Axle load 8 520 long tons (8.4 t) per driver
Weight on drivers 33 long tons (34 t)
Locomotive weight 53 long tons (54 t) w/o
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 2 720 long tons (2.4 t)
Water capacity 2,000 imp gal (9,100 l; 2,400 US gal)
Boiler 4 ft (1.219 m) inside dia
12 ft 0 14 in (3.664 m) int length
6 ft 7 12 in (2.019 m) pitch
Boiler pressure 160 psi (1,100 kPa)
Firegrate area 16.7 sq ft (1.551 m2)
Heating surface:
– Tubes
167 tubes of 1 34 in (44.4 mm) ext dia
919.5 sq ft (85.424 m2)
– Firebox 93.3 sq ft (8.668 m2)
– Total 1,012.8 sq ft (94.092 m2)
Cylinders Two
Cylinder size 17 in (432 mm) bore
21 in (533 mm) stroke
Valve gear Stephenson valve gear
Performance figures
Tractive effort 19,102 lbf (85 kN) at 75% pressure
Operator(s) Imperial Military Railways
Central South African Railways
Clydesdale Colliery
Ogies Colliery
Class IMR "Western Australian"
CSAR Class C
Number in class 6
Number(s) IMR 100-105, CSAR 203-208
Official name Class C
Nicknames Western Australian
Delivered 1900
First run 1900 [1]

The CSAR Class C 2-8-4T of 1900 was a South African steam locomotive from the pre-Union era in the Transvaal.

In 1900, during the South African War, the Imperial Military Railways experienced a shortage of locomotives and six 2-8-4 Berkshire type tank locomotives, destined for the Western Australian Government Railways, were diverted to South Africa where they were known as the Western Australians. In 1902 they came onto the roster of the Central South African Railways and were designated Class C.[1]

The South African War[edit]

In 1899, when the South African War broke out, the invading British military forces took control of all railways in the colonies of the Cape of Good Hope and Natal. As possession was obtained, this control was extended to the railway lines of the Oranje-Vrijstaat Gouwermentspoorwegen (OVGS) in the Orange Free State and the Nederlandsche-Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij (NZASM) in the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR).[1][2]

On 7 October 1899 Lieutenant-Colonel E.P.C. Girouard, KCMG, DSO, RE, a Canadian serving in the Royal Engineers and at the time the President of the Egyptian State Railways, was appointed as Director of Railways for the South African Field Forces.[1][2]

While Girouard largely left control of the two colonial railways in the hands of their civilian staff, the lines of the two Boer republics were worked under the title of the Imperial Military Railways (IMR) with civilian and military personnel appointed by him.[1][2]

Origin and manufacturer[edit]

"Western Australian" locomotive, still numbered for the WAGR

The damage that was inflicted on the railways during hostilities and the trans­portation demands of the British military led to a shortage of locomotives. To alleviate the shortage, a shipment of six new K class tank locomotives with a 2-8-4 Berkshire type wheel arrangement were diverted to the IMR in South Africa. They had been built for the Western Australian Government Railways (WAGR) by Neilson, Reid & Company in 1900.[1]


Imperial Military Railways[edit]

The IMR numbered the locomotives in the range from 100 to 105 and, since they were not classified, they became commonly known as the Western Australians.[1]

Central South African Railways[edit]

Peace was declared on 1 June 1902 and on 1 July 1902 the railways were handed back to civilian authority. The IMR was transformed into the Central South African Railways (CSAR) that took control of all railways in the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. Girouard remained on as Commissioner of Railways and the NZASM went into liquidation.[2]

P.A. Hyde was appointed as Chief Locomotive Superintendent of the CSAR. One of the first steps to be taken was to classify and renumber all the locomotive stock, with tank locomotives classified alphabetically and tender locomotives numerically. The Western Australians were designated Class C and were renumbered in the range from 203 to 208.[1]


By 1912, when the South African Railways (SAR) was established, these locomotives were considered obsolete and were not included in the SAR classification and renumbering list, but recommended for scrapping even though they were still less than twelve years old.[1]

Three did survive, however, two having been sold to Clydesdale Colliery in the northern Orange Free State and one to Ogies Colliery near Witbank. At Clydesdale no. 204 was reboilered in 1939 and survived until 1972.[3]

Works numbers[edit]

The CSAR Class C works numbers, renumbering and disposition are shown in the table.[1][3]

See also[edit]


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  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Holland, D.F. (1971). Steam Locomotives of the South African Railways, Volume 1: 1859-1910 (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, Devon: David & Charles. pp. 122–123, 126. ISBN 978-0-7153-5382-0. 
  2. ^ a b c d The South African Railways - Historical Survey. Editor George Hart, Publisher Bill Hart, Sponsored by Dorbyl Ltd., Published c. 1978, pp. 22-23.
  3. ^ a b Dulez, Jean A. (2012). Railways of Southern Africa 150 Years (Commemorating One Hundred and Fifty Years of Railways on the Sub-Continent - Complete Motive Power Classifications and Famous Trains - 1860-2011) (1st ed.). Garden View, Johannesburg, South Africa: Vidrail Productions. pp. 33–34. ISBN 9 780620 512282.