NZR T class

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NZR T class
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Builder Baldwin Locomotive Works, United States
Serial number 4660–4661, 4664-4667
Build date 1879
Total produced 6
Configuration 2-8-0
UIC class 1′D
Gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm)
Driver dia. 36 in (914 mm)
Length 44 ft 10 in (13.67 m)
Adhesive weight 23.0 long tons (23.4 t; 25.8 short tons)
24.7 long tons (25.1 t; 27.7 short tons) (reboilered)
Loco weight 26.2 long tons (26.6 t; 29.3 short tons)
Tender weight 16.0 long tons (16.3 t; 17.9 short tons)
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 2.1 long tons (2.1 t; 2.4 short tons)
Water cap 1,300 imp gal (5,900 l; 1,600 US gal)
 • Firegrate area
15.7 sq ft (1.46 m2)
Boiler pressure 130 psi (896 kPa)
160 psi (1,103 kPa) (reboilered)
Heating surface 812 sq ft (75.4 m2)
920 sq ft (85 m2) (reboilered)
Superheater None
Cylinders Two, outside
Cylinder size 15 in × 18 in (381 mm × 457 mm)
Performance figures
Maximum speed 18 mph (29 km/h)
Tractive effort 11,700 lbf (52.04 kN)
14,300 lbf (63.61 kN) (reboilered)
Operators New Zealand Railways
Numbers 101–106
Locale All of New Zealand
First run 1880
Disposition Withdrawn, none preserved

The NZR T class was a class of steam locomotive used in New Zealand.


By the late 1870s there was a distinct need for a powerful type of locomotive to operate the steep section of the Main South Line between Dunedin and Oamaru. As the success of the K class demonstrated the suitability of American locomotives to New Zealand's railways, an order was placed with the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1879 for six 2-8-0 tender locomotives. Based on a design already used for the Denver and Rio Grande, it was much less decorative than the K class, but this did not detract from its performance capabilities. The largest and most powerful locomotives in the country upon their introduction, the backhead of the boiler protruded a very long way into the cab leaving very little room for the driver or fireman.

In service[edit]

Because of its small diameter driving wheels, the T class was typically limited to a speed of 29 km/h (18 mph). Accordingly, it was usually assigned to freight trains. In their heyday, the T class generally hauled services on the Otago Central Railway and the Main South Line between Dunedin and Oamaru. Around the beginning of the 20th century, the class received new boilers of a Belpaire design, fitted with Westinghouse air brakes and two were moved north to Auckland to assist on the newly opened North Island Main Trunk Railway. Most were also fitted with steel cabs in place of the original wooden ones, although the design fitted varied from locomotive to locomotive.

As time progressed, more powerful, newer locomotives progressively displaced the T class, with the four South Island-based members of the class (103-106) known to have been relegated to the quiet, lowly trafficked Tokarahi Branch. A number of the class were modified for use as yard shunters. This involved the fitting of a tender cab and moving the tender body back on the frame to provide more room for the fireman.

Withdrawal and disposal[edit]

The first of the T class were withdrawn in 1922, with the last example withdrawn in 1924. Some managed to survive long enough to be dumped or have components dumped when the NZR started dumping locomotives for embankment protection in 1926.


No T class locomotives have been preserved.

List of locomotives[edit]

Key: In Service Leased to ARTA Withdrawn Preserved Under Repair Scrapped
Number Builder Builder's Number Entered service [1] Withdrawn [1] Notes
101 Baldwin Locomotive Works 4660 February 2, 1880
102 Baldwin Locomotive Works 4661 February 7, 1880 Transferred to North Island, modified for shunting. Dumped Westfield 1929? Exhumed during the 1930s and sent to Japan as scrap.
103 Baldwin Locomotive Works 4664 January 19, 1880
104 Baldwin Locomotive Works 4665 January 9, 1880 Tender dumped in the Bealey River.
105 Baldwin Locomotive Works 4666 February 8, 1880
106 Baldwin Locomotive Works 4667 February 8, 1880 1924 Withdrawn at Dunedin, last T locomotive in service. Locomotive and tender dumped at Mt White, 1926.


  1. ^ a b "T Class 2-8-0 Register". Retrieved 2008-11-13. 
  • Heath, Eric, and Stott, Bob; Classic Steam Locomotives Of New Zealand, Grantham House, 1993