South African Class 8 4-8-0
|South African Class 8 4-8-0
& South African Class 8W 4-8-0
ex CGR 8th Class 4-8-0
Ex CGR (Eastern System) 8th Class no. 779 (4-8-0)
SAR Class 8 no. 1088 (4-8-0), East London, circa 1930
|Designer||Cape Government Railways|
|Builder||Neilson, Reid and Company|
|Serial number||6111-6113, 6216-6225, 6241-6250|
|Model||CGR 8th Class (4-8-0)|
|Build date||1901-1902 |
|Gauge||3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge|
|28.5 in (724 mm)|
|Driver diameter||48 in (1,220 mm)|
|Wheelbase||Total: 46 ft 10.5 in (14.288 m)
6 ft (1.829 m) bogie
13 ft 6 in (4.115 m) coupled
23 ft 3 in (7.087 m) total
4 ft 7 in (1.397 m) bogie
14 ft 7 in (4.445 m) total
|Length||54 ft 5 in (16.586 m)|
12 ft 10 in (3.912 m)
Superheated & Class 8W:
12 ft 8 in (3.861 m)
|Axle load||As built:
11.7 long tons (11.9 t) per driver
12 long tons (12.2 t) per driver
12.55 long tons (12.8 t) on 2nd driver
|Weight on drivers||46.8 long tons (47.6 t) as built
48 long tons (48.8 t) superheated
48.3 long tons (49.1 t) Class 8W
|Locomotive weight||59.25 long tons (60.2 t) as built
60.75 long tons (61.7 t) superheated
61.05 long tons (62.0 t) Class 8W
|Tender weight||44,032 lb (20.0 t) empty
43.05 long tons (43.7 t) w/o
|Locomotive and tender
|114,464 lb (51.9 t) empty
102.3 long tons (103.9 t) w/o as built
103.8 long tons (105.5 t) w/o superheated
104.1 long tons (105.8 t) w/o Class 8W
|Tender type||XF - XC, XC1, XD, XE, XE1, XF, XF1, XF2, XJ, XN, XN1, XM2, XM3 permitted
* 2 axle bogies
* 34 in (864 mm) wheels
* Length 22 ft 2.5 in (6.769 m)
|Fuel capacity||10 long tons (10.2 t)|
|Water capacity||3,000 imp gal (14,000 l)|
|Boiler||5 ft (1.524 m) inside diameter
11 ft 0.375 in (3.362 m) inside length
7 ft (2.134 m) pitch as built
7 ft 1 in (2.159 m) pitch superheated & Class 8W
|Boiler pressure||180 psi (1,240 kPa)|
|Firegrate area||21 sq ft (1.951 m2)|
205 tubes 2 in (50.8 mm) diameter
1,184 sq ft (109.997 m2)
Superheated & Class 8W:
115 tubes 2 in (50.8 mm) diameter
18 tubes 5.5 in (140 mm) diameter
950 sq ft (88.258 m2)
|– Firebox||131 sq ft (12.170 m2)|
|– Total||1,315 sq ft (122.167 m2) as built
1,081 sq ft (100.428 m2) superheated & Class 8W
|Superheater type||Not equipped as built|
|Superheater area||214 sq ft (19.881 m2) superheated & Class 8W|
|Cylinder size||As built: 18.5 in (470 mm) bore
Superheated: 19 in (483 mm) bore
Class 8W: 20 in (508 mm) bore
All: 24 in (610 mm) stroke
|Tractive effort||At 75% boiler pressure:
23,100 lbf (102.8 kN) as built
24,370 lbf (108.4 kN) superheated
27,000 lbf (120.1 kN) Class 8W 
|Railroad(s)||Cape Government Railways
South African Railways
|Class||CGR 8th Class (4-8-0)
SAR Class 8, Class 8W
|Number in class||23|
|Number||CGR 358-365, 771-782, 801-803
SAR 1069-1091 
In 1902 and 1903 the Cape Government Railways placed twenty-three 8th Class steam locomotives with a 4-8-0 Mastodon wheel arrangement in service, three on the Cape Western System, eight on the Cape Midland System and twelve on the Cape Eastern System. In 1912, when they were assimilated into the South African Railways, they were renumbered but retained their Class 8 classification.
The first 8th Class locomotives of the Cape Government Railways (CGR) were 2-8-0 Consolidation types designed by H.M. Beatty, the Chief Locomotive Superintendent of the CGR from 1896 to 1910. It was later to become the South African Railways (SAR) Class 8X.
While these first Schenectady and ALCO built 2-8-0 locomotives were being subjected to exhaustive testing on all types of traffic and under varying conditions, some trouble was experienced with the leading two-wheeled pony truck and, when designs were prepared at Salt River for a later order for more locomotives, the pony truck was replaced with a four-wheeled bogie.
These twenty-three locomotives were the first 8th Class locomotives of the CGR to be built with a 4-8-0 Mastodon type wheel arrangement. In spite of the difference in wheel arrangement, these Consolidations and Mastodons of the CGR were all grouped together into the 8th Class.
All these locomotives were built by Neilson, Reid and Company in 1901 and 1902 and delivered in three batches in 1902 and 1903. The first batch of three, numbered in the range from 801 to 803, went to the CGR’s Western System in 1902. Of the second batch of ten that arrived in 1902, eight were numbered in the range from 358 to 365 and allocated to the Midland System, while the other two became numbers 771 and 772, allocated to the Eastern System. The last batch of ten, numbered in the range from 773 to 782, arrived in 1903 and all went to the Eastern System.
They were conceived as mixed traffic locomotives equally suitable for goods and passenger work. They had larger driving wheels than the Class 7, bar frames, used saturated steam as built and had Stephenson valve gear. In service it was found that the four wheeled bogies and the slightly shorter fixed wheelbase made them steadier and easier riding than their 2-8-0 predecessors.
Class 8 sub-classes
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 Natal Government Railways 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.
The rest of the 8th Class Consolidations and Mastodons of the CGR, together with the Class 8-L1 to 8-L3 4-8-0 Mastodon locomotives of the Central South African Railways, were grouped into nine more different sub-classes by the SAR. The other 4-8-0 locomotives became SAR Classes 8A to 8F and the 2-8-0 locomotives became Classes 8X to 8Z.
During A.G. Watson’s term as Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the SAR from 1929 to 1936, many of the Class 8 to Class 8F locomotives were equipped with superheated boilers, larger bore cylinders and either inside or outside admission piston valves. The outside admission locomotives had their cylinder bore increased from 18.5 inches (470 millimetres) to 19 inches (483 millimetres) and retained their existing SAR Class 8 classifications, while the inside admission locomotives had their cylinder bore increased to 20 inches (508 millimetres) and were reclassified by having a "W" suffix added to their existing SAR classifications.
Of the Class 8 locomotives, five were equipped with superheated boilers, 19 inches (483 millimetres) bore cylinders and outside admission piston valves, while retaining their Class 8 classification.
Four locomotives were equipped with superheated boilers, 20 inches (508 millimetres) bore cylinders and inside admission piston valves and reclassified to Class 8W.
In SAR service, the 4-8-0 Class 8 family of locomotives served on every system in the country and in the 1920s became the mainstay of motive power on many branch lines. Their final days were spent in shunting service and by 1972 they were all withdrawn.
The main picture shows Class 8 no. 1088, ex CGR no. 779, as built, at East London circa 1930. The following pictures serve to illustrate both sides of the Class 8 locomotive as well as the piston valve and superheating modification.
- South African Class 8A 4-8-0
- South African Class 8B 4-8-0
- South African Class 8C 4-8-0
- South African Class 8D 4-8-0
- South African Class 8E 4-8-0
- South African Class 8F 4-8-0
- South African Class 8X 2-8-0
- South African Class 8Y 2-8-0
- South African Class 8Z 2-8-0
- Tender locomotive numbering and classification
- The 4-8-0 "Mastodon"
- List of South African locomotive classes
- Holland, D.F. (1971). Steam Locomotives of the South African Railways, Volume 1: 1859-1910 (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, Devon: David & Charles. pp. 61–63. ISBN 978-0-7153-5382-0.
- Neilson, Reid works list, compiled by Austrian locomotive historian Bernhard Schmeiser
- South African Railways and Harbours Locomotive Diagram Book, 2’0” & 3’6” Gauge Steam Locomotives, 15 August 1941, as amended
- Classification of S.A.R. Engines with Renumbering Lists, issued by the Chief Mechanical Engineer’s Office, Pretoria, January 1912, pp. 8, 12, 15, 39-40 (Reprinted in April 1987 by SATS Museum, R.3125-6/9/11-1000)
- Holland, D.F. (1972). Steam Locomotives of the South African Railways, Volume 2: 1910-1955 (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, Devon: David & Charles. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-7153-5427-8.
- Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. pp. 48–49. ISBN 0869772112.
- The South African Railways - Historical Survey. Editor George Hart, Publisher Bill Hart, Sponsored by Dorbyl Ltd., Published c. 1978, p. 25.