30 April 2009

Germiston, Reefsteamers Germiston Depot, "PATRYS" SAR Class A No 130

Photo kindly provided by Derek Walker

This is a 4-8-2T SAR Class A No 130 Tank locomotive which was one of 100 built in 1888 and 1889 by Dübs & Co. She is plinthed at the Reefsteamers Depot in Germiston and , and is named "Patrys". She was built as Dübs works no 2627 in 1890.

At some stage N0 130 was sold to Brakpan Mines Ltd where she worked as "No. 3".

May 2009 Photo kindly provided by Derek Walker

Photo kindly provided by Derek Walker

"Patrys" sits in front of a C-22 articulated saloon at the Reefsteamers premises.

From the past: #130 in Brakpan Mines livery.

1972: The engine was marked "No 3".

Original photo on fotopic.net by Ron Fisher taken Germiston, 19th August, 1972. Thanks to Bob Francis, in 2008 Ron learned that this was Brakpan Mines Ltd No.3. Previously, it had been S.A.R. 'A' class No.130, although it was originally built by Dübs & Co. for the Natal Government Railways in 1890.

This photo, provided courtesy of Roger Griffiths, was taken by Roger on 29 Oct. 1976 at Dunns Engineering at Witbank, and shows the works pilot named "DUBS" - this engine is ex SAR Class A no 134 (Dübs 2967/1892) - and is a near sister of "Patrys". Originally built for the NGR where she was numbered 88. Note the Belpaire boiler - many Dübs A's were fitted with Belpaire-type boilers - these were known as "Improved Dübs A" engines. Presently this locomotive is named "UMBILO", and in the care of the Umgeni Steam Railway - some more recent pictures of "UMBILO" may be seen here and here.

Another example of an ex-SAR Class A under steam, also with a Belpaire boiler - this engine was captured on film by Roger Griffiths on 15 October 1973, when it worked as No 3 at Grootvlei Proprietary Mine, near Springs. This locomotive was ex-SAR A no 185, ex-NGR no 147, and was built in 1899 by Dübs & Co as their works no 3833. In the SAR the last of the class A's were withdrawn in 1962. Many SAR class A's retired into mining service; some of the last of the Dübs A's saw service at GVPM. Unfortunately the beautiful engine in the photo above did not survive up to the present.

Paxton & Bourne offer the following notes:

"In 1887 William Milne, the locomotive superintendent of the Natal Government Railways, designed the first locomotive of a 4-8-2 wheel arrangement in use anywhere in the world. During 1888 and 1889, 100 of these tank locomotives were built by Dübs & Co. They were classified "Dübs A" on the NGR."

Class A as originally built

"After being displaced from the Natal main line, they were used on the Dundee-Hlobane branch, the Harrismith-Ladysmith section and the north coast line."

"On the SAR these engines became Class A, numbers 97-196. In 1915, during the acute motive power shortage resulting from the war, a further two Class A locomotives, No 332 and 333, were constructed wholly from spares in the Durban workshops. They were all fitted with plate frames and Stephenson's link motion."

"In later years, 21 of these locomotives were converted by the removal of the coal bunker and rear pony truck to become Class 17 tender-tank locomotives"

"The last of the Class A were withdrawn from SAR service in 1962." However, many of these locomotives were sold to industry and continued service there.

This aerial photo shows the location of Patrys.

A Reefsteamers Map will direct you to the plinthed locomotive. Otherwise consult the Reefsteamers pages.

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