New South Wales C32 class locomotive

New South Wales C32 class locomotive
New South Wales C32 class
3265 at Hunter Valley Steamfest 2010
Power type Steam
Builder Beyer, Peacock & Co. (106),
Baldwin Locomotive Works (20),
Clyde Engineering (45),
NSWGR Eveleigh Workshops (20)
Build date 1892–1911
Total produced 191
Configuration 4-6-0
UIC classification 2'Cn, later 2'Ch
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver diameter 5 ft 0 in (1,520 mm)
Weight on drivers 93,000–101,000 lb (42–46 t)
Locomotive weight 126,000–141,000 lb (57–64 t)
Fuel type Coal
Boiler pressure 150–160 psi (1.03–1.10 MPa)
Firegrate area 27 sq ft (2.5 m2)
Heating surface:
Total
1,485–1,925 sq ft (138.0–178.8 m2)
Superheater type None originally, later all retrofitted
Superheater area 335–430 sq ft (31.1–40 m2)
Cylinders Two, outside
Cylinder size 20 × 26 in (508 × 660 mm) or 21 × 26 in (533 × 660 mm)
Tractive effort 23,573–25,990 lbf (104.9–115.6 kN)
Factor of
adhesion
3.89–4.06
Career New South Wales Government Railways
Class P6, C32 from 1924
Withdrawn 1957–1971
Preserved 3203, 3214, 3237, 3265
Disposition Four preserved, remainder scrapped

The C32 class is a class of steam locomotive built for and operated by the New South Wales Government Railways of Australia.

Contents

History

Introduction

When the new Chief Commissioner, E.M.G. Eddy, took up duty in 1888, he was anxious to have additional locomotives manufactured within the Colony, and the Government sought the formation of a manufacturing company in N.S.W. by interested parties. When this failed, designs were prepared prior to inviting tenders in England.

Beyer, Peacock and Company was finally selected to provide the new locomotives. Thus was born the P(6)-class (re-classified as C32-class in 1924) 4-6-0s, one of the system's most outstanding locomotive types.

The first batch of 50 locomotives was delivered by Beyer, Peacock between February 1892 and July 1893. They became known as the Manchester Engines, and were originally fitted with 6-wheel tenders. Whilst the builders had not previously built locomotives of such heavy weight, they were an immediate success, with far fewer and far less serious teething troubles than most classes first entering service.

The Riverina Express connection from Junee to Narrandera

At the request of the Railway Commissioners, the builders altered the last two engines of the first batch to operate as compounds, but these did not prove satisfactory and during 1901 were converted to 2-cylinder simples. The particular compound arrangement was never used in another locomotive, before or since.

When first introduced, the class was assigned to the Southern and Northern Mail and express trains. Following the strengthening of the Wagga Wagga Viaduct in 1901, they worked the full length of the line from Sydney to Albury, the express covering the 621km in 12 hours and 35 minutes, including 14 stops.

Over the 19 years after their introduction, the class was enlarged to a total of 191 locomotives. After the initial 50 they were supplied with bogie tenders, and many of the originals were likewise subsequently supplied with bogie tenders; however, a number of the class kept the shorter tenders to enable them to be turned on the 50-foot (15.24 m) turntables at certain locations, including Hornsby, Campbelltown and Maitland.

The builders of these locomotives were as follows[citation needed] :

The final engine was delivered in April 1911. It was built with a superheater, and tests showed a significant improvement in performance; as result the remaining 190 engines were similarly fitted as they became due for boiler renewal between 1914 and 1939.

Into service

With the arrival of even larger engines from 1909 to handle the important mail and express trains, attention was turned to creating lighter trains which could be hauled by the P-class at high speeds. New services were introduced from Sydney to Newcastle from November 1929, covering the distance of 167 km in 2.75 hours. Similar trains followed to Mount Victoria and Nowra-Bomaderry.

Apart from some very light country branch lines, the class worked throughout the state. They worked almost all South Coast line passenger services right up until the end of steam. They were equally at home on commuter services to Campbelltown or Richmond; on Newcastle suburban trains as far as Singleton and Dungog; on country branch line mixed or goods trains or even the Riverina Express from Narrandera to Griffith. Because they kept a good head of steam and could get a "good turn of speed", the 32-class locomotives were considered as one of the most reliable and versatile of all steam trains, as one of the best to drive and maintain, and as one of the most economical.

Last years and demise of the class

The first of the class to be scrapped was 3264 in January 1957, following an accident at Otford in July 1956. 3246 had the honour of working the last regularly steam-hauled passenger train in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, on 24 July 1971. In December 1971, 3229 (a shunting locomotive at Goulburn Depot), was the last of its class to be withdrawn. The member of the class which attained the highest distance travelled in its life was 3210, with a figure of 4,185,685 kilometres (2,600,864 mi).

Preservation

Four members of the once 191-strong class are now preserved.

  • 3203 and 3214 are both in the care of the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum at Thirlmere NSW. 3203 is in a red and buff lined black livery with NSW Railways crests, and is in open storage at Broadmeadow, minus its front bogie. 3214 is at the Valley Heights branch of the RTM and is on display in the roundhouse, having been repainted into plain black.
  • 3237 is operational, and is owned by the Lachlan Valley Railway Museum, Cowra. After a long-term restoration at the LVR's Cowra base, the locomotive was returned to steam in 2005. It currently wears a black livery lined in signal red, and is a resident at the Large Erecting Shop, Eveleigh, where it is regularly seen on tours. 3237 currently carries the name 'Lachlan'. Though not prototypical, the name is that of the river that flows nearest to Cowra, and thus furthers the NSWGR's tradition of naming locomotives after rivers crossed by the routes upon which they travelled.
  • 3265 is preserved in working order by the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, in the lined maroon livery it carried in the 1930s while in service on the 'Northern Commercial Limited'; correctly for that period, it carries the name 'Hunter'. After undergoing restoration at the Large Erecting Shop, Eveleigh, 3265 underwent a series of trial runs from 2 July 2009, and was returned to service on 20 September 2009. It is currently stored at Thirlmere Rail Heritage Centre.

The first passenger locomotives used on the Trans-Australian Railway - the G class - were of similar design, and the class leader, G1, is preserved at the NRM, Port Dock, Adelaide.

Gallery

Further reading


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