Durban Harbour's Sir Albert

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Durban Harbour’s Sir Albert
HB Natal 0-6-0ST Sir Albert (1904).jpg
Natal Harbours Department locomotive Sir Albert, c. 1904
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer Hunslet Engine Company
Builder Hunslet Engine Company
Serial number 852
Build date 1904
Configuration 0-6-0ST
Gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge
Driver diameter 36 in (914 mm)
Wheelbase 7 ft 6 in (2.286 m)
Length 20 ft 10 34 in (6.369 m) over couplers
Height 10 ft 6 in (3.200 m)
Weight on drivers 21 520 long tons (21.6 t) w/o
Locomotive weight 21 520 long tons (21.6 t) w/o
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 1 long ton (1.0 t)
Water capacity 450 imp gal (2,000 l; 540 US gal)
Boiler 3 ft 5 18 in (1.045 m) diameter outside
7 ft 6 12 in (2.299 m) length inside
5 ft 3 34 in (1.619 m) pitch
Boiler pressure 140 psi (965 kPa)
Firegrate area 7 sq ft (0.650 m2)
Heating surface:
– Tubes
94 tubes 1 78 in (47.6 mm) diameter
347 sq ft (32.237 m2)
– Firebox 41 sq ft (3.809 m2)
– Total 388 sq ft (36.046 m2)
Cylinders Two
Cylinder size 12 in (305 mm) bore
18 in (457 mm) stroke
Valve gear Stephenson
Performance figures
Tractive effort 7,560 lbf (34 kN) at 75% pressure
Operator(s) Harbours Department of Natal
South African Railways
Number in class 1
Number(s) 4 & 46, SAR 046
Official name Sir Albert
Delivered 1904
First run 1904 [1]

The Durban Harbour’s Sir Albert of 1904 is a South African steam locomotive from the pre-Union era in the Natal Colony.

In 1904 the Harbours Department of the Natal Government placed a single 0-6-0 saddle-tank locomotive named Sir Albert in service as harbour shunter in Durban Harbour.[1]

Port Advisory Board[edit]

In 1898 a Port Advisory Board was established in Durban, responsible for the management, control, improvement, development and maintenance of the facilities at Durban Harbour and empowered to levy wharfage dues.[1]

Railway operations in the harbour became the responsibility of the Harbours Department of the Government of Natal.[2]


In 1904 the Natal Harbours Department placed a single 0-6-0 saddle-tank locomotive in service at Durban Harbour. It was built by Hunslet Engine Company of Leeds and was numbered as well as named, no. 4 Sir Albert after Sir Albert Henry Hime, Prime Minister of Natal from 1899 to 1903.[1][3]


According to some sources Sir Albert was later renumbered to 46. It does not appear to have been taken onto the Natal Government Railways (NGR) roster.[3][4]

The Union of South Africa was established on 31 May 1910, in terms of the South Africa Act. One of the clauses in the Act required that the three Colonial Government railways, the Cape Government Railways, the NGR and the Central South African Railways, also be united under one single administration to control and administer the railways, ports and harbours of the Union. While the South African Railways (SAR) came into existence in 1910, the actual classification and renumbering of all the rolling stock of the three constituent railways required careful planning and was only implemented with effect from 1 January 1912.[5][6]

Sir Albert was still in service at the harbour in 1912. Since the locomotive was considered obsolete, it was renumbered to 046 and not classified on the SAR. It kept on working at Durban Harbour until it was withdrawn from service in 1915.[3][6][7]

See also[edit]


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  1. ^ a b c d Holland, D.F. (1972). Steam Locomotives of the South African Railways, Volume 2: 1910-1955 (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, Devon: David & Charles. pp. 115, 130–131. ISBN 978-0-7153-5427-8. 
  2. ^ Harbours Department of the Government of Natal
  3. ^ a b c Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. p. 22. ISBN 0869772112. 
  4. ^ Information on Sir Albert from John Middleton
  5. ^ The South African Railways - Historical Survey. Editor George Hart, Publisher Bill Hart, Sponsored by Dorbyl Ltd., Published c. 1978, p. 25.
  6. ^ a b Classification of S.A.R. Engines with Renumbering Lists, issued by the Chief Mechanical Engineer’s Office, Pretoria, January 1912, pp. 11, 13, 18. (Reprinted in April 1987 by SATS Museum, R.3125-6/9/11-1000)
  7. ^ 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. p. 26. ISBN 9 780620 512282.