CGR 1st Class 4-4-0T

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CGR 1st Class 4-4-0T
Metropolitan & Suburban 4-4-0T
South African Class 01 4-4-0T
Cape 1st Class (4-4-0T) 1875 no. 6.jpg
No. 6 with optional tender no. 4, c. 1880
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer Robert Stephenson and Company
Builder Robert Stephenson and Company
Neilson and Company
Serial number Stephenson 2224-2230
Neilson 2553-2556
Build date 1875-1880
Total produced 11
 • Whyte 4-4-0T (American)
 • UIC 2′Bn2t
Driver 1st coupled axle
Gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge
Leading dia. 27 in (686 mm)
Coupled dia. 48 in (1,219 mm)
 • Engine
16 ft 9 12 in (5,118 mm)
 • Leading 4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm)
 • Coupled 6 ft 6 in (1,981 mm)
 • Tender 4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm)
 • Over couplers 26 ft 11 12 in (8,217 mm)
Height 12 ft (3,658 mm)
Frame type Plate
Axle load 8 LT 2 cwt (8,230 kg)
 • Leading 7 LT 0 cwt 3 qtr (7,150 kg)
 • 1st coupled 7 LT 4 cwt 3 qtr (7,354 kg)
 • 2nd coupled 8 LT 2 cwt (8,230 kg)
Adhesive weight 15 LT 6 cwt 3 qtr (15,580 kg)
Loco weight 22 LT 7 cwt 1 qtr (22,720 kg)
Tender type 2-axle
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 15 long hundredweight (0.8 t)
Water cap 450 imp gal (2,050 l)
Tender cap. 900 imp gal (4,090 l)
Firebox type Round-top
 • Firegrate area 10 sq ft (0.93 m2)
 • Pitch 6 ft (1,829 mm)
 • Tube plates 9 ft (2,743 mm)
Boiler pressure 130 psi (896 kPa)
Safety valve Salter
Heating surface 546 sq ft (50.7 m2)
 • Tubes 500 sq ft (46 m2)
 • Firebox 46 sq ft (4.3 m2)
Cylinders Two
Cylinder size 13 in (330 mm) bore
18 in (457 mm) stroke
Valve gear Stephenson
Valve type Slide
Couplers Johnston link-and-pin
Performance figures
Tractive effort 6,180 lbf (27.5 kN) @ 75%
Operators Cape Government Railways
Metropolitan & Suburban Railway
South African Railways
Class CGR 1st Class
Number in class 11
Numbers W3-W6, M11-M13, M40-M43
Delivered 1875-1880
First run 1875

The Cape Government Railways 1st Class 4-4-0T of 1875 was a South African steam locomotive from the pre-Union era in the Cape of Good Hope.

In 1875, the Cape Government Railways placed seven tank locomotives with a 4-4-0 American type wheel arrangement in service on its Cape Western and Cape Midland systems. Four more entered service in 1880, but these were delivered as tank-and-tender locomotives with optional water tenders. They were the first Cape gauge mainline engines to enter service in South Africa.[1]


Seven 4-4-0 side-tank locomotives were built for the Cape Government Railways (CGR) by Robert Stephenson and Company in 1875, numbered in the range from W3 to W6 in the Western System's number range and M11 to M13 in the Midland System's number range.[1][2]

Since they were found to be fast and reliable engines, four more were delivered in 1880, built by Neilson and Company and numbered in the range from M40 to M43 in the Midland System's number range. They were practically identical to the previous seven, but sported some minor improvements and were built as tank-and-tender locomotives, equipped with small optional four-wheeled water tenders with a capacity of 900 imperial gallons (4,090 litres). They were all designated 1st Class when a locomotive classification system was introduced by the CGR.[1]


The locomotive had a round-topped firebox. The cylinders were inclined and arranged outside the engine frame, while the slide valves were actuated by Stephenson Link motion. The cab sides of the early locomotives were not enclosed, but were equipped with canvas roller blinds to offer the crew some protection against the elements.[3]

The later versions of the locomotive had enclosed cab sides. These engines were slightly longer with larger water tanks and had larger firebox and boiler heating surfaces, with an increased boiler pressure.[3]


Cape Government Railways[edit]

These were the first Cape gauge engines to enter mainline service in South Africa. In service, the locomotives were operated with or without the tenders, as circumstances demanded. In practice, they were used in the tank engine configuration while performing shunting work and in the tank-and-tender configuration when an increased coal and water supply was required while working over longer distances. Since the tender had no coal bunker, bags of additional coal were often carried on top of the tender.[1]

The locomotives worked both passenger and mixed goods trains. They performed fairly well with the original 6 long tons (6.1 tonnes) four-wheeled carriages which were in use while passenger numbers were still limited. With increasing passenger traffic, heavier carriages on bogies were introduced, which led to the locomotives being withdrawn from mainline work and relegated to shunting work, a role in which they remained useful for many years.[3]

Metropolitan & Suburban Railway[edit]

No. 4 on the Metropolitan & Suburban Railway, c. 1892

When the Green and Seapoint Company was established in 1887 with the object to construct a private suburban railway line to Sea Point in Cape Town, two of these locomotives, numbers 3 and 4 (W3 and W4), were acquired from the CGR for use as construction engines.[1][2][4][5]

Following two bankruptcies, the line was eventually opened on 1 September 1892 by a third company, the Metropolitan and Suburban Railway Company, under the chairmanship of Mr. John Walker. The two locomotives were then employed as passenger locomotives. The line was not financially viable, however, and the Metropolitan and Suburban also went into liquidation on 19 July 1898. The railway and its operations were eventually taken over by the Cape government and the Sea Point line was re-opened by the CGR in December 1905.[1][2][4][5]

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 required careful planning and was only implemented with effect from 1 January 1912.[5][6]

According to some sources, two of these locomotives, one from each batch with numbers 413 and 441 (M13 and M41), were sold to the Nyasaland Railways at some stage. Serious doubt exists, however, that these engines ever went to Nyasaland, since no evidence of such a sale has come to light and since both locomotives are referred to in the South African Railways (SAR) renumbering and classification lists of 1912.[1][7][2][6]

By 1904, five of the locomotives had been scrapped or sold and, by 1912, the only survivors were the two locomotives which had allegedly earlier been sold to Nyasaland and which, at the time, were both found to be rostered at Uitenhage on the Midland system. They were considered obsolete by the SAR and were excluded from the classification schedules, but were renumbered by having the numeral "0" prefixed to their existing numbers.[2][6]


All these locomotives were renumbered at least once, whenever the CGR adopted a new numbering system. By 1886, the system prefixes had been dropped, with the "W" omitted from the locomotive numbers on the Western System and the "M" replaced by the numeral "1" on the Midland. Further renumbering was applied to the Midland locomotives by 1890 and again by 1896, when first the leading numeral "1" was replaced by the numeral "2" by 1890, and again when the leading numeral "2" was, in turn, replaced by the numeral "4" by 1896.[1][2]

The builders, works numbers, years built, configuration, original numbers and renumbering of the Cape 1st Class of 1875 are listed in the table.[1][2][6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Holland, D.F. (1971). Steam Locomotives of the South African Railways. 1: 1859–1910 (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, Devon: David & Charles. pp. 25–26, 76–77. ISBN 978-0-7153-5382-0. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g C.G.R. Numbering Revised, Article by Dave Littley, SA Rail May–June 1993, pp. 94-95.
  3. ^ a b c Espitalier, T.J.; Day, W.A.J. (1943). The Locomotive in South Africa - A Brief History of Railway Development. Chapter II - The Adoption of the 3 ft. 6 in. Gauge on the Cape Government Railways. South African Railways and Harbours Magazine, July 1943. pp. 515-518.
  4. ^ a b Espitalier, T.J.; Day, W.A.J. (1944). The Locomotive in South Africa - A Brief History of Railway Development. Chapter II - The Cape Government Railways (Continued). South African Railways and Harbours Magazine, April 1944. pp. 253-257.
  5. ^ a b c The South African Railways - Historical Survey. Editor George Hart, Publisher Bill Hart, Sponsored by Dorbyl Ltd., Published c. 1978, pp. 24-25.
  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. 2. (Reprinted in April 1987 by SATS Museum, R.3125-6/9/11-1000)
  7. ^ 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. 36. ISBN 9 780620 512282.