NZR WAB class
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WAB 794 on its first excursion after restoration, with the Capital Connection rolling stock
The WAB class locomotives were steam locomotives designed, built and used by New Zealand Railways Department. Their wheel arrangement is described by the Whyte notation 4-6-4T. The locomotives were designed by NZR chief draughtsman S.H. Jenkinson as tank versions of the AB class 4-6-2 Pacific locomotive. Initially, the locomotives were separated into two classes, designated WAB for mainline work and WS for suburban work.
The first locomotives, WS 686 and WAB 687, were built from the boilers, frames and engine units initially destined for AB 666 and AB 667. These entered service in 1917, WS 686 in Wellington and WAB 687 at Taumarunui in the central North Island. Fourteen WS class locomotives were built between 1917 and 1925: one at Addington workshops (686), five at A & G Price Ltd, Thames (799-803) and eight at Hillside workshops, Dunedin (764-771). All the WS class were converted to WAB in 1932-4. Sixteen WAB class were built between 1918 and 1926: one at Addington (687), 12 at Hillside (786-795) and three at A&G Price (796-798). Between 1947 and 1957 11 WAB class were converted to AB class.
The remaining locomotives were kept in service until the last days of steam, operating short-haul main line freight services and fast suburban services, particularly in Auckland. WAB 794 was sold to the Ohai Railway Board in Southland for running heavy coal trains.
The locomotives were progressively withdrawn in the 1960s.
Only three examples of the class remain, with two in their original form as WABs.
WAB (former WS) 800 is owned by the Waikato Branch of New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society and was stored for many years at the Te Awamutu Railway Museum. Following negotiation of a lease agreement, the engine has been moved to the Glenbrook Vintage Railway for eventual restoration to working order.
|Key:||In service||On lease||Out of service||Preserved||Overhaul/Repair||Scrapped|
|686||NZR Addington||April 1917||January 1966|
|687||NZR Addington||April 1917||January 1966|
|763||NZR Hillside||May 1923||April 1963|
|764||NZR Hillside||July 1923||July 1963|
|765||NZR Hillside||August 1923||April 1963|
|766||NZR Hillside||September 1923||May 1964|
|767||NZR Hillside||November 1923||April 1963|
|768||NZR Hillside||January 1924||April 1963|
|769||NZR Hillside||May 1924||April 1963|
|770||NZR Hillside||May 1924||September 1962|
|771||NZR Hillside||July 1924||September 1962|
|772||NZR Hillside||July 1924||September 1962|
|786||NZR Hillside||July 1926||September 1947||Converted to AB class; withdrawn October 1968|
|787||NZR Hillside||August 1926||October 1947||Converted to AB class; withdrawn April 1966|
|788||NZR Hillside||September 1926||January 1948||Converted to AB class; withdrawn March 1969|
|789||NZR Hillside||October 1926||August 1947||Converted to AB class; withdrawn March 1969|
|790||NZR Hillside||December 1926||September 1957||Converted to AB class; withdrawn February 1966|
|791||NZR Hillside||December 1926||November 1947||Converted to AB class; withdrawn October 1967|
|792||NZR Hillside||March 1927||June 1947||Converted to AB class; withdrawn July 1969|
|793||NZR Hillside||March 1927||February 1948||Converted to AB class; withdrawn March 1969|
|794||NZR Hillside||May 1927||31 August 1955||Sold to Ohai Railway Board; withdrawn 1968.
Preserved by Feilding and District Steam Rail Society, operating with mainline certification
|795||NZR Hillside||May 1927||December 1947||Converted as AB class; withdrawn July 1969
Preserved (as AB) by Kingston Flyer
|796||A & G Price||September 1926||September 1962|
|797||A & G Price||September 1926||May 1963|
|798||A & G Price||November 1926||March 1969||Rebuilt as AB class 11-1957|
|799||A & G Price||November 1927||April 1969|
|800||A & G Price||November 1927||April 1969||Stored at Glenbrook Vintage Railway.|
|801||A & G Price||November 1927||April 1969|
|802||A & G Price||November 1927||April 1969|
|803||A & G Price||November 1927||April 1969||Rebuilt as AB class 12-1957.|