26 February 2011

Potchefstroom Station Forecourt, SAR Class 8A no 1097

In February 2011, Ian Hardie emailed me with this note:

"I don’t see listed on your web page the Class 8 loco standing outside Potchefstroom Station. When last seen it looked fairly complete, probably because it had a hive of bees living between the frames!"

Lack of pictures was the reason for the missing blog entry, and Ian kindly helped to provide some pictures taken in 2008.

Autumn 2008 photo by courtesy of Ian Hardie.

7 April 2012 - photo courtesy Jacque Wepener.

This locomotive is a SAR Class 8A engine number 1097.

This engine was built in 1902 by Neilson, Reid & Co Ltd of Glasgow, Scotland as their works number 6181.

Panoramic photo by Jacques Philip Cato , Taken 14:48, 29/12/2009 - original 360 degree view may be seen here:
Steam Train At Potchefstroom Train Station in South Africa

7 April 2012 - photo courtesy Jacque Wepener.

The front-end of this locomotive is not in the form in which the locomotive was originally built, but modified in the the years 1929-36 - see text below for more details.

Autumn 2008 photo by courtesy of Ian Hardie.

A sister engine #1127 is(was? -in 2011) plinthed at the municipality buildings in Middelburg MP.

SAR Class 8 4-8-0 "Cape 8th"

The Cape Government Railways (CGR) 8th class was conceived as a mixed-traffic locomotive equally suitable for goods or passenger work. They were designed by H.M. Beatty and had larger driving wheels than the 7th class. The 4-8-0 examples were actually based on a pair of 2-8-0 engines imported by the CGR in 1901 from the American Locomotive Co, which later became the SAR Class 8X. While they retained the bar frames of these engines, Beatty added a bogie to improve the ride. The first order from the CGR consisted of 23 locomotives delivered by Neilson, Reid and Co in 1902 and 1903 and were placed in service throughout the colony. They became SAR class 8.

Autumn 2008 photo by courtesy of Ian Hardie.

In 1902, 40 engines of the CGR 8th-class design were ordered by the Imperial Military Railway from Neilson, Reid and Co, and Sharp, Stewart and Co. These became the 8L-1 on the CSAR and later Class 8A on the SAR.

Under AG Watson, chief mechanical engineer of the SAR during 1929-35, many of the front ends of the 8th classes were redesigned, using piston instead of slide valves, and the engines were superheated.

Autumn 2008 photo by courtesy of Ian Hardie.

The 8th class had fine engines, and saw service on every system of the SAR, becoming the mainstay of motive power on many branch lines in the 1920s. They ended their days on shunting service until 1972 when all were withdrawn.

This photo of SAR Class 8 no 1088 showing the locomotive in the form which the class 8 was originally built. The Class 8A would appear identical. Of note is the Stephenson slide valve gear visible in the photo. In the years 1929-36 when AG Watson was chief mechanical engineer of the SAR, many of the class 8 locomotives were upgraded with piston valve gear, such as is visible on the locomotive plinthed at Potchefstroom station. (The original photo above was taken by SH Carter and appears in DF Holland's Steam Locomotives of the South African Railways.)

ex-CSAR No's 401 - 440.

Builders and Year........: Neilson, Reid & Co. & Sharp Stewart and Co. (1902)

Numbering................: 1092 - 1131
Wheel Arrangement........: 4-8-0
Driving Wheel Diameter...: 4 ft. 0 in.
Cylinders................: 2 x 18½ in. x 24 in.
Valve Gear...............: Stephenson's Link Motion
. . . . N O T E: Many were later converted to Piston Valve Gear
Boiler Pressure..........: 180 lbs per square in.
Grate Size...............: 21.3 square ft.
Tractive Force...........: 23,100 lbs
Length...................: 54 ft. 5 in.
Weight...................: 58 tons 1,300 lbs
Axle Load................: 11 tons 1,600 lbs
Tender Weight............: 43 tons 100 lbs
Coal Capacity............: 10 tons
Water Capacity...........: 3,000 gallons
Tender Types.............: XC, XC1, XD, XE, XE1, XF, XF1, XF2, XJ, XM, XM1, XM2 & XM3

  1. Railways of Southern Africa - Locomotive Guide 1994 by John Middleton
  2. SAR Steam 3ft 6in SAR Class 8A Tender

1 comment:

  1. We are launching a restoration project of the train here in potch, we want to repaint it, restore some rusted metal and put a new roof on as the current wooden roof is broken

    We need advice on the type of paint and any other advice we can get to restore the train as we want it to portray the beauty of the cities railway station