Posts Tagged ‘trains’

English Electric 1200 Class

Monday, April 19th, 2010

The 1200 class was introduced in 1953. They were built at the Vulcan Foundry in the UK by English Electric and then imported to Australia. They were the only full width body loco used in Queensland.

The class were allocated to Mayne in Brisbane, and were worked from this yard their entire career. They were found hauling the ‘Sunlander’ and the ‘Sunshine Express’ trains between Brisbane and Cairns, but could also be found on the ‘Westlander’ between Brisbane and Roma.

A characteristic addition to the 1200 and 1250 class locomotives was a sun visor to help reduce glare 8 years after their construction in 1961.

By 1976, the last 1200 class turned a wheel in service.

1200 has been preserved in non-working order by the Australian Railway Historical Society Qld Division, and is currently stored at Redbank Workshops out in the open. It is thought this locomotive will require a replacement engine to be able to turn a wheel again.

1225 Notes

In 1984, 1208 was rebuilt into 1225. The rebuild used parts from 1252 and 1253, while the body was change to resemble a 1250 class loco. It earned the nickname ‘Hybrid’ after this work. 1225 remained in service until 1987, working mainly on the Wallangarra line. The loco is now privately owned, and is currently under active restoration by the Queensland Diesel Group. It will be moved to Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway at Swanbank for these works in mid-2010.

PB15 Class

Sunday, April 18th, 2010
Total Number of Engines Built 203
First Engine Built 1899
Last Engine Built 1924
First Engine Written Off 1941
Last Engine Written Off 1970
Number of Engines in Class on the Books as at:
31/12/00 31/12/10 31/12/20 31/12/30 31/12/40 31/12/50 31/12/60 31/12/66 31/12/67 31/12/68 31/12/69 31/12/70
16 132 202 202 202 170 161 118 100 67 25
Number of Engines in Class in Service as at:
31/12/67 31/12/68 7/10/69
65 34 20

Notes

This class was the most significant and successful of the locomotives designed in the nineteenth century. The design resulted from a need for more powerful engines for passenger trains. Initially designated as “Passenger” B15, they were later better known as PB15.

They spent many of their early years hauling important passenger trains around the state. With the strengthening of the main lines they were relieved of most of these tasks by more powerful locomotives. Later they were relegated to lesser duties on branch lines and in shunting yards. Engines attached to Wooloongabba and later at Mayne were used on “Southside” suburban passenger trains until 1968.

A number of modifications including cab alterations and fitting of electric headlights were carried out during their lives. Tenders on engines constructed at Toowoomba Foundry and the one at Ipswich had increased water capacity. Some engines based at Cairns had additional boards on their tenders to enable additional coal to be carried. Several engines were fitted with an additional sandbox and electric light on the tender for working on branch lines where no turning facilities were available. In May 1918, Ipswich Workshops converted N°411 into a tank engine. Evidently the results were not completely satisfactory as the engine returned to its original form in March 1922. In the late 1920s, the boiler pressure was increased from 150psi to 160 psi.

They could run on all parts of the system except the Etheridge line, the isolated Normanton and (now closed) Cooktown Lines.

One engine was built in 1924 for the Aramac Shire Council. This engine was subsequently purchased from the Council when the Aramac Shire Tramway was dieselized in 1958. Numbered A1 in Council service, it first ran on QR in February 1958 as N°1052 but was renumbered N°12 in June of that year. This was the only engine of the class to be constructed at Ipswich Workshops.

In 1924, increasing traffic on lines that could not carry C16 engines resulted in orders being placed for an engine of similar proportions but fitted with Walschaerts valve gear. These engines became PB15 (1924) Class.

In November 1969, nineteen members of the class were still operating; eleven in the Mackay District, and four at Maryborough and four at Ipswich.

*Originally 8 x 7½. The larger pumps were fitted between 1928 and 1942

Abbreviations

EAP – Evans, Anderson, Phelan & Co, Brisbane, Qld
Ipswich – Ipswich Workshops, Qld
Kitson – Kitson & Coy, Leeds, UK
Toowoomba – Toowoomba Foundry Ltd, (Southern Cross Works) Toowoomba, Qld
Walkers – Walkers Limited, Engineers, Maryborough, Qld

Beyer-Garratt Class

Thursday, April 15th, 2010
Total Number of Engines Built 30
First Engine Built 1950
Last Engine Built 1950
First Engine Written Off 1968
Last Engine Written Off 1969
Number of Engines in Class on the Books as at:
31/12/50 31/12/60 31/12/66 31/12/67 3/12/68 31/12/69
30 30 30 8
Number of Engines in Class in Service as at:
31/12/67 31/12/68 7/10/69
2 1

Notes

The initial plan had been to use these engines on the proposed air-conditioned Mail Trains that were being designed at the time. This never eventuated, although they did regularly haul the “Midlander”, mainly between Emerald and Bogantungan for some years. They were used on the Rockhampton Mail and Sunshine Express in the early 1950s.

The first ten engines were constructed at Beyer Peacock & Co Limited Works in Manchester UK. Owing to the number of orders they had on hand, Beyer Peacock (BP) contracted Societe Franco Belge de Materiel du Chemins de fer, Raismes, France (FRB)to build the remaining twenty.

They were painted Midland red and had chrome yellow lining with large QR monograms on the sides of the front tank and bunker. Unfortunately this attractive livery easily discoloured particularly as a result of priming. The engines were not regularly cleaned when relegated to goods train working in latter years and their appearance rapidly deteriorated.

Originally trialled on the Brisbane – Toowoomba route, they were soon withdrawn from this section due to problems with limited clearances in the tunnels. They were used extensively on North Coast Line between Brisbane and Rockhampton. By 1956, this working had become restricted to mainly north of Bundaberg. They did not work north of St Lawrence on the NCL. On the Central Line they initially ran between Rockhampton and Emerald but from 1957 this was extended to Bogantungan.

A few were attached to Mayne until 1955 and some at North Bundaberg until 1956, when all were allocated to Rockhampton. In later years they worked Moura coal trains via Mount Morgan, prior to the opening of the ‘short line’ to Gladstone. One of their last regular tasks was on limestone trains between Tarcoola and Gladstone. Increasing numbers of diesels saw mass withdrawals of these engines. Twenty two were written off in June 1968.

They were subject to much positive publicity when introduced but failed to live up to all expectations. They were attributed with saving 19,500 miles of assistant and goods engine running on the Bundaberg – Rockhampton – Emerald sections between October 1950 and June 1951. Steaming difficulties were encountered with South Queensland coals; however they performed well on Blair Athol coal. The boilers had a tendency to prime. Limited coal and water capacity caused worries. General overhauls cost about three times those for a B18¼.

They had a number of unique features (for QR steam engines) including Ajax air operated butterfly fire doors, Hadfield power reversers, speedometers and also flow meters; the latter being fitted to the class in 1955.The outer bogies and inner trucks had roller bearings but the coupled axles has plain bearings. Several engines received fabricated stove pipe chimneys to replace the original cast ones that had been damaged.

N°1009, preserved as a static exhibit, was taken into Ipswich Workshops in 1993 and restored to working order. Subsequently due to a leaking fused plug, it has been out of service for quite some time.

* Test weighing proved some engines to be 11 tons over this design weight with 11TAL

BB18¼ Class

Thursday, April 15th, 2010
Total Number of Engines Built 55
First Engine Built 1950
Last Engine Built 1958
First Engine Written Off 1967
Last Engine Written Off 1970
Number of Engines in Class on the Books as at:
31/12/50 31/12/60 31/12/66 31/12/67 31/12/68 31/12/69 31/12/70
55 55 53 44 11
Number of Engines in Class in Service as at:
31/12/67 31/12/68 7/10/69
37 17 10

Notes

This design was an improvement on earlier successful B18¼ incorporating modern appliances. Some modifications to the original design were suggested by Vulcan Foundry and subsequently adopted. A number of features, including the mounting of WH pump on fireman’s side, stainless steel rather than brass boiler bands, SCOA-P coupled wheels and pressed steel sand box, distinguished these engines from the earlier B18¼ class. Engines constructed by Walkers Limited used electricity for the light on the rear of the tender, for side lamps and to illuminate the motion. All were fitted with Roller Bearings and chime whistles. The engines were painted green when introduced.

The first batch was constructed by Vulcan Foundry and the last 20 by Walkers Ltd, Maryborough. Contracts were let to both manufacturers in 1948 but Walkers did not deliver its first engine until 1955 due to shortages of materials. Delays in these deliveries resulted in the last of the order, N°1089, not entering service until March 1958 and thus becoming the last mainline steam locomotive to be built and placed in service in Australia. In fact Walkers had delivered some diesels to QR before completing this order.

Several members of the class that were overhauled in the final years were repainted black. In the 1950’s a “standard” boiler was designed to be suitable for both this class and B18¼ engines.

They proved to be a most successful design and were popular with crews. Initially they were used on mail trains, long distance passenger and goods trains and northside suburban services. The introduction of diesels saw them gradually relegated to lesser duties and ultimately cut short their careers.

Last engines in service were N°1012, 1030, 1037, 1039, 1070, 1073, 1081 and 1084 at Mackay and N°1088 at Ipswich.

Abbreviations

Vulcan – Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-Willows, Lancs.,
Walkers – Walkers Limited, Engineers, Maryborough, Qld
ZZR – Zig Zag Railway Lithgow NSW

B18¼ Class

Thursday, April 15th, 2010
Total Number of Engines Built 83
First Engine Built 1926
Last Engine Built 1947
First Engine Written Off 1967
Last Engine Written Off 1970
Number of Engines in Class on the Books as at:
31/12/20 31/12/30 31/12/40 31/12/50 31/12/60 31/12/66 31/12/67 31/12/68 31/12/69 31/12/70
17 53 83 83 83 70 43 8
Number of Engines in Class in Service as at:
31/12/67 31/12/68 7/10/69
50 12 2

Notes

The engines were designed to haul Mail Trains and were the principal engines used on these services until the introduction of the BB18¼ and diesels. Nevertheless, they spent much of their working lives on goods trains and suburban passenger workings. They were generally popular with crews and had free-steaming boilers.

A prototype engine, N°84, was constructed by Ipswich Workshops and ran to Grandchester on 16th July 1926. After successful trails on both the Sydney and Townsville Mail Trains, approval was granted in 1927 to construct a further eight engines at Ipswich and another eight were ordered in 1929. A proposal to fit a Franklin booster to the trailing truck was rejected. These first seventeen engines were constructed with open cabs and C16 style tenders. Six engines built in 1935 were the first to be fitted with sedan cabs but retained old style tenders. Commencing with N°841 in 1936, all engines were built to what was considered the “standard” B18¼ design with sedan cabs, new style tenders and larger 9½” diameter piston valves.

A number of modifications were carried out during their lives. The 1935 engines were fitted with MeLeSco multiple valve regulators mounted on the superheater header. These were later replaced with standard regulators in the boiler dome. N° 843 was fitted with an ACFI feed water heater when it entered service in 1936 but had it removed in 1942. Early engines were fitted with Alligator crossheads. The Laird type was used on those constructed at Ipswich in 1939 commencing with N°870. Minor changes were made to boilers over the years. A few engines acquired BB18¼ boilers during overhaul and later a “standard” boiler was designed for use by both classes. All B18¼ chimneys were cast with capuchions, but several were later ground off due damage in service.

All members of the class were painted green commencing with N°50 & N°911 in 1949; however, several engines that were overhauled in the final years were repainted black. N°895 was the first of the class to have its headlight moved to a bracket in the centre of the smokebox door. Most other members of the class were similarly altered.

The last two engines in service were N°770 at Mackay and N°842 at Ipswich.

N°84 attained the highest mileage of any QR steam engine, travelling 1,472,859 miles during its life of 42¼ years.

~ Some tenders types were exchanged during service
* Engines constructed since 1936 (N°841 onwards)
** Engines constructed since 1939
# Some WH pumps later changed when engines underwent boiler exchanges.

Abbreviations

Ipswich – Ipswich Railway Workshops
Walkers – Walkers Ltd, Engineers, Maryborough

B17 Class

Thursday, April 15th, 2010
Total Number of Engines Built 21
First Engine Built 1911
Last Engine Built 1914
First Engine Written Off 1950
Last Engine Written Off 1960
Number of Engines in Class on the Books as at:
31/12/00 31/12/10 31/12/20 31/12/30 31/12/40 31/12/50 31/12/60
21 21 21 18

Notes

These were the largest non superheated six coupled engines to operate in the state. The class was introduced when it was proposed to increase the size of the Sydney Mail (via Wallangarra). They were originally used for this train and mail trains between Brisbane and Rockhampton. By 1930s, with the availability of superheated engines they were relegated to lesser duties. Four engines were attached to the Central Division during World War 2 and they worked as far north as Bowen. Upsurge of traffic during those hostilities caused them to again be pressed into heavy main line passenger work. In their final years they were restricted to slow goods and shunting trains. Like many saturated engines, they were heavy on coal and water. They were generally unpopular with crews particularly with poorer coals and heavy loads. Superheating was trialled on two engines, N°678 and N°610, in 1917 but proved unsuccessful, apparently due to problems lubricating the slide valves. Superheaters were removed when the engines were reboilered between 1929 and 1931. The class contained a number of unusual features. The safety valves were contained in a small dome mounted behind the large regulator dome. There was a large gap between the second and third sets of coupled wheels. One standard Sellers injector was fitted on the fireman’s side whilst the other was a Davies and Metcalfe combined injector and clack valve mounted on the boiler back plate. They were the first engines to be fitted with what became the standard QR whistle for the next 35 years. Scrapping of the class commenced in 1950 and the last two engines in service, N°689 and N°690, were written off in November 1960.

Clyde/GM 421 Class

Monday, April 5th, 2010
The 421 class purchased by QR National/Interail from Northern Rivers Railroad were originally purchased by SRA in 1965 from Clyde Engineering, Granville. The locos were built with dual-cabs (one streamline, one flat cab). The locos were unpopular with crews though, because of their rough handling.

The 421s were initially employed on various duties in NSW including RIC Works trains, Soybean and Flyash trains and also the Ritz Rail. However with the collapse of Ritz Rail and the Murwillumbah branch closing, the 421s have found themselves back in the Hunter Valley working Coal Trains out of Newstan and Duralie. Along with providing assistance on QRNational’s MB/BM7 trains. It seems these old workhorses have a few years left in them. Fortunately the livery the locos wear will be retained (the NRR livery is one of the most popular in Australia).

The Interail 421s are based out of Casino, NSW.

Charter

Monday, April 5th, 2010

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