South African Class 15CA 4-8-2

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South African Class 15CA 4-8-2
SAR Class 15CA 2802 (4-8-2).JPG
No. 2802 at Esselen Park, 21 September 2009
Type and origin
♠ With 57 inch (1,448 mm) coupled wheels
With 60 inch (1,524 mm) coupled wheels
23x28 Cylinders - 24x28 Cylinders - ʘ Reboilered
ʘ No. 2039-2059, 2072-2073
ʘ No. 2074-2077, 2801-2839 - ʘ No. 2840-2857
Power type Steam
Designer South African Railways
(Col F.R. Collins DSO)
Builder American Locomotive Company
Baldwin Locomotive Works
Società Italiana Ernesto Breda
North British Locomotive Company
Serial number ALCO 66986-67008, Baldwin 60828-60831, Breda 2236-2245, NBL 23774-23802, 24008-24025
Model Class 15CA
Build date 1926-1929
Total produced 84
Specifications
Configuration 4-8-2 (Mountain)
Driver 2nd coupled axle
Gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge
Leading dia. 30 in (762 mm)
Coupled dia. ♠ 57 in (1,448 mm)
60 in (1,524 mm)
Trailing dia. ʘʘ 33 in (838 mm)
ʘ 34 in (864 mm)
Tender wheels 34 in (864 mm)
Wheelbase 65 ft 3 14 in (19,895 mm)
 • Engine 35 ft 8 in (10,871 mm)
 • Leading 6 ft 10 in (2,083 mm)
 • Coupled 15 ft 9 in (4,801 mm)
 • Tender 20 ft 5 in (6,223 mm)
 • Tender bogie 6 ft 2 in (1,880 mm)
Length:
 • Over couplers 73 ft 3 14 in (22,333 mm)
Height ♠ 12 ft 10 in (3,912 mm)
12 ft 11 12 in (3,950 mm)
Frame type Bar
Axle load ʘ 17 LT 9 cwt (17,730 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 12 cwt (17,880 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 10 cwt (17,780 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 15 cwt (18,030 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 18 cwt (18,190 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 16 cwt (18,090 kg)
 • Leading ʘ 19 LT 12 cwt (19,910 kg)
ʘ 19 LT 7 cwt (19,660 kg)
ʘ 21 LT 7 cwt (21,690 kg)
ʘ 19 LT 12 cwt (19,910 kg)
ʘ 19 LT 7 cwt (19,660 kg)
ʘ 21 LT 7 cwt (21,690 kg)
 • 1st coupled ʘ 17 LT 6 cwt (17,580 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 10 cwt (17,780 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 6 cwt (17,580 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 9 cwt (17,730 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 13 cwt (17,930 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 9 cwt (17,730 kg)
 • 2nd coupled ʘ 17 LT 9 cwt (17,730 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 12 cwt (17,880 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 10 cwt (17,780 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 15 cwt (18,030 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 18 cwt (18,190 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 16 cwt (18,090 kg)
 • 3rd coupled ʘ 17 LT 7 cwt (17,630 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 11 cwt (17,830 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 6 cwt (17,580 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 13 cwt (17,930 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 17 cwt (18,140 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 12 cwt (17,880 kg)
 • 4th coupled ʘ 17 LT 4 cwt (17,480 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 7 cwt (17,630 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 3 cwt (17,430 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 10 cwt (17,780 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 13 cwt (17,930 kg)
ʘ 17 LT 9 cwt (17,730 kg)
 • Trailing ʘ 14 LT 9 cwt (14,680 kg)
ʘ 14 LT 16 cwt (15,040 kg)
ʘ 14 LT 13 cwt (14,890 kg)
ʘ 14 LT 9 cwt (14,680 kg)
ʘ 14 LT 16 cwt (15,040 kg)
ʘ 14 LT 13 cwt (14,890 kg)
 • Tender bogie Bogie 1: 33 LT 18 cwt (34,440 kg)
Bogie 2: 35 LT 10 cwt (36,070 kg)
 • Tender axle 17 LT 15 cwt (18,030 kg)
Adhesive weight ʘ 69 LT 6 cwt (70,410 kg)
ʘ 70 LT (71,120 kg)
ʘ 69 LT 5 cwt (70,360 kg)
ʘ 70 LT 7 cwt (71,480 kg)
ʘ 71 LT 1 cwt (72,190 kg)
ʘ 70 LT 6 cwt (71,430 kg)
Loco weight ʘ 103 LT 7 cwt (105,000 kg)
ʘ 104 LT 3 cwt (105,800 kg)
ʘ 105 LT 5 cwt (106,900 kg)
ʘ 104 LT 8 cwt (106,100 kg)
ʘ 105 LT 4 cwt (106,900 kg)
ʘ 106 LT 6 cwt (108,000 kg)
Tender weight 69 LT 8 cwt (70,510 kg)
Total weight ʘ 172 LT 15 cwt (175,500 kg)
ʘ 173 LT 11 cwt (176,300 kg)
ʘ 174 LT 13 cwt (177,500 kg)
ʘ 173 LT 16 cwt (176,600 kg)
ʘ 174 LT 12 cwt (177,400 kg)
ʘ 175 LT 14 cwt (178,500 kg)
Tender type KT (2-axle bogies)
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 14 LT (14.2 t)
Water cap 6,000 imp gal (27,300 l)
Firebox type Round-top
 • Firegrate area 48 sq ft (4.5 m2)
Boiler:
 • Pitch ♠ 8 ft 6 in (2,591 mm)
8 ft 7 12 in (2,629 mm)
 • Diameter 6 ft 2 14 in (1,886 mm)
 • Tube plates 20 ft 12 in (6,109 mm)
 • Small tubes 143: 2 14 in (57 mm)
ʘ 117: 2 14 in (57 mm)
 • Large tubes 30: 5 12 in (140 mm)
ʘ 34: 5 12 in (140 mm)
Boiler pressure ♠ 200 psi (1,379 kPa)
210 psi (1,448 kPa)
Safety valve Pop
Heating surface 2,777 sq ft (258.0 m2)
ʘ 2,584 sq ft (240.1 m2)
 • Tubes 2,554 sq ft (237.3 m2)
ʘ 2,361 sq ft (219.3 m2)
 • Arch tubes 23 sq ft (2.1 m2)
 • Firebox 200 sq ft (19 m2)
Superheater:
 • Type Schmidt
 • Heating area 716 sq ft (66.5 m2)
ʘ 670 sq ft (62 m2)
Cylinders Two
Cylinder size 23 in (584 mm) bore
24 in (610 mm) bore
28 in (711 mm) stroke
Valve gear Walschaerts
Valve type Piston
Couplers Bell link-and-pin
AAR knuckle (c. 1930s-1950s)
Performance figures
Tractive effort 38,980 lbf (173.4 kN) @ 75%
42,440 lbf (188.8 kN) @ 75%
38,880 lbf (172.9 kN) @ 75%
42,340 lbf (188.3 kN) @ 75%
Career
Operators South African Railways
Class Class 15CA
Number in class 84
Numbers 2039–2059, 2072-2077, 2801-2857
Delivered 1926-1930
First run 1926
Withdrawn 1980s
♠ The leading coupled axle had flangeless wheels

The South African Railways Class 15CA 4-8-2 of 1926 was a steam locomotive.

In 1926, the South African Railways placed 23 Class 15CA steam locomotives with a 4-8-2 Mountain type wheel arrangement in service. Another 61 engines were ordered and delivered from three manufacturers in 1929 and 1930.[1][2][3]

Class 15C redesign[edit]

Col F.R. Collins DSO

After the twelve Class 15C 4-8-2 Mountain type locomotives, which were delivered by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1925, had been in service a short while, it was discovered that the frames under the front of the firebox had a tendency to crack, necessitating heavy repairs.[1][2]

To overcome this, a new modified design was prepared by Col F.R. Collins DSO, the Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the South African Railways (SAR), for an almost identical locomotive, but with the frames shortened to the front of the firebox and widened under the firebox by means of a bridle casting.[1]

Manufacturers[edit]

The first batch of 23 of these redesigned locomotives were built for the SAR by the American Locomotive Company (ALCO). They were delivered in 1926, numbered in the range from 2039 to 2059, 2072 and 2073, and designated Class 15CA, with the "A" supposedly indicating the manufacturer ALCO rather than, as was usual SAR practice, a different version of an existing locomotive type.[1][2][3][4]

The earlier Baldwin-built Class 15C was then reclassified to Class 15CB for no good reason, since the "B" merely indicated the manufacturer Baldwin and not, as was usual practice, a branchline locomotive.[4]

Another 61 Class 15CA locomotives were acquired in four batches from three other manufacturers in 1929 and 1930. Like the 23 ALCO-builts, all except the last batch were built with 23 inches (584 millimetres) bore cylinders.[2]

  • In 1929, four engines were delivered by Baldwin Locomotive Works in the United States of America, numbered in the range from 2074 to 2077.[2]
  • Also in 1929, ten locomotives were delivered by Società Italiana Ernesto Breda of Milan in Italy (now AnsaldoBreda), numbered in the range from 2801 to 2810.[2][4]
  • Also in 1929, 29 engines were built by the North British Locomotive Company (NBL) and delivered in that same year, numbered in the range from 2811 to 2839.[2][5]
  • The last 18 Class 15CA locomotives were also built by NBL in 1929. These were delivered in 1930 and numbered in the range from 2840 to 2857. This last batch of engines were built with larger 24 inches (610 millimetres) bore cylinders and larger diameter trailing wheels.[2][5]

Characteristics[edit]

Apart from the redesigned frame under the firebox, these locomotives were very similar to the Class 15C in proportions and appearance. They also had Coale pop type safety valves, a Schmidt type superheater and a combustion chamber in the firebox, which was equipped with flexible side stays and water siphon arch tubes. Their coupled wheel axleboxes, crank pins and connecting rod big ends were grease lubricated. These engines used the same Type KT tenders with a coal capacity of 14 long tons (14.2 tonnes) and a water capacity of 6,000 imperial gallons (27,300 litres).[2][1]

Modifications[edit]

Retyring[edit]

The locomotives were delivered with 57 inches (1,448 millimetres) diameter coupled wheels and their boilers were set at an operating pressure of 200 pounds per square inch (1,379 kilopascals). All their coupled wheels were eventually retyred to a 60 inches (1,524 millimetres) diameter and, to compensate for the loss of tractive effort due to the larger diameter wheels, their operating boiler pressure was increased from 200 to 210 pounds per square inch (1,379 to 1,448 kilopascals) by an adjustment of the setting of their safety valves. This modification enabled these mixed traffic locomotives to handle the fastest mainline passenger trains.[1][6][7]

In addition, all those locomotives which had been built with 23 inches (584 millimetres) bore cylinders, had their cylinders reamed to a 24 inches (610 millimetres) bore.[2]

When larger tyres were fitted to their coupled wheels, the old tyres were left in position and turned down on the wheel centres to serve as liners, and the new tyres were then shrunk on over the liners. The leading coupled wheels, which had been flangeless, as built, were flanged during the retyring. The practice of increasing the diameter of coupled wheels, wheel spacing and other considerations permitting, was begun by A.G. Watson during his term in office as CME and was continued by his successors. The reduction of tractive effort caused by the larger wheels, was made up by increasing boiler pressure or by fitting larger cylinders or both, as required. This policy resulted in more mileage between heavy repairs, less cost-per-mile on repairs and locomotives capable of higher speeds.[2]

Reboilering[edit]

Three of the Class 15CB and Class 15CA locomotives were reboilered during the early 1940s, with new boiler numbers in the range from 9504 to 9506. These boilers were of similar dimensions as the originals, but with a different tube arrangement, and were designed by Dr. M.M. Loubser, CME at the time. The reboilered locomotives were not reclassified.[6][7]

Service[edit]

South African Railways[edit]

SAR Class 15CA 2828 (4-8-2) ID.JPG

The Class 15CA locomotives were placed in service on the mainline between Cape Town and Kimberley, but like the Class 15CB, they were later transferred to Bloemfontein. From here, they worked throughout the Free State, until they were eventually relocated to the Eastern Transvaal system. Here they worked out of Pretoria to Pietersburg in the north and, from there, to Tzaneen in the east and Messina on the Rhodesian border in the north. Some also worked out of Witbank and Breyten.[3][4]

In the mid-1960s, a few joined the Class 15CB on the Natal North Coast line. In 1983, they all went from there to the Cape Northern system, for use on the lines from Beaconsfield in Kimberley, working north to Mafeking and south to De Aar. Eventually nearly forty of them ended up as heavy shunters at Kaserne and Germiston in Johannesburg, where they replaced the Class 12AR and Class S1.[3][4]

Industry[edit]

Three Class 15CA locomotives were sold into industrial service. Numbers 2807 and 2839 went to Dunn's Locomotive Works and were eventually sold to Rustenburg Platinum Mines. No. 2811 went to South Witbank Colliery as their no. 4.[4][8]

Works numbers[edit]

The table lists the Class 15CA engine numbers, builders, years built and the builders' works numbers. The colour coding following the engine numbers refer to the three axle loadings of the different batches of the Class 15CA, as shown in the table of specifications.

Illustration[edit]

The main picture shows Breda-built no. 2802, serving as school guard at Esselen Park, the Transnet School of Rail in Kaalfontein, Gauteng, on 21 September 2009.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Holland, D.F. (1972). Steam Locomotives of the South African Railways, Volume 2: 1910-1955 (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, Devon: David & Charles. pp. 46, 49–50. ISBN 978-0-7153-5427-8. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Espitalier, T.J.; Day, W.A.J. (1946). The Locomotive in South Africa - A Brief History of Railway Development. Chapter VII - South African Railways (Continued). South African Railways and Harbours Magazine, May 1946. pp. 375-376.
  3. ^ a b c d Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. pp. 10–11, 61–62. ISBN 0869772112. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Durrant, A E (1989). Twilight of South African Steam (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, London: David & Charles. pp. 86–87. ISBN 0715386387. 
  5. ^ a b North British Locomotive Company works list, compiled by Austrian locomotive historian Bernhard Schmeiser
  6. ^ a b South African Railways & Harbours/Suid Afrikaanse Spoorweë en Hawens (15 Aug 1941). Locomotive Diagram Book/Lokomotiefdiagramboek, 3'6" Gauge/Spoorwydte. SAR/SAS Mechanical Department/Werktuigkundige Dept. Drawing Office/Tekenkantoor, Pretoria. pp. 19-20, 45-46.
  7. ^ a b South African Railways & Harbours/Suid Afrikaanse Spoorweë en Hawens (15 Aug 1941). Locomotive Diagram Book/Lokomotiefdiagramboek, 2'0" & 3'6" Gauge/Spoorwydte, Steam Locomotives/Stoomlokomotiewe. SAR/SAS Mechanical Department/Werktuigkundige Dept. Drawing Office/Tekenkantoor, Pretoria. pp. 6a-7a, 19-20, 45-46.
  8. ^ 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. 22. 

External links[edit]

External video
South African Steam: 15CA 2850 around Pretoria. (18.09 minutes)