NZR WJ class

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NZR WJ class
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Builder Baldwin Locomotive Works
Serial number 23596
Build date 1904
Configuration 2-8-4T
Gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm)
Wheel diameter 43 in (1.092 m)
Weight on drivers 38.0 long tons (38.6 t; 42.6 short tons)
Locomotive weight 53.6 long tons (54.5 t; 60.0 short tons)
Fuel type Coal
Boiler pressure 200 psi (1,379 kPa)
Firegrate area 16.7 sq ft (1.55 m2)
Heating surface:
– Total
1,080 sq ft (100 m2)
Cylinders 2
Cylinder size 17 in × 20 in (432 mm × 508 mm)
Performance figures
Tractive effort 21,510 lbf (95.7 kN)
Operator(s) Wellington and Manawatu Railway, New Zealand Government Railways
Number in class 1
Number(s) WMR 3 (1904),
NZR 466
Locale Wellington - Johnsonville section
Retired 31 March 1928
Disposition Withdrawn

The NZR WJ class was a class of one steam locomotive built by Baldwin Locomotive Works for service on New Zealand's private Wellington and Manawatu Railway (WMR). She acquired the WJ classification when the publicly owned New Zealand Railways Department (NZR) purchased the WMR and its locomotive fleet in 1908.

The locomotive entered service in July 1904 with WMR Road No. 3 (reused).

A massive 2-8-4T tank engine, known as Jumbo, she was acquired for banking duty out of Wellington up the Ngaio bank to Johnsonville, and was based at Wellington for all her life. She had worked 67,907 miles by 29 February 1908 (Cassells). Drivers and firemen alike, it has been written, hated Jumbo, but all agreed that for sheer brute strength this engine took a lot of beating. Like all Baldwin locomotives, Jumbo had cast frames of the bar type. In this case they gave considerable trouble, for they persistently broke immediately behind the smokebox saddle (McGavin)

When taken into the NZR fleet in 1908, she was allocated her own class and NZR No. 466. With a tendency for breaking the bar frames on the heavy banking duty, she saw little service after 1920.

She was withdrawn in 1927 (Cassells) and written off on 31 March 1928 (Lloyd). The boiler was sent to the Taumarunui locomotive depot for use as a washout boiler.


  • Cassells, K.R. Uncommon Carrier: The History of the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company, 1882-1908 pp. 108,156,169 (Wellington, NZRLS, 1994, ISBN 0-908573-63-4 )
  • Lloyd, W.G. Register of New Zealand Railways Steam Locomotives, 1863-1971 pp. 38,64 (Wellington, NZRLS, 1974)
  • McGavin, T. A. The Manawatu Line (Wellington NZRLS, 1958, 2nd edn 1982) ISBN 0-908573-35-9
  • W.W.Stewart, When Steam Was King, REED, 1970

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