South African Class 7D 4-8-0
|South African Class 7D 4-8-0
ex Rhodesia Railways 7th Class 4-8-0
Ex Rhodesia Railways 7th Class no. MR11, later no. MR18, then no. RRM67, finally SAR Class 7D no. 1353
|Type and origin|
|Designer||Cape Government Railways|
|Builder||Neilson, Reid and Company
Kitson and Company
North British Locomotive Company
|Order number||NR E834 & E835 (1899), E851 (1900)
NBL L313 & L322 (1903) 
|Serial number||NR 5675-5686, 5791-5802, 5817 
Kitson 4062-4069 
NBL 16085-16094, 16171-16180 
|Model||CGR 7th Class|
|Gauge||3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge|
|28.5 in (724 mm)|
|Driver diameter||42.75 in (1,090 mm)|
|Wheelbase||Total: 46 ft 2 in (14.072 m)
5 ft 3 in (1.600 m) bogie
12 ft (3.658 m) coupled
21 ft 3.5 in (6.490 m) total
4 ft 7 in (1.397 m) bogie
16 ft 1 in (4.902 m) total
|Length||53 ft 5.75 in (16.300 m)|
|Height||12 ft 10 in (3.912 m)|
|Axle load||9 long tons (9.1 t) on 1st & 2nd drivers as built
9.7 long tons (9.9 t) on 2nd driver superheated
|Weight on drivers||35.8 long tons (36.4 t) as built
38 long tons (38.6 t) superheated
|Locomotive weight||46.5 long tons (47.2 t) NR & NBL
49.1 long tons (49.9 t) superheated
44.35 long tons (45.1 t) Kitson
|Tender weight||34.1 long tons (34.6 t) NR & NBL
34.65 long tons (35.2 t) Kitson
|Locomotive and tender
|92,764 lb (42.1 t) empty
74.55 long tons (75.7 t) w/o NR & NBL
83 long tons (84.3 t) w/o Kitson
|Tender type||ZE - ZA, ZB, ZC, ZE permitted
* 2 axle bogies
* 34 in (864 mm) wheels
* Length 23 ft 8.5 in (7.226 m)
|Fuel capacity||8 long tons (8.1 t) NR & NBL
6.5 long tons (6.6 t) Kitson
|Water capacity||2,850 imp gal (13,000 l)|
4 ft 4 in (1.321 m) inside diameter
10 ft 9 in (3.277 m) inside length
6 ft 8 in (2.032 m) pitch
4 ft 6 in (1.372 m) inside diameter
10 ft 9 in (3.277 m) inside length
6 ft 10 in (2.083 m) pitch
|Boiler pressure||160 psi (1,100 kPa) as built
170 psi (1,170 kPa) adjusted
180 psi (1,240 kPa) superheated
|Firegrate area||18 sq ft (1.672 m2)|
185 tubes 1.875 in (47.6 mm) diameter
976 sq ft (90.673 m2)
100 tubes 1.875 in (47.6 mm) diameter
18 tubes 5.5 in (140 mm) diameter
806 sq ft (74.880 m2)
|– Firebox||102 sq ft (9.476 m2) NR & NBL
113 sq ft (10.498 m2) superheated
112 sq ft (10.405 m2) Kitson
|– Total||1,078 sq ft (100.149 m2) NR & NBL
919 sq ft (85.378 m2) superheated
1,088 sq ft (101.079 m2) Kitson
|Superheater type||Not equipped as built|
|Superheater area||206 sq ft (19.138 m2)|
|Cylinder size||17 in (432 mm) bore
23 in (584 mm) stroke
|Tractive effort||At 75% pressure, as built:
18,660 lbf (83.0 kN) at 160 psi (1,100 kPa)
19,810 lbf (88.1 kN) at 170 psi (1,170 kPa)
At 75% pressure, superheated:
22,240 lbf (98.9 kN) 
|NR & NBL built: 4,32
Kitson built: 4.531 
|Operator(s)||Imperial Military Railways
Rhodesia Railways Northern Ext
South African Railways
|Class||IMR, MR, RRM & RR 7th Class
SAR Class 7D
|Number in class||RR 52, SAR 5|
|Number(s)||BR 7-8, RR 1-50, IMR 110
SAR 1351-1355 
|Delivered||1899-1903 to RR, 1915 to SAR|
Between 1899 and 1903 the Rhodesia Railways placed fifty-two Cape 7th Class 4-8-0 Mastodon steam locomotives in service. One more was obtained from the Imperial Military Railways in March 1901 as replacement for a locomotive that was damaged beyond local repair capabilities as a result of hostilities during delivery.
In May 1915 five of these locomotives were sold to the South African Railways, where they were renumbered and reclassified, four of them to Class 7D and the remaining one erroneously to Class 7B. At the same time, the ex Imperial Military Railways locomotive was also sold back to South Africa and was, also erroneously, designated Class 7D.
Rhodesian 7th Class
Fifty-two Cape 7th Class 4-8-0 steam locomotives were built for the Beira and Mashonaland and Rhodesia Railways (BMR), later the Rhodesia Railways (RR), between 1899 and 1903. These locomotives were acquired by Southern Rhodesia at the time when railways were still expanding from South Africa via the Bechuanaland Protectorate into Southern Rhodesia in the southwest and from Beira in Mozambique to Umtali in the east, and while the Anglo-Boer War was being waged. At the time the system was composed of several smaller railways, still largely under construction, that were eventually all linked up in 1902. These were:
- The fledgling Bechuanaland Railways (BR) that was still being operated by the Cape Government Railways (CGR) from Vryburg via Mafeking in the Cape Colony to Bulawayo in Southern Rhodesia.
- The Mashonaland Railways (MR) that operated in Southern Rhodesia from Bulawayo to Umtali in the east.
- The Rhodesia Railways Northern Extensions (RRM) that operated north and east of Bulawayo towards Northern Rhodesia.
- The Beira and Mashonaland and Rhodesia Railways (BMR) that operated between Umtali in Southern Rhodesia and Beira in Mozambique.
The fifty-two locomotives were ordered in five batches from three British manufacturers.
- Twelve were delivered by Neilson, Reid and Company between August and October 1899. They were virtually identical to the ex CGR Class 7A. Two of them were numbered BR7 and BR8 for the BMR, for service at the Beira end, while the rest were numbered in the range from RR1 to RR10. In 1901 eleven of them were renumbered in the range from MR8 to MR18, MR20 and MR21, not in order, for the BMR. The exception was no. RR8, which was delivered damaged beyond local repair abilities, apparently as a result of hostilities while in transit through the area under control of the British Military near Mafeking. A Neilson, Reid built 7th Class locomotive of the Imperial Military Railways (IMR), number IMR 110, was subsequently transferred to the BMR at Umtali in March 1901 as replacement for the damaged no. RR8. It was renumbered to MR19, the number that would have been allocated to no. RR8. The renumberings are tabled below.
- A second batch of twelve were delivered by Neilson, Reid in August 1900 and numbered in the range from RR11 to RR22. They were placed in service on the line from Vryburg to Bulawayo and based at Mafeking. In 1901 four of them, no. RR11, RR12, RR17 and RR20, were relocated to the BMR and renumbered in the range from MR20 to MR23, in order. Many of the Neilson, Reid built locomotives from both batches were renumbered a second time in 1906, as shown in the table.
- A third batch of eight locomotives was delivered from Kitson and Company between 1901 and 1903, numbered in the range from RR23 to RR30. These were built with Belpaire fireboxes instead of the usual round-topped fireboxes that earlier 7th Class locomotives of the CGR, the IMR and the RR were delivered with. They were also placed in service at Mafeking.
- The fourth batch of ten locomotives, again with Belpaire fireboxes, was delivered from North British Locomotive Company (NBL) in October and November 1903. They were numbered in the range from RR31 to RR40. Of these, numbers RR31 to RR38 were allocated to the Mashonaland Railways-Kalomo-Broken Hill (MR-KB) section. They retained their RR numbers, but had brass plates with the letters "KB" affixed above their number plates on their cab sides to indicate their ownership. The other two were also placed in service at Mafeking.
- The fifth and final batch of ten Rhodesian 7th Class locomotives was also built by NBL and delivered in November and December 1903, numbered in the range from RR41 to RR50. They were also placed in service at Mafeking.
|Neilson, Reid||5675||1899||BR 7||MR 14||MR 8|
|Neilson, Reid||5676||1899||BR 8||MR 15||MR 9|
|Neilson, Reid||5677||1899||RR 1||MR 8||RRM 63||Class 7B 949|
|Neilson, Reid||5678||1899||RR 2||MR 9||To Shire|
|Neilson, Reid||5679||1899||RR 3||MR 10||MR 10|
|Neilson, Reid||5680||1899||RR 4||MR 11||MR 11|
|Neilson, Reid||5681||1899||RR 5||MR 12||MR 12|
|Neilson, Reid||5682||1899||RR 6||MR 13||RRM 64||1352|
|Neilson, Reid||5683||1899||MR 11||MR 18||RRM 67||1353|
|Neilson, Reid||5684||1899||RR 8||1354|
|Neilson, Reid||5685||1899||RR 9||MR 16||RRM 65||1351|
|Neilson, Reid||5686||1899||RR 10||MR 17||RRM 66|
|Neilson, Reid||5791||1900||RR 11||MR 20||RRM 69|
|Neilson, Reid||5792||1900||RR 12||MR 21||RRM 70|
|Neilson, Reid||5793||1900||RR 13|
|Neilson, Reid||5794||1900||RR 14|
|Neilson, Reid||5795||1900||RR 15|
|Neilson, Reid||5796||1900||RR 16|
|Neilson, Reid||5797||1900||RR 17||MR 22||RRM 71|
|Neilson, Reid||5798||1900||RR 18|
|Neilson, Reid||5799||1900||RR 19|
|Neilson, Reid||5800||1900||RR 20||MR 23||RRM 72|
|Neilson, Reid||5801||1900||RR 21|
|Neilson, Reid||5802||1900||RR 22|
|Neilson, Reid||5817||1900||IMR 110||MR 19||RRM 68||1355|
South African Railways
In May 1915 six of the Neilson, Reid built 7th Class locomotives were purchased by the South African Railways (SAR) to augment its locomotive stock, which was being severely taxed due to war conditions at the time. These six locomotives included the war-damaged no. RR8 that had still not been repaired and consequently never ran a mile in revenue service in Rhodesia, as well as the ex IMR locomotive that had been transferred to Rhodesia as compensation for the damaged no. RR8. They were renumbered and five of them were classified to SAR Class 7D, numbered in the range from 1351 to 1355, and one was mistakenly classified as Class 7B, number 949.
During this SAR classification and renumbering process, two of these locomotives were incorrectly classified, possibly as a result of their records getting exchanged in an apparent administrative error.
- Ex IMR no. 110, that replaced the damaged no. RR8, would have become Central South African Railways (CSAR) no. 380 in 1902 and, with the rest of the ex IMR locomotives, would have been designated SAR Class 7B in 1912, but this never happened since it had already been transferred to the BMR at Umtali in March 1901. When it was taken onto the SAR roster from Rhodesia in 1915, it was incorrectly designated as Class 7D instead of Class 7B and renumbered SAR no. 1355.
- Ex no. RR1, later no. MR8 and then no. RRM63 was incorrectly designated as Class 7B instead of Class 7D and renumbered SAR no. 949.
Class 7 sub-classes
Other 7th Class locomotives that came onto the SAR roster from the other Colonial railways in the region in 1912, namely the CGR, CSAR, the Natal Government Railways (NGR) and, in 1925, from the New Cape Central Railways (NCCR), were grouped into six different sub-classes by the SAR, becoming SAR Classes 7, 7A to 7C, 7E and 7F.
During the 1930s many of the Class 7 family of locomotives were equipped with superheated boilers and piston valves. On the Class 7B and Class 7C this conversion was sometimes indicated with an "S" suffix to the class letter on the locomotive number plates, but on the rest of the Class 7 family this distinction was not applied consistently. The superheated versions could be identified by the position of the chimney on the smokebox, with the chimney displaced forward to provide space behind it in the smokebox for the superheater header.
In SAR service, the Class 7 series did duty on every system in the country. During the South West African Campaign in World War I, twenty-nine Class 7 to Class 7C locomotives were sent to South West Africa (SWA) to assist the expeditionary forces. They proved so successful in that territory that more were gradually transferred there in later years. By the time the Class 24 arrived in SWA in 1949, there were still altogether fifty-three Class 7 series locomotives in use there. Most remained there and were only transferred back to South Africa when the Class 32-000 diesel-electric locomotives replaced them in 1961. In South Africa they remained in branchline service, particularly at Tarkastad and Ladysmith and also as the "Makadas" on the line from Touws River to Ladismith, until they were finally withdrawn in 1972.
- South African Class 7 4-8-0
- South African Class 7A 4-8-0
- South African Class 7B 4-8-0
- South African Class 7C 4-8-0
- South African Class 7E 4-8-0
- South African Class 7F 4-8-0
- The 4-8-0 "Mastodon"
- Tender locomotive numbering and classification
- South African locomotive history
- List of South African locomotive classes
- Pattison, R.G. (1997). The Cape Seventh Class Locomotives (1st ed.). Kenilworth, Cape Town: The Railway History Group. pp. 10–12, 25–33. ISBN 0958400946.
- Neilson, Reid works list, compiled by Austrian locomotive historian Bernhard Schmeiser
- Pattison, R.G. (2005). Thundering Smoke, (1st ed.). Ilminster, Somerset: Sable Publishing House. pp. 42-48. ISBN 0-9549488-1-5.
- Durrant, A.E. (1997). The Smoke that Thunders, (1st ed.). Harare: African Publishing Group. ISBN 1-77901-134-2.
- North British Locomotive Company works list, compiled by Austrian locomotive historian Bernhard Schmeiser
- Holland, D.F. (1972). Steam Locomotives of the South African Railways, Volume 2: 1910-1955 (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, Devon: David & Charles. pp. 32–33. ISBN 978-0-7153-5427-8.
- South African Railways and Harbours Locomotive Diagram Book, 2’0” & 3’6” Gauge Steam Locomotives, 15 August 1941, as amended
- Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. pp. 46–48. ISBN 0869772112.
- Holland, D.F. (1971). Steam Locomotives of the South African Railways, Volume 1: 1859-1910 (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, Devon: David & Charles. pp. 123–124. ISBN 978-0-7153-5382-0.