NZR BC class
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|NZR BC class|
|Builder||Baldwin Locomotive Works|
|Driver diameter||43 in (1.092 m)|
|Length||55 ft 7 in (16.94 m)|
|Locomotive and tender
|71.4 long tons (72.5 t; 80.0 short tons)|
|Fuel capacity||4.0 long tons (4.1 t; 4.5 short tons)|
|Water capacity||1,660 imperial gallons (7,500 l; 1,990 US gal)|
|Boiler pressure||200 lbf/in2 (1.38 MPa)|
|Firegrate area||25 sq ft (2.3 m2)|
|1,477 sq ft (137.2 m2)|
|Cylinders||2 (2 HP, 2 LP)|
|Cylinder size||HP 11.5 in × 20 in (292 mm × 508 mm)
LP 19 in × 20 in (483 mm × 508 mm)
|Tractive effort||16,080 lbf (71.53 kN)|
|Railroad(s)||Wellington and Manawatu Railway, New Zealand Government Railways|
|Number||WMR 17, NZR 463|
The BC class comprised a single steam locomotive that operated on New Zealand's national rail network. Built for the Wellington and Manawatu Railway (WMR) and classified simply as No. 17, it passed into the ownership of the New Zealand Railways Department (NZR) when the government purchased the WMR in December 1908, and it was then that it acquired the BC classification as BC 463.
It was ordered in 1901 by the WMR from the Baldwin Locomotive Works. It entered service on 10 June 1902 and was at the time the most powerful locomotive to operate in the country, and it was the only 2-8-2 "Mikado" to run in New Zealand.
The locomotive was designed to haul trains on the WMR's steep main line between Wellington and Paekakariki, and it proved capable of hauling a 280-ton freight train up the steep grades. It was a Vauclain compound, and its trailing truck bore similarities to the Q class, the world's first 4-6-2 "Pacific" type then under construction by Baldwin for NZR.
The locomotive worked the original steeply graded former WMR and then (when sold to...) NZR mainline out of Wellington its entire life. It operated for nearly two decades in NZR's ownership until it was withdrawn on 31 March 1927 along with fellow surviving WMR locomotives due to NZR adopting a swift (rapid) locomotive standardisation plan.
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