South African Class 3B 4-8-2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
South African Class 3B 4-8-2
& South African Class 3BR 4-8-2
Umgeni Steam Railway, locomotive 1486 Maureen, Kloof station 06-Jun-2010.jpg
SAR Class 3BR no. 1486 "Maureen", Kloof, 6 June 2010
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer Natal Government Railways
Builder North British Locomotive Company
Serial number 19597-19601, 19688-19692 [1][2]
Model NGR Superheated Hendrie D
Class 3B
Build date 1911-1912
Total produced 10
Configuration 4-8-2 "Mountain"
Gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge
Leading wheel
28.5 in (724 mm)
Driver diameter 46 in (1,170 mm)
Trailing wheel
30 in (762 mm)
Wheelbase Total: 55 ft 8 in (16.967 m)
6 ft (1.829 m) pilot
12 ft 9 in (3.886 m) coupled
30 ft 9 in (9.373 m) total
4 ft 6 in (1.372 m) bogie
16 ft 6 in (5.029 m) total
Length 63 ft 2.25 in (19.260 m)
Height 12 ft 6.25 in (3.816 m) as built
12 ft 4.75 in (3.778 m) reboilered
Frame Plate frame
Axle load 15.85 long tons (16.1 t) on 2nd driver as built
15.55 long tons (15.8 t) on 2nd driver reboilered
Weight on drivers 60.35 long tons (61.3 t) as built
59.6 long tons (60.6 t) reboilered
Locomotive weight 83.7 long tons (85.0 t) w/o as built
84.7 long tons (86.1 t) w/o eeboilered
Locomotive and tender
combined weight
172,500 lb (78.2 t) empty
Tender type TL - TJ, TL, TM permitted
* 2 axle bogies
* 30 in (762 mm) wheels
* Length 24 ft 3 in (7.391 m)
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 8.75 long tons (8.9 t)
Water capacity 3,900 imp gal (18,000 l)
Boiler As built:
5 ft 6.125 in (1.680 m) inside diameter
18 ft 6 in (5.639 m) inside length
7 ft 4.5 in (2.248 m) pitch
5 ft 7.5 in (1.715 m) inside diameter
19 ft 4 in (5.893 m) inside length, steel firebox
19 ft 3.625 in (5.883 m) inside length, copper firebox
7 ft 5.5 in (2.273 m) pitch
Boiler pressure 185 psi (1,280 kPa) as built
190 psi (1,310 kPa) reboilered
Firegrate area 34 sq ft (3.159 m2) as built
37 sq ft (3.437 m2) reboilered
Heating surface:
– Tubes
As built:
135 tubes 2.25 in (57.1 mm) diameter
24 tubes 5.5 in (140 mm) diameter
2,110 sq ft (196.025 m2)
87 tubes 2.5 in (63.5 mm) diameter
30 tubes 5.5 in (140 mm) diameter
1,933 sq ft (179.582 m2)
– Firebox 135 sq ft (12.542 m2) as built
142 sq ft (13.192 m2) reboilered
– Total 2,245 sq ft (208.567 m2) as built
2,075 sq ft (192.774 m2) reboilered
Superheater area 617 sq ft (57.321 m2) as built
492 sq ft (45.708 m2) reboilered
Cylinders Two
Cylinder size 22 in (559 mm) bore
24 in (610 mm) stroke
Valve gear Walschaerts
Performance figures
Tractive effort At 75% boiler pressure:
35,030 lbf (155.8 kN) as built
35,980 lbf (160.0 kN) reboilered [3]
Operator(s) South African Railways
Class Class 3B, Class 3BR
Number in class 10
Number(s) 1479-1488 [1][4]
Delivered 1912
First run 1912
Withdrawn 1976

The South African Class 3B 4-8-2 of 1912 is a South African steam locomotive from the South African Railways era.

In 1912 the South African Railways took delivery of ten Class 3B steam locomotives with a 4-8-2 Mountain type wheel arrangement that had been ordered by the Natal Government Railways the year before.[1][4][5]


With the experience gained from the sole experimental Class B American D locomotive, Natal Government Railways (NGR) Locomotive Superintendent D.A. Hendrie redesigned his Class Hendrie D and placed orders for ten locomotives with the North British Locomotive Company (NBL) on 29 March 1911. These locomotives, which would have become the NGR’s Class Superheated Hendrie D, were built in two batches of five and were all delivered in 1912, after the renumbering and reclassification of the locomotives of the constituent former colonial railways into the South African Railways (SAR). Upon delivery they were therefore taken directly onto the SAR roster, numbered in the range from 1479 to 1488 and designated Class 3B.[1][4][5]


Like the NGR Class Hendrie D that it was based on, later the SAR Class 3, the Class 3B had plate frames, Walschaerts valve gear and Belpaire fireboxes. They were, however, the first of Hendrie’s designs to have superheaters and, as a result, piston valves instead of slide valves.[1][5]

To accommodate the redesigned cylinders and valve gear, it was necessary to raise the running boards, which resulted in the gentle sweeps at either end with the running boards dropping down to the buffer beam and below the cab. These curves became a Hendrie hallmark and improved the appearance of the locomotive. They were also equipped with a new design of leading bogie, with cast steel frames and three-point suspension links. In other respects, however, they were practically identical to the Class 3.[1][5]

The Class 3B 4-8-2 Mountain, as built with a Belpaire firebox and superheater, became the forerunner of the most numerous basic type of locomotive used in South Africa.[6]

Watson Standard boilers[edit]

In the 1930s many serving locomotives were reboilered with a standard boiler type designed by then Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) A.G. Watson as part of his standardisation policy. Such Watson Standard reboilered locomotives were reclassified by adding an "R" suffix to their classification.[3][5]

Class 3B 1482 (4-8-2).JPG

When all ten Class 3B locomotives were eventually reboilered with Watson Standard no. 2 boilers, they were therefore reclassified to Class 3BR. The most obvious visual difference between an original and a Watson Standard reboilered locomotive is usually a rectangular regulator cover just to the rear of the chimney on the reboilered locomotive. In the case of the Class 3BR locomotive an even more obvious visual distinction is the absence of the Belpaire firebox hump between the cab and the boiler.[3][6]


South African Railways[edit]

The Class 3B was placed in service on the upper section of the Natal mainline. They were later also used in the Eastern Transvaal and the Eastern Cape. Towards the end of their service lives they ended up in Cape Town, where they were used as shunting engines until the last ones were withdrawn from SAR service by 1976.[5][6]


Most of them ended up in service on South Africa’s coal and gold mines. Only one of them had been withdrawn by April 1973. At the time when the other nine began to be withdrawn from railway service, the world oil crisis of the mid 1970s had erupted and all nine were virtually snapped up by industrial users responding to the South African Government’s call to save oil by using alternative sources of energy. Ironically, at the same time the State owned SAR was replacing steam with diesel-electric locomotives.[6]

The ten individual locomotives were disposed of as follows:[6][7]

  • No. 1479 was scrapped by 1973 and not sold.
  • No. 1480 went to Vaal Reefs at Orkney as number 4.
  • No. 1481 went to Landau Colliery at Witbank as number 3 and was eventually staged at Landau for the South African National Railway And Steam Museum (SANRASM).
  • No. 1482 went to Western Holdings as number 7 and later to Freegold North as number 8.
  • No. 1483 went to Blesbok Colliery as number 3, later to Springbok Colliery and was eventually staged at ESKOM’s Komati Power Station for SANRASM.
  • No. 1484 went to Springbok Colliery as "Hope", then to Southern Cross Steel, then to Umgala Colliery as number 8 and was eventually staged by SANRASM at Krugersdorp.
  • No. 1485 went to Free State Saaiplaas Gold Mine as number 1 and was eventually staged at Odendaalsrus.
  • No. 1486 went to Western Holdings as number 5, later to Umgala Colliery, and was eventually acquired by Umgeni Steam Railway at Pinetown and restored as their engine "Maureen".
  • No. 1487 went to Free State Geduld as number 5, later to Freegold North as number 9 and was eventually staged at Odendaalsrus.
  • No. 1488 went to Vaal Reefs at Orkney as number 5.

Liveries illustrated[edit]

The main picture shows Umgeni Steam Railway’s Class 3BR no. 1486 "Maureen" at Kloof station on 6 June 2010, while the following show the Class in its original as-delivered SAR livery and in two of the liveries applied to it while in industrial service.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Holland, D.F. (1972). Steam Locomotives of the South African Railways, Volume 2: 1910-1955 (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, Devon: David & Charles. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-7153-5427-8. 
  2. ^ North British Locomotive Company works list, compiled by Austrian locomotive historian Bernhard Schmeiser
  3. ^ a b c South African Railways and Harbours Locomotive Diagram Book, 2’0” & 3’6” Gauge Steam Locomotives, 15 August 1941, as amended
  4. ^ a b c Classification of S.A.R. Engines with Renumbering Lists, issued by the Chief Mechanical Engineer’s Office, Pretoria, January 1912, pp. 8, 12, 15, 46 (Reprinted in April 1987 by SATS Museum, R.3125-6/9/11-1000)
  5. ^ a b c d e f Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. p. 36. ISBN 0869772112. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Durrant, A E (1989). Twilight of South African Steam (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, London: David & Charles. p. 56. ISBN 0715386387. 
  7. ^ Middleton, John N. (2002). Railways of Southern Africa Locomotive Guide - 2002 (as amended by Combined Amendment List 4, January 2009) (2nd, Dec 2002 ed.). Herts, England: Beyer-Garratt Publications. p. 19.