South African Class 11 2-8-2

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CSAR Class 11 2-8-2
South African Class 11 2-8-2
SAR Class 11 933 (2-8-2) CSAR 721.jpg
Class 11 no. 933, ex CSAR no. 721, Sydenham, 1973
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer Central South African Railways
(P.A. Hyde)
Builder North British Locomotive Company
Serial number 16207, 16250-16284
Model CSAR Class 11
Build date 1904
Total produced 36
Configuration 2-8-2 (Mikado)
Driver 3rd coupled axle
Gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge
Leading dia. 30 in (762 mm)
Coupled dia. 48 in (1,219 mm)
Trailing dia. 30 in (762 mm)
Tender wheels 33 12 in (851 mm) as built
34 in (864 mm) retyred
Wheelbase 55 ft 8 in (16,967 mm)
 • Engine 29 ft 3 in (8,915 mm)
 • Coupled 13 ft 1 12 in (4,000 mm)
 • Tender 16 ft 9 in (5,105 mm)
 • Tender bogie 4 ft 7 in (1,397 mm)
 • Over couplers 64 ft 4 12 in (19,622 mm)
Height 12 ft 10 in (3,912 mm)
Frame type Plate
Axle load 15 LT 15 cwt (16,000 kg)
 • Leading 6 LT 1 cwt (6,147 kg)
 • 1st coupled 15 LT 4 cwt (15,440 kg)
 • 2nd coupled 15 LT 12 cwt (15,850 kg)
 • 3rd coupled 15 LT 15 cwt (16,000 kg)
 • 4th coupled 15 LT 15 cwt (16,000 kg)
 • Trailing 11 LT 7 cwt (11,530 kg)
 • Tender bogie Bogie 1: 24 LT 4 cwt (24,590 kg)
Bogie 2: 25 LT 3 cwt (25,550 kg)
 • Tender axle 12 LT 11 cwt 2 qtr (12,780 kg)
Adhesive weight 62 LT 6 cwt (63,300 kg)
Loco weight 79 LT 14 cwt (80,980 kg)
Tender weight 49 LT 7 cwt (50,140 kg)
Total weight 129 LT (131.1 t)
Tender type XM2 (2-axle bogies)
XC, XC1, XE, XE1, XF, XF1, XF2, XJ, XM, XM1, XM2, XM3, XM4, XP1, XS permitted
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 10 LT (10.2 t)
Water cap 4,000 imp gal (18,200 l)
Firebox type Belpaire
 • Firegrate area 37 sq ft (3.4 m2)
 • Pitch 7 ft 2 in (2,184 mm)
 • Diameter 5 ft 1 34 in (1,568 mm)
 • Tube plates 18 ft 14 in (5,493 mm)
 • Small tubes 121 2 14 in (57 mm)
 • Large tubes 21: 5 12 in (140 mm)
Boiler pressure 190 psi (1,310 kPa)
Safety valve Ramsbottom
Heating surface 1,971 sq ft (183.1 m2)
 • Tubes 1,829 sq ft (169.9 m2)
 • Firebox 142 sq ft (13.2 m2)
 • Heating area 331 sq ft (30.8 m2)
Cylinders Two
Cylinder size 20 in (508 mm) bore
26 in (660 mm) stroke
Valve gear Walschaerts
Valve type Piston
Couplers Johnston link-and-pin
AAR knuckle (1930s)
Performance figures
Tractive effort 30,780 lbf (136.9 kN) @ 75%
Operators Central South African Railways
South African Railways
Tavistock Colliery
Blue Circle Cement
Class CSAR & SAR Class 11
Number in class 36
Numbers CSAR 700-735, SAR 912-947
Delivered 1904
First run 1904
Withdrawn 1975
The 2nd & 3rd coupled axles had flangeless wheels

The South African Railways Class 11 2-8-2 of 1904 was a steam locomotive from the pre-Union era in Transvaal Colony.

In 1904, the Central South African Railways placed 36 Class 11 steam locomotives with a 2-8-2 Mikado type wheel arrangement in service. When these locomotives were assimilated into the South African Railways in 1912, they were renumbered but retained their Class 11 classification.[1][2][3][4]


Built by the North British Locomotive Company (NBL), the Class 11 was designed for goods train service on the Reef by P.A. Hyde, Chief Locomotive Superintendent of the Central South African Railways (CSAR) from 1902 to 1904. One locomotive, CSAR no. 700, was delivered early in 1904 for trial purposes. After successful trials, this locomotive was followed by a further 35 Class 11 locomotives which were delivered later that same year and numbered in the range from 701 to 735.[1][4][5]


The Class 11 was designed by Hyde to take full advantage of the new 80 pounds per yard (40 kilograms per metre) track of the CSAR, which was gradually replacing the old 60 pounds per yard (30 kilograms per metre) sections on mainlines. Upon delivery, however, the class was found to be too heavy for a large part of the existing track and bridges on the line between Witbank and Germiston, where they were intended to work. It took nearly a year to carry out the programme of track and bridge strengthening and some of the new locomotives ended up being held in staging for all that time before the Chief Civil Engineer would allow them to run.[1][2][4][6][7]

They were superheated, with Belpaire fireboxes. The cylinders were arranged outside the plate frames, with the 10 inches (254 millimetres) diameter outside admission piston valves arranged above the cylinders and actuated by Walschaerts valve gear. The drivers and intermediate coupled wheels were flangeless. The motion, axleboxes and several other details were identical or similar to equivalent parts of the Class 10, which was built at the same time by the same manufacturer, and their Type XM2 two-axle bogie tenders were identical.[2]

The load-bearing springs of the trailing bissel consisted of single helical springs of round section. Since the single spring would not stand up to the load, it was soon replaced by a double spring. Laminated springs were subsequently fitted. Apart from this, the engines were trouble-free and gave more than seventy years of service.[1][2]

South African Railways[edit]

When the Union of South Africa was established on 31 May 1910, the three Colonial government railways (Cape Government Railways, Natal Government Railways and CSAR) were united under a single administration to control and administer the railways, ports and harbours of the Union. Although the South African Railways and Harbours came into existence in 1910, the actual classification and renumbering of all the rolling stock of the three constituent railways were only implemented with effect from 1 January 1912.[3][8]

Class 11 no. 912 ID.jpg

In 1912, the CSAR Class 11 locomotives were renumbered in the range from 912 to 947, but their Class 11 classification was retained on the South African Railways (SAR).[3][9]

The 2-8-2 Mikado type was rare in SAR service, the Class 11 and the narrow gauge Class NG15 Kalahari being the only South African Mikado types to be built in quantity. Apart from these, the SAR had the temporary use on lease of a few Katanga Mikados to alleviate a locomotive shortage during the First World War.[6][9][10]



The Class 11 was initially used on the Reef to haul coal between Germiston and Witbank. They were powerful locomotives which gave good service at moderate speeds, but at higher speed the lightly loaded leading Bissel truck with its 6 long tons 1 hundredweight (6,147 kilograms) axle load proved unsatisfactory on curves.[1][2]

When more powerful locomotives entered service, the Class 11 was therefore relegated to local workings and shunting duties. In the 1940s, most of them were relocated to the Cape Northern system, shedded at Kimberley, and the Cape Midlands system, shedded at Port Elizabeth, where they were employed on similar tasks until they were withdrawn from SAR service in 1975.[1][4][6]


Fifteen of the Class 11 locomotives were sold into industrial service, and sometimes resold. All are now withdrawn from service.[6][11]

  • SAR no. 918 became President Brand Gold Mine no. 7 and later Freegold no. 8.
  • SAR no. 921 went to Witbank Coal Mine and later became Tavistock Colliery no. 2.
  • SAR no. 923 became Western Holdings no. 6.
  • SAR no. 926 became President Brand Gold Mine no. 6.
  • SAR no. 928 became President Steyn Gold Mine no. 8 and later Freegold no. 5.
  • SAR no. 929 became President Steyn Gold Mine no. 6.
  • SAR no. 932 became President Brand Gold Mine no. 8.
  • SAR no. 933 became President Steyn Gold Mine no. 7 and later Freegold no. 7.
  • SAR no. 936 went to ISCOR in Pretoria and later became Tavistock Colliery no. 1.
  • SAR no. 938 went to President Brand Gold Mine for spare parts.
  • SAR no. 940 went to ISCOR in Pretoria, later became South Witbank Colliery no. 6 and then Umgala Colliery no. 1 at Utrecht.
  • SAR no. 943 went to South Witbank Coal Mine and later became Tavistock Colliery no. 3.
  • SAR no. 944 became Free State Geduld Gold Mine no. 6 and later Freegold no. 6.
  • SAR no. 945 became Free State Saaiplaas Gold Mine no. 2.
  • SAR no. 946 went to Blue Circle Cement in Lichtenburg and is now part of a static display at the Andries Beyers Farming Museum in Lichtenburg.[6][11]


As built, the Class 11 had a gap between the running boards and the walkway in front of the smokebox, with a stirrup-type step attached to the front edge of each running board and without side steps at the locomotive's front. Many were later modified by having slanted extensions added between the running boards and the front walkway to replace the stirrup, and with side steps added next to the leading wheels. Some were modified in this way while still in SAR service, while others were done in various styles by their post-SAR industrial owners, as illustrated below.[12]

While most other SAR locomotives with Belpaire fireboxes were later reboilered with the Watson Standard boilers which were introduced in the 1930s, no Class 11 locomotive ever underwent this modification. They served in the SAR for seventy years, plus several more years in industrial service, while retaining the distinctive appearance which comes with a Belpaire firebox.[7]


The main picture and the following photographs illustrate some of the modifications done to the running boards of the Class 11 locomotive, as well as the SAR and industrial liveries which were applied to it.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Holland, D.F. (1971). Steam Locomotives of the South African Railways, Volume 1: 1859-1910 (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, Devon: David & Charles. pp. 130–131. ISBN 978-0-7153-5382-0. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Espitalier, T.J.; Day, W.A.J. (1945). The Locomotive in South Africa - A Brief History of Railway Development. Chapter VI - Imperial Military Railways and C.S.A.R. (Continued). South African Railways and Harbours Magazine, February 1945. pp. 97-99.
  3. ^ a b c Classification of S.A.R. Engines with Renumbering Lists, issued by the Chief Mechanical Engineer's Office, Pretoria, January 1912, pp. 9, 12, 15, 36-37 (Reprinted in April 1987 by SATS Museum, R.3125-6/9/11-1000)
  4. ^ a b c d Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. pp. 10–11, 54. ISBN 0869772112. 
  5. ^ North British Locomotive Company works list, compiled by Austrian locomotive historian Bernhard Schmeiser
  6. ^ a b c d e Durrant, A E (1989). Twilight of South African Steam (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, London: David & Charles. p. 58. ISBN 0715386387. 
  7. ^ a b South African Railways and Harbours Locomotive Diagram Book, 2'0" & 3'6" Gauge Steam Locomotives, 15 August 1941, as amended
  8. ^ The South African Railways - Historical Survey. Editor George Hart, Publisher Bill Hart, Sponsored by Dorbyl Ltd., Published c. 1978, p. 25.
  9. ^ a b Holland, D.F. (1972). Steam Locomotives of the South African Railways, Volume 2: 1910-1955 (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, Devon: David & Charles. pp. 47, 32–33. ISBN 978-0-7153-5427-8. 
  10. ^ Espitalier, T.J.; Day, W.A.J. (1945). The Locomotive in South Africa - A Brief History of Railway Development. Chapter VII - South African Railways (Continued). South African Railways and Harbours Magazine, September 1945. p. 673.
  11. ^ a b Middleton, John N. (2002). Railways of Southern Africa Locomotive Guide - 2002 (as amended by Combined Amendment List 4, January 2009) (2nd, Dec 2002 ed.). Herts, England: Beyer-Garratt Publications. p. 18. 
  12. ^ SAR Class 11 946 (2-8-2)