NZR BC class

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NZR BC class
Bc class steam locomotive, New Zealand Railways number 463 (2-8-2). ATLIB 276308.png
BC class steam locomotive, NZR number 463
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Builder Baldwin Locomotive Works
Serial number 19796
Build date 1901
Total produced 1
Specifications
Configuration:
 • Whyte 2-8-2
 • UIC 1'D1'
Gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm)
Driver dia. 43 in (1.092 m)
Length 55 ft 7 in (16.94 m)
Total weight 71.4 long tons (72.5 t; 80.0 short tons)
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 4.0 long tons (4.1 t; 4.5 short tons)
Water cap 1,660 imperial gallons (7,500 l; 1,990 US gal)
Firebox:
 • Firegrate area
25 sq ft (2.3 m2)
Boiler pressure 200 lbf/in2 (1.38 MPa)
Heating surface 1,477 sq ft (137.2 m2)
Cylinders 4 (2 HP, 2 LP)
Cylinder size HP 11.5 in × 20 in (292 mm × 508 mm)
LP 19 in × 20 in (483 mm × 508 mm)
Performance figures
Tractive effort Template:Co insertednvert
Career
Operators Wellington and Manawatu Railway, New Zealand Government Railways
Numbers WMR 17, NZR 463
Withdrawn March 1927

The BC class comprised a single steam locomotive that operated on New Zealand's national rail network. Built for the Wellington and Manawatu Railway (WMR) and classified simply as No.17, it passed into the ownership of the New Zealand Railways Department (NZR) when the government purchased the WMR in December 1908, and it was then that it acquired the BC classification as BC 463.

The WMR ordered No.17 from the Baldwin Locomotive Works. It entered service on 10 June 1902 and was at the time the most powerful locomotive to operate in the country. No.17 was the only 2-8-2 "Mikado" to run in New Zealand. It was a Vauclain compound, and its trailing truck bore similarities to the Q class, the world's first 4-6-2 "Pacific" type then under construction by Baldwin for NZR.

The locomotive was designed to haul trains on the WMR's steep main line between Wellington and Paekakariki, and it proved capable of hauling a 280-ton freight train up the steep grades. This line became the southern portion of the North Island Main Trunk Railway when acquired by NZR in 1908.

No.17/BC 463 worked this line its entire life. It operated for nearly two decades in NZR's ownership until it was withdrawn on 31 March 1927 along with fellow surviving WMR locomotives when NZR adopted a rapid locomotive standardisation plan. It did not survive to be preserved. A decade after it was withdrawn, the steepest section of its former line was bypassed by the Tawa Flat deviation and became the Johnsonville Branch.