South African Class NG G12 2-6-2+2-6-2

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South African Class NG G12 2-6-2+2-6-2
Class NG G12 no. 57, c. 1930
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
DesignerBeyer, Peacock & Company
BuilderSociété Franco-Belge
Serial numberBP 6365-6366, FB 2506-2507
ModelClass NG G12
Build date1927
Total produced2
 • Whyte2-6-2+2-6-2
 • UIC1'C1'+1'C1'h4t
Driver3rd & 4th coupled axles
Gauge2 ft (610 mm) narrow
Leading dia.21 in (533 mm)
Coupled dia.30 in (762 mm)
Trailing dia.21 in (533 mm)
Wheelbase40 ft (12,192 mm) ​
 • Engine12 ft 7+12 in (3,848 mm) each
 • Coupled5 ft 9 in (1,753 mm) each
Pivot centres21 ft (6,401 mm)
 • Over couplers45 ft 10 in (13,970 mm)
Height10 ft (3,048 mm)
Frame typePlate
Axle load3 LT 15 cwt (3,810 kg) ​
 • Leading3 LT 10 cwt (3,556 kg) front
3 LT 10 cwt (3,556 kg) rear
 • Coupled3 LT 15 cwt (3,810 kg)
 • Trailing3 LT 5 cwt (3,302 kg) front
3 LT 5 cwt (3,302 kg) rear
Adhesive weight22 LT 10 cwt (22,860 kg)
Loco weight36 LT (36,580 kg)
Fuel typeCoal
Fuel capacity2 LT (2.0 t)
Water cap.800 imp gal (3,640 L) front
200 imp gal (909 L) rear
 • TypeRound-top
 • Grate area10.5 sq ft (0.98 m2)
 • Pitch5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm)
 • Diameter3 ft 6+38 in (1,076 mm)
 • Tube plates8 ft 6 in (2,591 mm)
 • Small tubes73: 1+34 in (44 mm)
 • Large tubes10: 5+14 in (133 mm)
Boiler pressure180 psi (1,241 kPa)
Safety valvePop
Heating surface423.5 sq ft (39.34 m2) ​
 • Tubes378.5 sq ft (35.16 m2)
 • Firebox45 sq ft (4.2 m2)
 • Heating area97.5 sq ft (9.06 m2)
Cylinder size8+12 in (216 mm) bore
16 in (406 mm) stroke
Valve gearWalschaerts
Valve typePiston
CouplersJohnston link-and-pin
Bell-and-hook (Langkloof)
Performance figures
Tractive effort10,400 lbf (46 kN) @ 75%
OperatorsSouth African Railways
ClassClass NG G12
Number in class2
Numbers56, 57
First run1927
DispositionBoth scrapped

The South African Railways Class NG G12 2-6-2+2-6-2 of 1927 was an articulated narrow-gauge steam locomotive.

In 1927, the South African Railways (SAR) placed two Class NG G12 Garratt articulated 2-6-2+2-6-2 steam locomotives in service. They were the smallest Garratt locomotives to see service in South Africa.[1][2][3]


The five Class NG G11 Garratt narrow-gauge locomotives which had been placed in service on the Avontuur line in the Langkloof and the Stuartstown line in Natal between 1919 and 1925 had met with success. As a result, F.R. Collins, Chief Mechanical Engineer of the South African Railways (SAR), decided to acquire a smaller Garratt type for two new light-rail narrow-gauge branch lines which were completed in 1926. In 1927, an orders was placed with Beyer, Peacock & Company for the design and construction of two lightweight narrow-gauge 2-6-2+2-6-2 Garratt locomotives.[1][3]

Beyer, Peacock sub-contracted their construction and the two locomotives were delivered by the Belgian locomotive builders Société Franco-Belge in November 1927. They were allocated separate works numbers by Beyer, Peacock as well as Franco-Belge and were numbered NG56 and NG57 upon delivery.[1][2][4][5]


The locomotives were superheated, with outside plate frames, Walschaerts valve gear, inclined cylinders, piston valves and round-topped fireboxes. Designed for light 20 pounds per yard (9.9 kilograms per metre) rail, their lightness of construction made them popular with the fitters who had to maintain them.[1][3]


The system of grouping narrow-gauge locomotives into classes was only adopted by the SAR somewhere between 1928 and 1930 and, at that point, these two locomotives were designated Class NG G12, with the letters "NG" indicating narrow gauge and the "G" prefix to the classification number identifying it as a Garratt locomotive.[2][3]


The Class NG G12 was obtained for use on the new narrow-gauge lines from Fort Beaufort to Seymour and from Upington to Kakamas which had been completed in 1926, since it had become obvious that the Class NG6 Lawleys which had been used during the construction of these lines would not be able to cope with the expected daily traffic once the lines were in full operation.[3]

Upon arrival, the two locomotives were first put to work in South West Africa for a trial period, after which no. NG56 was assigned to Upington and no. NG57 to Fort Beaufort.[3]

While they both mostly remained with their assigned depots, they were at times temporarily assigned to narrow-gauge branch lines in other areas of the country to assist with seasonal demands on those branches. In 1940, when the Seymour branch was regauged to Cape gauge, no. NG57 was also assigned to the Kakamas branch. Both remained there until 1949, when the Kakamas line was also widened to Cape gauge and they were returned to South West Africa for a brief period. From there, no. NG56 was allocated to Port Shepstone in Natal and no. NG57 to Humewood Road in Port Elizabeth, where they remained until both were withdrawn from service in 1952.[3]

Both locomotives were subsequently sold to the Rustenburg Platinum Mines, no. NG56 in 1952 and no. NG57 in 1953, where they were renumbered 5 and 6 respectively. They were both scrapped in 1959.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d 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, February 1946. pp. 134-135.
  2. ^ a b c South African Railways and Harbours Narrow Gauge Locomotive Diagram Book, 2'0" Gauge, S.A.R. Mechanical Dept. Drawing Office, Pretoria, 28 November 1932
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. pp. 106–107, 110. ISBN 0869772112.
  4. ^ Hamilton, Gavin N., The Garratt Locomotive - Garratt Locomotives produced by Beyer, Peacock, retrieved 10 November 2012
  5. ^ Hamilton, Gavin N., The Garratt Locomotive - Garratt Locomotives from Other Builders, retrieved 10 November 2012
  6. ^ Middleton, John N. (1989). South African Railways Locomotive Allocations – 1989 (4th, 1989 ed.). Auckland Park, South Africa: Railway Preservation Group. p. 20. ISBN 0-620-13670-7

External links[edit]

Media related to South African Class NG G12 (2-6-2+2-6-2) at Wikimedia Commons