South African Class 25NC 4-8-4

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

South African Class 25NC 4-8-4
SAR Class 25NC 3410 Sannaspos - 040799.jpg
No. 3410 at Sannaspos, Free State, 4 July 1999
Type and origin
♠ Type EW1 tender - Type EW2 tender
Power typeSteam
DesignerSouth African Railways
(L.C. Grubb)
BuilderHenschel and Son
North British Locomotive Company
Serial numberNBL 27287-27296, 27311
Henschel 28731-28769
ModelClass 25NC
Build date1953
Total produced137
Specifications
Configuration:
 • Whyte4-8-4 (Northern)
 • UIC2′D2′h2
Driver2nd coupled axle
Gauge3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge
Leading dia.30 in (762 mm)
Coupled dia.60 in (1,524 mm)
Trailing dia.30 in (762 mm)
Tender wheels34 in (864 mm)
Minimum curve275 ft (84 m)
Wheelbase♠ 81 ft 4 1116 in (24,808 mm)
95 ft 1 1116 in (28,999 mm)
 • Engine38 ft (11,582 mm)
 • Leading6 ft 10 in (2,083 mm)
 • Coupled15 ft 9 in (4,801 mm)
 • Trailing5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm)
 • Tender♠ 32 ft (9,754 mm)
45 ft 10 in (13,970 mm)
 • Tender bogie10 ft (3,048 mm)
Length:
 • Over couplers♠ 91 ft 6 916 in (27,903 mm)
107 ft 6 116 in (32,768 mm)
Height13 ft (3,962 mm)
Frame typeCast
Axle load18 LT 14 cwt (19,000 kg)
 • Leading21 LT 2 cwt (21,440 kg)
 • 1st coupled18 LT 10 cwt (18,800 kg)
 • 2nd coupled18 LT 14 cwt (19,000 kg)
 • 3rd coupled18 LT 12 cwt (18,900 kg)
 • 4th coupled18 LT 9 cwt (18,750 kg)
 • Trailing22 LT 12 cwt (22,960 kg)
 • Tender bogieBogie 1:
♠ 51 LT 6 cwt (52,120 kg)
Bogie 2:
♠ 54 LT 5 cwt (55,120 kg)
 • Tender axle♠ 18 LT 1 cwt 2 qtr (18,370 kg)
Adhesive weight74 LT 5 cwt (75,440 kg)
Loco weight117 LT 9 cwt (119,300 kg)
Tender weight♠ 105 LT 11 cwt (107,200 kg)
Total weight♠ 223 LT (226,600 kg)
Tender typeEW1 (3-axle bogies)
EW2 (3-axle bogies)
Fuel typeCoal
Fuel capacity♠ 18 LT (18.3 t)
19 LT (19.3 t)
Water cap♠ 10,500 imp gal (47,700 l)
11,200 imp gal (50,900 l)
Firebox typeRound-top
 • Firegrate area70 sq ft (6.5 m2)
Boiler:
 • TypeDomeless
 • Pitch9 ft 1 58 in (2,784 mm)
 • Diameter6 ft 4 18 in (1,934 mm)
 • Tube plates19 ft (5,791 mm)
 • Small tubes158: 2 12 in (64 mm)
 • Large tubes40: 5 12 in (140 mm)
Boiler pressure225 psi (1,551 kPa)
Safety valveRoss-pop
Heating surface3,390 sq ft (315 m2)
 • Tubes3,059 sq ft (284.2 m2)
 • Arch tubes37 sq ft (3.4 m2)
 • Firebox294 sq ft (27.3 m2)
Superheater:
 • TypeMelesco
 • Heating area630 sq ft (59 m2)
CylindersTwo
Cylinder size24 in × 28 in (610 mm × 711 mm)
bore x stroke
Valve gearWalschaerts
Valve typePiston
Valve travel7 38 in (187 mm)
Loco brakeVacuum
CouplersAAR knuckle
Performance figures
Tractive effort45,360 lbf (201.8 kN) @ 75%
Career
OperatorsSouth African Railways
ClassClass 25NC
Number in class50 original, 87 rebuilt Class 25
Numbers3401-3450, 3452-3510, 3512-3539
Delivered1953-1954
First run1953

The South African Railways Class 25NC 4-8-4 of 1953 was a steam locomotive.

Between 1953 and 1955, the South African Railways placed fifty Class 25NC steam locomotives with a 4-8-4 Northern type wheel arrangement in service. The Class 25NC was the non-condensing version of the Class 25 condensing locomotive, of which ninety were placed in service at the same time. Between 1973 and 1980, all but three of the condensing locomotives were converted to non-condensing and also designated Class 25NC.[1][2]

Manufacturers[edit]

L.C. Grubb
25NC 3405 Builders Plate
25Nc 3437 Builders Plate

The Class 25NC non-condensing and Class 25 condensing 4-8-4 Northern type steam loco­mo­tives were designed by the South African Railways (SAR) under the direction of L.C. Grubb, Chief Mechanical Engineer of the SAR from 1949 to 1954, in conjunction with Henschel and Son of Kassel in Germany who designed the condensing apparatus and the condensing tender of the Class 25 sister locomotive. Between 1953 and 1955,eleven Class 25NC locomotives were built by the North British Locomotive Company (NBL) and numbered in the range from 3401 to 3411 while 39 locomotives were built by Henschel and numbered in the range from 3412 to 3450.[3][4][5]

Characteristics[edit]

The Class 25NC was superheated and used piston valves actuated by Walschaerts valve gear. Timken roller bearings were used throughout, including on the three-axle tender bogies, the coupling and connecting rods as well as the crosshead gudgeon pins, while the locomotive's leading bogies and coupled wheels had Cannon-type axle boxes. Compared to earlier SAR practice, a novelty was the adoption of mechanical lubrication. A sixteen-feed lubricator was driven off the expansion link trunnion. The cylinders and frames were cast in one piece by Commonwealth Steel Castings Corporation in the United States of America. The steel cylinders and steam chests were fitted with cast iron liners. Being entirely mounted on roller bearings, very little effort was required to move these locomotives.[1][6][7][8]

The Alligator type crossheads were split on the vertical centre line and clamped on to the end of the piston rods, which had three coned rings engaging in grooves in the crossheads. The original coupling rods differed from the usual in being three separate rods, thereby doing away with four knuckle joints and pins.[1]

The multiple-valve superheater header was of the Melesco type. The boiler was fitted with four Ross-pop safety valves, each 2 12 inches (64 millimetres) in diameter, and two Hopkinson boiler blowdown cocks on the firebox wrapper, one on each side. Feedwater was delivered to the boiler by two Friedmann vertical type non-lifting injectors, each with a capacity of 5,200 imperial gallons (23,600 litres; 6,240 US gallons) per hour.[6]

The locomotive was equipped with a Type EW1 tender which was equipped with a mechanical stoker of which the engine was mounted on the tender. The tank had a water capacity of 10,500 imperial gallons (47,700 litres; 12,600 US gallons) and the coal bunker a capacity of 18 long tons (18.3 tonnes; 20.2 short tons). The tender frame was also a one-piece steel casting and was a water-bottom frame, with the frame itself forming the bottom of the tank instead of being a separate tank and frame as in previous designs.[1][9]

Teething troubles[edit]

Soon after entering service, problems were experienced with failing connecting rods, big end bearings breaking up as well as cracks developing in the motion girder of the Alligator crossheads. After investigations by SAR engineers with assistance from the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the crossheads, slide bars and coupling rods were modified. The crossheads were converted to the multiple-bearing type with single guide bars while the three independent coupling rods were replaced with the more conventional single coupling rod with knuckle joints.[1][10][8]

When new, the tapered Timken crankpin roller bearings soon became notorious for throwing their lubricant onto the underside of the boiler, from where it ran down to the lowest point and dripped onto the coupled wheel tyres along the way. This manufacturer's fault also applied to the Class 25 and was one of the reasons for the reputation of both classes of being slippery. Timken managed to resolve the problem before all their bearings had been replaced, but by then about two-thirds of the locomotives had already been fitted with redesigned coupling rods with SKF crankpin ball bearings.[8]

Service[edit]

SAR Class 25NC 3442 (4-8-4) ID.JPG

The Class 25NC initially served on the unelectrified mainlines from De Aar via Kimberley to Welverdiend. They were pooled from their introduction and were run through from De Aar to Welverdiend and vice versa, recoaling at Warrenton. After electrification was extended from Welverdiend to Klerksdorp, they ran from there to De Aar, still recoaling at Warrenton. Later they also worked from Kimberley via Bloemfontein to Harrismith in the Free State while some joined the Class 25 condensers on the line from De Aar via Beaufort West to Touws River.[3][11]

When the line south from De Aar was dieselised between 1973 and 1974, the Class 25 condensers working there were moved north to work the section from De Aar to Kimberley, where they replaced twenty-two Class 25NCs which were then relocated to Bethlehem in the Free State. From 1982, Class 25NCs also replaced Class 19Ds and Class GMAM Garratts on the line from Warrenton via Vryburg to Mafeking.[12]

Class 25 rebuilding[edit]

Along with the Class 25NC, ninety Class 25 condensing locomotives were built as part of the same order, one by Henschel and the rest by NBL. The condensing apparatus for these engines and their condensing tenders were designed and patented by Henschel.[1]

SAR Class 25NC 3467 (4-8-4) ID.JPG

Between 1973 and 1980, all but three of the ninety Class 25 condensers were converted to non-condensing locomotives and reclassified to Class 25NC, the exceptions being numbers 3451, 3511 and 3540. The number plates of some were copied and recast with the additional "NC" for "non-condensing" squeezed in next to the existing "25", which resulted in a lopsided class indication on their cabside plates. Locomotives with all four characters neatly in line and centred were therefore usually identifiable as original Class 25NCs.[2][13]

In the process, their Type CZ condensing tenders were also rebuilt to ordinary coal-and-water Type EW2 tenders by removing the condensing radiators and roof fans and replacing it with a massive water tank. Since the Type CZ tenders were built on single cast steel water-bottom frames it was impractical to attempt to shorten them, which resulted in the rebuilt Type EW2 tenders with their long round-topped water tanks. Locomotives with these rebuilt tenders were soon nicknamed Worshond (Sausage dog or Dachshund).[12]

The Class 26 Red Devil[edit]

Between 1979 and 1981 no. 3450, the last Class 25NC to be built, was rebuilt to the sole Class 26, the Red Devil, at the SAR workshops at Salt River in Cape Town. The primary objectives of the project were to improve the combustion and steaming rate, to reduce the emission of wasteful black smoke and to overcome the problem of clinkering.[14][15]

This was achieved by the use of a Gas Producer Combustion System (GPCS), which relies on the gasification of coal on a low temperature firebed so that the gases are then fully burnt above the firebed. These extensive modifications justified reclassification and the locomotive became the first and only Class 26, although the locomotive's original Class 25NC number was retained.[14][15]

Preservation[edit]

The following is a list of 25NC and 26 class that have survived into preservation.

Most are still owned by the THF. None except the class 25Nc 3437 & 26 3450 (and it only for the winter months) are mainline certified as of January 1st 2019.

Number (*EW2 tenders) Works nmr Transnet Heritage Foundation / Private Leaselend / Owner Current Location Outside South Africa ?
3404 NBL 27290 THF PHILIPP MAURER GERMISTON LOCOMOTIVE DEPOT
3405 NBL 27291 Private QUAINTON RAILWAY SOCIETY BUCKINGHAMSHIRE RAILWAY CENTRE UNITED KINGDOM
3407* NBL 27293 Private Greg McLennan WORCESTER LOCOMOTIVE DEPOT
3410 NBL 27296 THF Transnet Heritage Foundation BLOEMFONTEIN LOCOMOTIVE DEPOT SELECTED AS TRANSNET HERITAGE FOUNDATION REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CLASS (NATIONAL COLLECTION)
3411 NBL 27311 THF MUSEUM KIMBERLEY STATION
3422 Hensc 28741 THF CAPE TOWN STATION
3432 Hensc 28751 Private Mainline Steam Heritage Trust[16] Auckland New Zealand
3437* Hensc 28752 Private OSCAR SABITINI KIMBERLEY LOCOMOTIVE DEPOT OPERATIONAL
3440 Hensc 28759 Private ROVOS RAIL CAPITAL PARK LOCOMOTIVE DEPOT Scrapped?
3441* Hensc 28760 THF STEAMNET 2000 KIMBERLEY LOCOMOTIVE DEPOT
3442* Hensc 28761 Private ROVOS RAIL CAPITAL PARK LOCOMOTIVE DEPOT
3454* NBL 27314 THF MAINLINE STEAM BLOEMFONTEIN LOCOMOTIVE DEPOT
3457* NBL 27317 THF STEAMNET 2000 KIMBERLEY LOCOMOTIVE DEPOT
3467 NBL 27327 THF STEAMNET 2000 KIMBERLEY LOCOMOTIVE DEPOT
3472 NBL 27331 THF REEFSTEAMERS GERMISTON LOCOMOTIVE DEPOT
3476 NBL 27336 THF MAINLINE STEAM WATERVAL BOVEN
3480 NBL 27340 Private ROVOS RAIL CAPITAL PARK LOCOMOTIVE DEPOT Scrapped?
3482 NBL 27342 THF STEAMNET 2000 KIMBERLEY LOCOMOTIVE DEPOT Past boiler test 1 September 2019
3484 NBL 27344 Private ROVOS RAIL CAPITAL PARK LOCOMOTIVE DEPOT Scrapped?
3488* NBL 27348 Private SANDSTONE ESTATE GERMISTON LOCOMOTIVE DEPOT
3496 NBL 27356 THF SANDSTONE ESTATE SANDSTONE ESTATE
3501* NBL 2731 THF KIMBERLEY LOCOMOTIVE DEPOT
3508 NBL 27368 Private Mainline Steam Heritage Trust[16] Auckland New Zealand
3533* NBL 27393 Private ROVOS RAIL CAPITAL PARK LOCOMOTIVE DEPOT
3536 NBL 27396 THF SANDSTONE ESTATE SANDSTONE ESTATE
3537 NBL 27397 Private KIMBERLEY LOCOMOTIVE DEPOT
3450 Hensc 28397 THF CERES RAILWAY COMPANY ROYAL YACHT CLUB OPERATIONAL

Project Zimbabwe[edit]

During 1988 a severe motive power shortage was experienced by the (National Railways of Zimbabwe) and discussions with South Africa revealed that numerous class 25NC 4-8-4, had been recently withdrawn from service and were available for either hire or purchase. NRZ decided to investigate the purchase of 20 to 25 of these locomotives for a short term basis.

A team of three were sent down from Bulawayo comprising Mr A. Mabena, then assistant CME together with mechanical and boiler inspectors.

A total of 50 locomotives were inspected by the team, at Warrenton and De Aar

A list of 28 locomotives was submitted from which it would be possible to choose 20 to 25, or any lesser number which might be needed

Category A (locomotives with 5 or more years before heavy overhaul)

3404, 3410, 3422, 3428, 3438, 3442, 3445, 3453, 3457, 3459, 3479, 3504, 3508, 3519

Category B (needing heavy repairs by 1993-1994)

3412, 3424, 3464, 3473, 3475, 3490, 3498, 3507, 3518, 3520, 3537

Category C (needing heavy repairs by 1992)

3439, 3446, 3515

The project did not materialise but several did survive into preservation.

Works numbers[edit]

The locomotive numbers, builders and works numbers are listed in the table. On the builders' works lists, all the locomotives are shown as having been built in 1953. All tenders bore the same works number as the engines they were built with, except the sixty tenders which were built by Henschel for condensing engines which were built by NBL. These sixty tenders were allocated Henschel works numbers.[1][9][17][18]

Illustration[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Holland, D. F. (1972). Steam Locomotives of the South African Railways. 2: 1910-1955 (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, Devon: David & Charles. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-7153-5427-8.
  2. ^ a b South African Railways and Harbours Locomotive Diagram Book, 2'0" & 3'6" Gauge Steam Locomotives, 15 August 1941, as amended
  3. ^ a b Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. pp. 10–11, 77–78. ISBN 0869772112.
  4. ^ North British Locomotive Company works list, compiled by Austrian locomotive historian Bernhard Schmeiser
  5. ^ Henschel-Lieferliste (Henschel & Son works list), compiled by Dietmar Stresow
  6. ^ a b South African Railways "25NC" Class Locomotives. The Railway Gazette, 15 May 1953. pp. 568-569.
  7. ^ Pivnic, Les (1970). S.A.R. Class 25NC 4-8-4. South African Transport, October 1970. pp. 548-550.
  8. ^ a b c Soul of A Railway, System 1, Part 4: Touws River to Beaufort West. Introduction par 4, Caption 3. (Accessed on 27 November 2016)
  9. ^ 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. VIII, 6a-7a, 20-21, 28-28A.
  10. ^ Information supplied by R.S. Loubser, son of M.M. Loubser
  11. ^ Soul of A Railway, System 7, Western Transvaal, based in Johannesburg, Part 26: Braamfontein West to Klerksdorp (home signal) by Les Pivnic, Part 1. Caption 36. (Accessed on 6 May 2017)
  12. ^ a b Durrant, A. E. (1989). Twilight of South African Steam (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, London: David & Charles. pp. 107–109. ISBN 0715386387.
  13. ^ Diamond Fields Advertiser, 27 March 1986
  14. ^ a b Gas Producer Combustion System (GPCS)
  15. ^ a b The Ultimate Steam Page
  16. ^ a b Locomotives to New Zealand Continental Railway Journal issue 108 January 1997 page 517
  17. ^ Condenser fitter Albie Bester's reminiscences
  18. ^ Sabatini, Richard (2006). South African Locomotive Tender Classification, Compatibility & Allocation (1st ed.) Richard Sabatini, Kimberley, January 2006. pp. 21, 38

External links[edit]

External video
South African Steam: Trans Karoo Steam Finale: 2nd Last Run - March 1997 A short video featuring the second last run of steam on the Trans Karoo Express on 15 March 1997. The locomotives are Class 25NC no. 3422, a regular on the Trans Karoo, and Class 25NC no. 3407, a relatively rare engine on this train. The other two regular locomotives, nos. 3404 and 3476, were not available as they were being spruced up for the final run the following week. (Time 4:36)
External video
Class 25NC 3533, 5 October 2009 Rovos Rail's Class 25NC 3533, converted from a Class 25 condenser, enters Capital Park yard on 5 October 2009, in the process of turning The Pride of Africa around on the Capital Park triangle. (Time 1:00)