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 engine 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 (Six-coupled)
Driver 2nd coupled axle
Gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge
Coupled dia. 36 in (914 mm)
Wheelbase 7 ft 6 in (2,286 mm)
Wheel spacing
1-2: 4 ft (1,219 mm)
2-3: 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm)
 • Over couplers 20 ft 10 34 in (6,369 mm)
Height 10 ft 6 in (3,200 mm)
Axle load 7 LT 15 cwt (7,874 kg)
Adhesive weight 21 LT 5 cwt (21,590 kg)
Loco weight 21 LT 5 cwt (21,590 kg)
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 1 LT (1.0 t)
Water cap 450 imp gal (2,000 l)
Firebox type Round-top
 • Firegrate area 7 sq ft (0.65 m2)
 • Pitch 5 ft 3 34 in (1,619 mm)
 • Diameter 3 ft 5 18 in (1,045 mm) outside
 • Tube plates 7 ft 6 12 in (2,299 mm)
 • Small tubes 94: 1 78 in (48 mm)
Boiler pressure 140 psi (965 kPa)
Safety valve Ramsbottom
Heating surface 388 sq ft (36.0 m2)
 • Tubes 347 sq ft (32.2 m2)
 • Firebox 41 sq ft (3.8 m2)
Cylinders Two
Cylinder size 12 in (305 mm) bore
18 in (457 mm) stroke
Valve gear Stephenson
Couplers Johnston link-and-pin
Performance figures
Tractive effort 7,560 lbf (33.6 kN) @ 75%
Operators Harbours Department of Natal
South African Railways
Number in class 1
Numbers HDN 4 & 46, SAR 046
Official name Sir Albert
Delivered 1904
First run 1904
Withdrawn 1915

Durban Harbour's Sir Albert of 1904 was 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 0-6-0ST saddle-tank locomotive, named Sir Albert, in service as harbour shunting engine in Durban Harbour.[1][2]

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.[1]

Railway operations in the harbour became the responsibility of the Harbours Department of the Government of Natal.[3]


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][2][4]


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.[4][5]

When the Union of South Africa was established on 31 May 1910, the three Colonial government railways (Cape Government Railways, NGR and Central South African Railways) were united under a single administration to control and administer the railways, ports and harbours of the Union. Although the South African Railways and Harbours came into existence in 1910, the actual classification and renumbering of all the rolling stock of the three constituent railways were only implemented with effect from 1 January 1912.[6][7]

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.[4][7][8]


  1. ^ a b c 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. ^ a b Espitalier, T.J.; Day, W.A.J. (1944). The Locomotive in South Africa - A Brief History of Railway Development. Chapter III - Natal Government Railways (Continued). South African Railways and Harbours Magazine, September 1944. pp. 670-671.
  3. ^ Harbours Department of the Government of Natal
  4. ^ a b c Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. p. 22. ISBN 0869772112. 
  5. ^ Information on Sir Albert from John Middleton
  6. ^ The South African Railways - Historical Survey. Editor George Hart, Publisher Bill Hart, Sponsored by Dorbyl Ltd., Published c. 1978, p. 25.
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ 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.