South Australian Railways S class

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South Australian Railways S class
S class locomotive no 17 at Tailem Bend in 1952
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
BuilderJames Martin & Co
Serial number71–76, 93–98, 176–181
Build date1894 (12), 1903–1904 (6)
Total produced18
RebuilderIslington Railway Workshops
Rebuild date1915 (No. 13)
Number rebuilt1
 • Whyte4-4-0 (2′B 2′2′)
Gauge1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)
Leading dia.2 ft 11 in (889 mm)
Driver dia.6 ft 6 in (1,981 mm)
Length57 ft 58 in (17,389 mm)
Height13 ft 3 in (4,038.6 mm)
Axle load12 long tons 15 hundredweight
(14.3 short tons; 13.0 tonnes)
Loco weight87,360 lb (39,625.829 kg)
Tender weight96,746 lb (43,883.247 kg)
Total weight184,106 lb (83,509.077 kg)
Fuel typeCoal
Fuel capacity7 long tons 16 hundredweight
(8.7 short tons; 7.9 tonnes),
4 long tons 18 hundredweight 3 quarters
(5.53 short tons; 5.02 tonnes)
(6 wheel tender)
Water cap.4,120 imperial gallons
(18,700 litres; 4,950 US gallons),
2,040 imperial gallons
(9,300 litres; 2,450 US gallons)
(6 wheel tender)
 • Grate area17.37 square feet (1.614 m2)
Boiler pressure150 psi (1,034 kPa)
Heating surface:
 • Firebox100.24 square feet (9.313 m2)
 • Tubes1,038 square feet (96.4 m2)
Cylinder size18 in × 24 in (457 mm × 610 mm)
Valve gearStephenson
Valve typePiston
Performance figures
Tractive effort12,711 lbf (56.54 kN)
Factor of adh.4.49
OperatorsSouth Australian Railways
Number in class18
Numbers11, 13, 14, 17, 26, 50, 127-137, 154
First run26.2.1894
Dispositionall scrapped

The South Australian Railways S class was a class of 4-4-0 steam locomotives operated by the South Australian Railways.


S class locomotive no. 131 at Murray Bridge with a Murraylands passenger train in 1951

The S Class locomotives were designed as an express locomotive for the route between Murray Bridge and the border with Victoria. The first 12 were delivered by James Martin & Co in 1894, followed by a further six in 1903/04. They type was notably used to haul the Melbourne Express. The S class had 6'6" driving wheels, the largest of any Australian locomotive, to give it high speeds on low grades.[1][2][3]

The engines were pushed out of main line service in the 1920s by 600 class locomotives and Brill railcars. They continued to serve on secondary services into the 1950s. Some locomotives even served in shunting duties despite being unsuitable due to their large wheel diameter. The last examples were retired in 1961.[1][3]

S136 was set aside for preservation at Islington Railway Workshops while moves were made to preserve it. These fell through and it was scrapped.[3]


  1. ^ a b Llanso, Steve. "South Australian Railways 4-4-0 Locomotives". Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  2. ^ Drymalik, Chris. "S class". Chris's Commonwealth Railways Information (ComRails). Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Oberg, Leon (1984). Locomotives of Australia 1850s-1980s. Frenchs Forest: Reed Books. pp. 72/73. ISBN 0 7301 0005 7.

External links[edit]

Media related to South Australian Railways S class at Wikimedia Commons