CGR 1st Class 2-6-0 1879

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CGR 1st Class 2-6-0 1879
OVGS 2nd Class 2-6-0
South African Class 01 2-6-0 1879
CGR 1st Class 2-6-0 1879 BP.jpg
1st Class 2-6-0 with inclined cylinders
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
DesignerBeyer, Peacock and Company
BuilderBeyer, Peacock and Company
Serial number1844-1849, 2026-2027, 2039-2040
Build date1879-1880
Total produced10
 • Whyte2-6-0 (Mogul)
 • UIC1’Cn2
Driver2nd coupled axle
Gauge3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge
Leading dia.24 in (610 mm)
Coupled dia.39 in (991 mm)
Tender wheels33 in (838 mm)
Wheelbase28 ft 7 in (8,712 mm)
 • Engine13 ft (3,962 mm)
 • Coupled7 ft 6 in (2,286 mm)
 • Tender8 ft (2,438 mm)
 • Over couplers35 ft 6 in (10,820 mm)
Height11 ft (3,353 mm)
Axle load5 LT 13 cwt 2 qtr (5,766 kg)
 • Leading4 LT 4 cwt 2 qtr (4,293 kg)
 • 1st coupled5 LT 6 cwt 2 qtr (5,410 kg)
 • 2nd coupled5 LT 13 cwt 2 qtr (5,766 kg)
 • 3rd coupled5 LT 1 cwt 1 qtr (5,144 kg)
Adhesive weight16 LT 1 cwt 1 qtr (16,320 kg)
Loco weight20 LT 5 cwt 3 qtr (20,610 kg)
Tender weight17 LT 17 cwt (18,140 kg)
Total weight38 LT 2 cwt 3 qtr (38,750 kg)
Tender type3-axle
Fuel typeCoal
Fuel capacity2 LT 10 cwt (2.5 t)
Water cap1,700 imp gal (7,730 l)
Firebox typeRound-top
 • Firegrate area9 12 sq ft (0.88 m2)
 • Pitch5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm)
 • Tube plates9 ft 6 34 in (2,915 mm)
 • Small tubes116: 1 34 in (44 mm)
Boiler pressure130 psi (896 kPa)
Safety valveSalter
Heating surface545 sq ft (50.6 m2)
 • Tubes501 sq ft (46.5 m2)
 • Firebox44 sq ft (4.1 m2)
Cylinder size12 in (305 mm) bore
20 in (508 mm) stroke
Valve gearStephenson
CouplersJohnston link-and-pin
Performance figures
Tractive effort7,200 lbf (32 kN) @ 75%
OperatorsCape Government Railways
South African Railways
ClassCGR 1st Class, SAR Class 01
Number in class10
NumbersW27-W32, W39-W42
First run1879

The Cape Government Railways 1st Class 2-6-0 of 1879 was a South African steam locomotive from the pre-Union era in the Cape of Good Hope.

In 1879 and 1880, the Cape Government Railways placed ten 2-6-0 Mogul type locomotives, built by Beyer, Peacock and Company, in freight service on the Cape Western system, they were designated 1st Class when a classification system was adopted.[1][2]


Six 2-6-0 Mogul type tender goods locomotives were delivered to the Cape Government Railways (CGR) from Beyer, Peacock and Company in 1879, numbered in the range from W27 to W32 for the Western System. Another four were delivered the following year, numbered in the range from W39 to W42. Like the Beyer, Peacock and Avonside locomotives of 1876 and the pre-modification Kitson locomotives of 1876, they were equipped with six-wheeled tenders.[1][2]


While they were similar in appearance to the Beyer, Peacock and Avonside locomotives of 1876, there were some major differences; the steam dome was located further forward from the cab, similar to that of the Kitson locomotives. The leading wheels were located much further forward from the coupled wheels, at a 5 feet 6 inches (1,676 millimetres) wheelbase distance from the leading coupled wheel, compared to the 3 feet 7 inches (1,092 millimetres) distance on the Beyer, Peacock and Avonside locomotives of 1876.[1][3]

Inclined cylinders and running boards

In addition, the cylinders were mounted at a downward inclination towards the driving wheelset; the part of the running boards directly above the cylinders and valve gear and even the smokebox front were also inclined to the same degree, which gave the locomotive its most obvious distinguishing features.[1]

While they were also acquired as goods locomotives, they were used on all kinds of traffic. All these locomotives were later designated 1st Class when a locomotive classification system was introduced by the CGR.[1]


Cape Government Railways[edit]

At the time these locomotives entered service in 1879, the Western System mainline from Cape Town was completed to Montagu Road, which had been reached in 1877, and work on the section to Beaufort West was completed as far as Fraserburg Road, they saw service on all parts of the Western system, working out of Cape Town deeper into the Karoo as the line was being extended. The line was opened to Beaufort West on 5 February 1880 and the connection with the Midland System was made at De Aar on 31 March 1884.[1][4]

In 1885, one of these locomotives was the first to enter Kimberley with a passenger train. One of them had the same honour in Bloemfontein in 1889.[5]

Oranje-Vrijstaat Gouwerment-Spoorwegen[edit]

Towards the end of 1896, four of these locomotives were sold to the Oranje-Vrijstaat Gouwerment-Spoorwegen (OVGS), where they were designated 2nd Class. None of these four survived to be taken onto the South African Railways (SAR) roster in 1912.[1][5][6]

South African Railways[edit]

When the Union of South Africa was established on 31 May 1910, the three Colonial government railways (CGR, Natal Government Railways and Central South African Railways) were united under a single administration to control and administer the railways, ports and harbours of the Union. Even though the South African Railways and Harbours came into existence in 1910, the actual classification and renumbering of all the rolling stock of the three constituent railways was only implemented with effect from 1 January 1912.[4][6]

Only no. 40 was still in CGR service to be taken onto the SAR roster in 1912. It was considered obsolete by the SAR, designated Class 01 and renumbered by having the numeral "0" prefixed to its number. By 1918 it was withdrawn from service.[1][2][6]


All these locomotives were renumbered at times during the CGR era. By 1886 the system prefixes had been done away with and, by 1888, the first six locomotives were renumbered in the range from 43 to 48; the works numbers, years in service, original numbers, renumbering and disposition of the Cape 1st Class Moguls of 1879 are listed in the table.[1][2][6]

Nyasaland Railways myth[edit]

In his book Steam Locomotives of the South African Railways, Volume 1: 1859-1910, D.F. Holland states that four of these locomotives, numbers W27, W28, W30 and W31, by that time renumbered to 43, 44, 46 and 47 respectively, were sold to the Nyasaland Railways at some stage between 1904 and 1912.[1]

No such sale took place, however; the early locomotives in Nyasaland are well documented and no reference exists to locomotives obtained from the CGR. The first railway in Nyasaland was the Shire Highlands Railway (SHR), on which construction began in 1904 and which was opened in 1908; the second railway was the Central African Railway (CAR), on which Pauling & Co. began construction in 1913. Nyasaland Railways was only formed in 1930 to amalgamate the SHR and CAR.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Holland, D.F. (1971). Steam Locomotives of the South African Railways. 1: 1859–1910 (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, Devon: David & Charles. pp. 28–30, 106. ISBN 978-0-7153-5382-0.
  2. ^ a b c d C.G.R. Numbering Revised, Article by Dave Littley, SA Rail May–June 1993, pp. 94-95.
  3. ^ Dulez, Jean A. (2012). Railways of Southern Africa 150 Years (Commemorating One Hundred and Fifty Years of Railways on the Sub-Continent – Complete Motive Power Classifications and Famous Trains – 1860–2011) (1st ed.). Garden View, Johannesburg, South Africa: Vidrail Productions. p. 37. ISBN 9 780620 512282.
  4. ^ a b The South African Railways - Historical Survey. Editor George Hart, Publisher Bill Hart, Sponsored by Dorbyl Ltd., Published c. 1978, pp. 13, 25.
  5. ^ a b Espitalier, T.J.; Day, W.A.J. (1944). The Locomotive in South Africa - A Brief History of Railway Development. Chapter V - Other Transvaal and O.F.S. Railways. South African Railways and Harbours Magazine, December 1944. p. 927.
  6. ^ a b c d Classification of S.A.R. Engines with Renumbering Lists, issued by the Chief Mechanical Engineer's Office, Pretoria, January 1912, p. 26. (Reprinted in April 1987 by SATS Museum, R.3125-6/9/11-1000)
  7. ^ Intermediate CGR numbering system c. 1883-1888