Victorian Government Rlys 4-6-0 Locomotives in Australia


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class A2 (Locobase 2385)

See Victorian Railways.net ([], last accessed 12 July 2009). See also "New Express Passenger Locomotive, Victorian Rys", The Locomotive Magazine, Vol XIV (15 June 1908), p. 102 and "Six-Coupled Express Engine, Victorian State Railways", Locomotive Magazine XXI [21] (5 November 1915), p. 242.

Widely used mixed-traffic engine designed and built in Australia at the VR's Newport, Ballarat, and BendigoWorks from 1907 to 1922. These were the second standard class (of seven altogether) designed by VR engineers in the early part of the 20th Century. Locobase has split the entry into this group of engines fitted with inside link motion. Slightly larger engines with Walschaert gear appear in Locobase 20504.

The 1915 LM report commented that VRs lines were "extremely difficult to operate successfully." Only the South Western main line on theVR was relatively gentle. The others presented "continuous grades of 1 in 75 [1.33%], 1 in 60 [1.67%], and 1 in 50 [2%]. In many canses they were as steep as 1 in 40 [2.5%]." So the A2's drivers could be too tall and the sharp curves dictated "plenty of side play" in both the lead and third driver axles. The A2s could take 300 tons up the 1 in 40s and "considering the amount of rough work they do on the goods trains the cost of repairs is extremely small."

"A splendid job it was, too," says OS Nock (RWC IV, pl 101),"as near as possible right and free from teething troubles from the very start." Possibly the source of this success is best represented by the LM report's digest of T H Woodroffe's comments. The railway's chief mechanical engineer belief "...has always been that the greatest efficiency is to be got from simple, generously proportioned and carefully designed engines well handled, rather than by any striking departures from ordinary practice." And, added the report, "the new engine is illustrative of this theory."

The first 125 were completed with Stephenson link motion, the last 60 getting Walschaerts radial valve gear. They all had a North American look except for the heavy smokebox. They all also had a roomy Belpaire firebox and relatively small steam dome.

Those originally outfitted with Robinson superheaters had theirs replaced by Marine Type As beginning in the late 'teens.

Their one shortcoming was high cylinder back pressure, which was remedied beginning in the early 1930s by the fitting of a new front end. See Locobase 20504 for more information on the upgrade.

A measure of their importance to the Victorian state rail system is that out of 640 VR locomotives altogether, 185 were Class A2s. They hauled mainline passenger trains from the time the first entered service in 1907 to their replacement in the mid-1950s.

All of the Walschaert-actuated locomotives except for the 956 and 958 were converted to-oil firing beginning in 1946; these trailed a tender carrying 1,500 Imp gall (1,800 US gallons, 6,813 litres) of fuel. A few received Boxpok drivers


Class A2 - 1915 (Locobase 20504)

Data from "4-6-0 Superheated ExpressLocomotive, Victorian State Rys", The Locomotive Magazine, Volume XXII [22], whole no 287 (15 July 1916). See also "Victorian Railways A2 class at https://everipedia.org/wiki/lang_en/Victorian_Railways_A2_class/, last accessed 29 January 2019.

VR's Newport, Ballarat, and BendigoWorks produced 185 A2 passenger Ten-wheelers from 1907 to 1922. The first 125 were completed with Stephenson link motion; these are shown in Locobase 2385.

The last 60, which entered production in 1915, used Walschaerts radial valve gear, a slightly bigger boiler and Belpaire firebox, and even tweaked the amount of superheater area. They shared with the earlier engines a North American look except for the heavy smokebox and a relatively small steam dome. Steam entered the cylinders through 12" (305 mm) piston valves. Those originally outfitted with Robinson superheaters had theirs replaced by Schmidt Type As beginning in the late 'teens.

In addition to being, briefly, the most powerful locomotives in Victoria State, the engines delivered an impressive fuel economy with a full load of 40 lb per mile (11.27 kg/km).

Their one shortcoming was high cylinder back pressure, which was remedied beginning in the early 1930s by the fitting of a new front end. Basing their design on "the work of Dr Wagner of the Deutsche Reichsbahn and E. C. Young of the University of Illinois", the shops delivered a winner. Appropriately designated the Modified Front End, this set of updates and changes included larger stack (chimney) and exhaust nozzle diameters, the latter set lower than the original design. The original grate gave way to a Rosebud grate (a design with reduced air openings also used in some US locomotives); this improved "fire stability under load and [gave] better firing qualities." And the shops replaced the full length, return bend 1 3/8" (34.92 mm) diameter superheater elements with elements measuring only 8 ft 6 in long, but enlarged to a 1 1/2" (38.1 mm) diameter.

At a cost of only 140 pounds (A$280) per locomotive, Everipedia reports, "The sum result of these changes was a significant improvement in power and available tractive effort. Maximum drawbar horsepower increased some 40% from 860 hp (640 kW) at 26 mph (42 km/h) to 1,230 hp (920 kW) at 32 mph (51 km/h)."

Out on the railway, crews traveling over the steeply graded 100 3 / 4 mi (162.1 km) Melbourne to Bendigo express route cut running time from 162 to 145 minutes - "and literally hours being cut from the schedule of the Melbourne to Adelaide Overland express."

Although efficiency increased (occasioning the new nickname - "Basher"), a side effect was smoke drifting down and obscuring vision; presumably this was due to a softer exhaust beat. The railway fitted Smoke deflecting "elephant ears" to alleviate the problem with the visual result of truncating the locomotive's profile.

A measure of their importance to the Victorian state rail system is that out of 640 locomotives altogether, 185 were Class A2s. They hauled mainline passenger trains from the time the first entered service in 1907 to their replacement in the mid-1950s.

All of the Walschaert-actuated locomotives except for the 956 and 958 were converted to-oil firing beginning in 1946; these trailed a tender carrying 1,500 Imp gall (1,800 US gallons, 6,813 litres) of fuel. A few received Boxpok drivers


Class D2 (Locobase 2388)

DD/D1 engine design updated with a superheater and larger pistons (see D2, Locobase 2387).


Class D3 (Locobase 2389)

These rebuilds of the DD class added up to 93 engines taken in hand between 1929 and 1951. The cylinders were larger and the boiler was superheated. They could hit 60 mph and had a water range of 60-80 miles, a coal range of 220 miles.

Data from [], last accessed 6 September 2006. See also http:\\www.steamrail.com\au. and

http://www.railpage.org.au/vr/


Class Dd (Locobase 7568)

Data from 1946 Beyer, Peacock catalogue hosted on Martyn Bane's website at [] (accessed 21 May 2006). See also "4-6-0 Locomotive, Victorian Government Railways", Locomotive Magazine, Volume XXI [21] (15 April 1915), p. 74.

Batch #0333(works# 5912-5913) (Production data from The Beyer, Peacock production list -- [], last accessed 29 May 2006).

This batch of Ten-wheelers were part of the long-running program that supplied the Victorian with the great bulk of its low-axle-loading locomotives. Like the others, the twenty from BP had Belpaire fireboxes, slightly inclined outside cylinders, a tall, rounded dome over the first two driving axles, and front bogie with large wheels. Their cylinders used steam admitted through 8" (203 mm) piston valves.

http:\\www.steamrail.com\au. and http://www.railpage.org.au/vr/


Class Dd (Locobase 13877)

Data from DeGolyer, Volume 39, p. 306. See also "4-6-0 Locomotive, Victorian Railways", Locomotive Magazine, Volume 18 (15 January 1912), p. 21. Works numbers were 36853-36861, 36870-36872, 36887-36888 in September 1911; 37019-37024 in October.

At the same time that Beyer, Peacock was adding 20 more of this long-running, low-axle-loading locomotive (Locobase 7568), Baldwin was called on to do likewise. Like the others, the "Yankees" had Belpaire fireboxes with steeply sloping grate under a brick arch, slightly inclined outside cylinders with 8" (203 mm) piston valves, a tall, rounded dome over the first two driving axles, and front bogie with large wheels.

The specifications advised that the goal for an axle loading was 27,328 lb or 12 tons 4 cwt.


Class Dd - superheated (Locobase 11064)

Data from DD diagram held in []

Two different superheater systems were adopted for the Dd class. One was the Schmidt superheater used very widely all over the world. The other was J G Robinson's variation, the spread of which was confined largely to British and British colonial railways. In this upgrade, it offered less of a contribution to heating surface: 253 sq ft were superheated in addition to the 1,034 sq ft of the tubes and the 120 sq ft of the firebox.


Class Dd/D1 - 1904 (Locobase 14673)

Data from "Rolling Stock on the Victoria State Railways," Railroad Gazette, Vol XXXVII, No 7 (29 July 1904, pp. 203-204. See also Locomotive Magazine, Volume XXII [22] (15 February 1916), p. 20.

The 1904 RG article states that these Dd were produced at the company's shops (i.e., Newport), that eleven had been built so far and another ten were under construction. Like all Dds, these had Belpaire fireboxes and copper tubes. See Locobase 2387 for the main entry on this large class.


Class Dd/D1 - first batches (Locobase 2387)

Data from DD diagram held in []

Large class that was upgraded first with superheater (see D2), later with a larger boiler and cylinders (DD3). A tank engine variant (DDE) had a trailing truck.

These were the first of seven standard classes designed for Victorian Railways in the early years of the 20th Century. All had the same cylinder volume and Belpaire firebox. The relatively large boiler for the cylinders presented a problem, says James Oberg, because the engines were found to be "short-winded at high speeds due to an unsatisfactory balance" between the boiler and cylinders.

See Locobase 7568 for the 1911 Beyer, Peacock batch, which had slightly different specifications as did the 20 Baldwins, for which see Locobase 13877.

They were the principal express engines until the Pacifics were introduced in 1928. They then spread out on all the "light lines" for decades.

A variety of builders contributed including:

VR's shops at Newport -- 138

VR -- Ballarat -- 8

VR -- Bendigo -- 8

Thompson's foundry -- 40

Walker's Ltd -- 20

Phoenix Foundry -- 7


Class W (Locobase 10651)

Data from [], last accessed 12 July 2009. Baldwin works numbers were 4784, 4786 (1879); 6538, 6541 in 1882; and 6615, 6617. 6622, 6652, 6655, 6657-6659 in 1883.

Locobase has pinned down the production dates of this class of Ten-wheelers, but can supply little other information about the class. As Baldwin-built 4-6-0s of the era went, this was a relatively small locomotive, however. The 1883 locomotives had a larger boiler with 163 2" tubes of the same length.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
ClassA2A2 - 1915D2D3Dd
Locobase ID2385 20504 2388 2389 7568
RailroadVictorian Government RlysVictorian Government RlysVictorian Government RlysVictorian Government RlysVictorian Government Rlys
CountryAustraliaAustraliaAustraliaAustraliaAustralia
Whyte4-6-04-6-04-6-04-6-04-6-0
Number in Class125609320
Road NumbersA2.816-A2.939A2.940-A2.999
Gauge5'3""5'3""5'3""5'3""5'3""
Number Built1256020
BuilderVictorianVictorianseveralNewport shopsBeyer, Peacock
Year19071915191419291911
Valve GearStephensonWalschaertWalschaertWalschaertWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)13.33 / 4.0613.33 / 4.0613 / 3.9613 / 3.9613 / 3.96
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)26.67 / 8.1326.25 / 824.29 / 7.40
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.50 0.51 0.54
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)63.59 / 19.3852.47 / 15.9948.50 / 14.7858.30 / 17.7748.50 / 14.78
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)39,200 / 17,78129,344 / 13,31030,688 / 13,92029,120 / 13,209
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)118,000 / 53,524120,960 / 54,86737,808 / 17,14991,840 / 41,65886,912 / 39,423
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)102,480 / 46,48496,320 / 43,69094,640 / 42,92894,97693,632 / 42,471
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)264,544 / 119,995259,840 / 117,862217,616 / 98,709223,328212,352 / 96,322
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)5640 / 21.365520 / 20.915160 / 19.555044 / 19.115064 / 19.18
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT) 5.60 / 5 7.15 / 7 5.50 / 5 7.30 / 75 / 5
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)66 / 3367 / 33.5021 / 10.5051 / 25.5048 / 24
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)72 / 182973 / 185461 / 154961 / 154961.50 / 1562
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)188.50 / 13185 / 12.80175 / 12.10174 / 12178.40 / 12.30
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)22" x 26" / 559x66022" x 26" / 559x66019" x 26" / 483x66019" x 26" / 483x66018" x 26" / 457x660
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)28,004 / 12702.4227,107 / 12295.5422,888 / 10381.8322,757 / 10322.4120,771 / 9421.58
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.21 4.46 1.65 4.04 4.18
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)263 - 2" / 0
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)11.33
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)145 / 13.47173 / 16.07113 / 10.50123 / 11.43107.50 / 9.99
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)29 / 2.6932 / 2.9722.50 / 2.0925 / 2.3221.20 / 1.97
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1709 / 158.771875 / 174.191153 / 107.161364 / 126.771375 / 127.79
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)331 / 30.75375 / 34.84239 / 22.21228 / 21.19
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2040 / 189.522250 / 209.031392 / 129.371592 / 147.961375 / 127.79
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume149.40163.91135.14159.87179.56
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation54675920393843503782
Same as above plus superheater percentage63416926460749593782
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area31,70637,44623,13724,39819,178
Power L110,70412,032806883584567
Power MT599.96657.891411.36601.90347.54

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
ClassDdDd - superheatedDd/D1 - 1904Dd/D1 - first batchesW
Locobase ID13877 11064 14673 2387 10651
RailroadVictorian Government RlysVictorian Government RlysVictorian Government RlysVictorian Government RlysVictorian Government Rlys
CountryAustraliaAustraliaAustraliaAustraliaAustralia
Whyte4-6-04-6-04-6-04-6-04-6-0
Number in Class2026122113
Road Numbers571-609 (odd numbers)153, 155, 217-235 (odd)
Gauge5'3""5'3""5'3""5'3""5'3""
Number Built2026122113
BuilderBaldwinVRseveralseveralseveral
Year19111914190419021879
Valve GearStephensonWalschaertWalschaertWalschaertStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)13 / 3.9612.83 / 3.9113 / 3.9612.83 / 3.9112 / 3.66
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)24.29 / 7.4024.29 / 7.4023.98 / 7.31
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.54 0.54 0.50
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)48.50 / 14.7848 / 14.6348.33 / 14.7358.25 / 17.7540.35 / 12.30
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)29,344 / 13,31028,000 / 12,70121,392 / 9703
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)78,200 / 35,47187,808 / 39,82984,000 / 38,10283,664 / 37,94962,496 / 28,348
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)91,840 / 41,65894,640 / 42,92889,600 / 40,64293,600 / 42,45655,104 / 24,995
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)206,540 / 93,685217,616 / 98,709203,840 / 92,460210,080 / 95,291138,656 / 62,894
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)4460 / 16.895160 / 19.555070 / 19.205070 / 19.202520 / 9.55
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)5 / 5 5.60 / 5 5.60 / 5 5.60 / 5 4.60 / 4
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)43 / 21.5049 / 24.5047 / 23.5046 / 2335 / 17.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)61.63 / 156561 / 154960 / 152461 / 154951 / 1295
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)175 / 12.10165 / 11.40175 / 12.10175 / 11.60140 / 9.70
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)18" x 26" / 457x66018" x 26" / 457x66018" x 26" / 457x66018" x 26" / 457x66016" x 24" / 406x610
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)20,332 / 9222.4519,368 / 8785.1920,885 / 9473.2920,542 / 9317.7114,336 / 6502.71
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.85 4.53 4.02 4.07 4.36
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)181 - 2" / 51179 - 2" / 51146 - 2" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)13.52 / 4.1213.75 / 4.1912.17 / 3.71
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)112 / 10.41120 / 11.15120 / 11.15120 / 11.1579.78 / 7.41
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)21.90 / 2.0322.50 / 2.0922.50 / 2.0922.50 / 2.0915.92 / 1.48
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1380 / 128.211154 / 107.251408 / 130.811454 / 135.131018 / 94.61
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)334 / 31.04
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1380 / 128.211488 / 138.291408 / 130.811454 / 135.131018 / 94.61
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume180.21150.70183.87189.88182.27
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation38333713393839382229
Same as above plus superheater percentage38334529393839382229
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area19,60024,15621,00021,00011,169
Power L1455410,427458947723019
Power MT385.16785.38361.32377.24319.50

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