NZASM 14 Tonner 0-4-0T

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NZASM 14 Tonner 0-4-0T
NZASM 14 Tonner 1 0-4-0T a.JPG
No. 1 Transvaal at the Outeniqua Transport Museum, 15 April 2013
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer Maschinenfabrik Esslingen
Builder Maschinenfabrik Esslingen
Serial number 2317-2319, 2333-2334
Build date 1889
Total produced 5
 • Whyte 0-4-0T (Four-coupled)
 • UIC Bn2t
Driver 2nd coupled axle
Gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge
Coupled dia. 31 12 in (800 mm)
Wheelbase 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm)
Frame type Plate
Adhesive weight 14 LT (14,220 kg)
Loco weight 14 LT (14,220 kg)
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 7 long hundredweight (0.4 t)
Water cap 560 imp gal (2,550 l)
Firebox type Round-top
 • Firegrate area 7.1 sq ft (0.66 m2)
 • Pitch 5 ft 4 12 in (1,638 mm)
 • Diameter 3 ft 1 516 in (948 mm)
 • Tube plates 6 ft 8 1116 in (2,049 mm)
 • Small tubes 88: 1 34 in (44 mm)
Boiler pressure 160 psi (1,103 kPa)
Heating surface 305 sq ft (28.3 m2)
 • Tubes 271 sq ft (25.2 m2)
 • Firebox 34 sq ft (3.2 m2)
Cylinders Two
Cylinder size 11 in (279 mm) bore
15 34 in (400 mm) stroke
Valve gear Allan
Valve type Murdoch's D slide
Couplers Johnston link-and-pin
Performance figures
Tractive effort 7,623 lbf (33.91 kN) @ 75%
Operators NZASM
Imperial Military Railways
Central South African Railways
Class NZASM 14 Tonner
Number in class 5
Numbers NZASM 1-5, IMR 601-605,
Official name 14 Tonner
Delivered 1889
First run 1889
Preserved No. 1 Transvaal
Scrapped 1916

The NZASM 14 Tonner 0-4-0T of 1889 was a South African steam locomotive from the pre-Union era in Transvaal.

In 1889, the Nederlandsche-Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij acquired its first locomotives for use on the new railway which was being constructed from Johannesburg to Boksburg. Since the railway classified its locomotives according to their weight, these well-and-side-tank locomotives were known as the 14 Tonners.[1][2]

The Randtram line[edit]

As a result of the rapid development of the goldfields on the Witwatersrand in the 1880s and the demand for coal by the growing industry, the Volksraad of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR), also known as the Transvaal Republic, granted a concession to the Nederlandsche-Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg­maatschappij (Netherlands-South African Railway Company, NZASM) on 20 July 1888 to construct a 16-mile long (26-kilometre) railway from Johannesburg to Boksburg. The line, which was opened on 17 March 1890, became known as the Randtram line, even though it was a railway in every aspect and not dedicated to tram traffic. This was the first working railway in Transvaal.[1][2][3][4]

The concession was extended the following year to continue the line eastwards to Springs, where coal was known to exist, and westwards via Roodepoort to Krugersdorp. The entire 49-mile long (79-kilometre) line was opened to traffic on 10 February 1891.[1][2]


Works plate on 14 Tonner no. 1

In 1889, five well-and-side-tank locomotives with a 0-4-0 wheel arrangement, the first locomotives of the NZASM, were obtained from the German engineering firm and locomotive builder Maschinen­fabrik Esslingen, owned by Emil Kessler. Since the NZASM classified its locomotives according to their weight, these engines were known as 14 Tonners. They were erected at Elandslaagte near Johannesburg, now the city of Germiston. The engines were numbered in the range from 1 to 5 and placed in service on the new railway to Boksburg.[1][2]


Their cylinders were arranged outside the plate frames. The Murdoch's D slide valves, mounted above the cylinders, were arranged at an incline and were actuated by Allan straight link motion. In this type of valve gear, the valve rod and the expansion link are respectively connected to opposing arms on the reversing shaft, so that partial rotation of the shaft moves the link and the die block in opposite directions.[2]

Apart from the side-tanks, the locomotive also had a well-tank between the frames under the boiler barrel. The dome was on the front section of the boiler and the regulator valve was arranged in the smokebox.[2]



As the Randtram line was expanded to the west and east to become the Reef line between Roodepoort and Springs, the 14 Tonners remained in service on that line, even though their range of operation was somewhat limited by their small coal and water carrying capacities.[1][2]

NZASM 14 Tonner on the Randtram line, c. 1890

The first locomotive, no. 1 named Transvaal, entered service on 18 July 1889. It hauled the first train on the Randtram line when it was opened on 17 March 1890 and was retired in December 1903, by which time it had covered a distance of 113,309 miles (182,353 kilometres).[1]

Imperial Military Railways[edit]

All railway operations in the two Boer Republics, the ZAR and the Orange Free State, were taken over by the Imperial Military Railways (IMR) during the Second Boer War. The IMR renumbering register made provision for all five 14 Tonners in the number range from 601 to 605, but it is not known whether all five were renumbered.[5]

Central South African Railways[edit]

At the end of the war, when the IMR was transformed into the Central South African Railways (CSAR), either three or four of the 14 Tonners survived and were renumbered, either from CSAR numbers A to C or from A to D. The uncertainty arises from the fact that the renumbering register lists CSAR no. D as both NZASM 14 Tonner no. 5 and one of the NZASM 18 Tonner locomotives.[5]

NZASM numbers 2, 3 and 5 were presumably allocated IMR numbers 602, 603 and 605 respectively, but apart from either IMR no. 602 or 603 which presumably became CSAR no. B, it is not known whether they were renumbered. All three of them were converted into stationary boilers at some stage. The gap in the CSAR renumbering (see the table) suggests that only one of NZASM numbers 2 and 3 survived into CSAR stock, presumably becoming CSAR no. B.[5]


Even though none of them were in service any longer when the South African Railways renumbering was carried out in 1912, the last of four of the 14 Tonners was only scrapped in 1916. NZASM no. 1, the engine Transvaal, was preserved and was declared a national monument by Government Notice no. 529 on 6 April 1936. It was plinthed on Pretoria station until the late 1960s, when it was moved to the new Johannesburg station. It is now exhibited in the Outeniqua Transport Museum in George, Western Cape.[1][3]

Works numbers[edit]

The NZASM 14 Tonner works numbers, IMR and CSAR renumbering and their disposal are listed in the table.[1][5]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Holland, D.F. (1971). Steam Locomotives of the South African Railways. 1: 1859–1910 (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, Devon: David & Charles. pp. 109–110. ISBN 978-0-7153-5382-0. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Espitalier, T.J.; Day, W.A.J. (1944). The Locomotive in South Africa - A Brief History of Railway Development. Chapter IV - The N.Z.A.S.M.. South African Railways and Harbours Magazine, October 1944. pp. 761-764.
  3. ^ a b The South African Railways - Historical Survey. Editor George Hart, Publisher Bill Hart, Sponsored by Dorbyl Ltd., Published c. 1978, p. 19.
  4. ^ A South African Railway History
  5. ^ a b c d Information supplied by John Nicholas Middleton