CGR 3rd Class 4-4-0 1889

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CGR 3rd Class 4-4-0 1889
South African Class 03 4-4-0 1889
CGR 3rd Class 4-4-0 1889 no. 114.jpg
CGR 3rd Class 4-4-0 no. 114 of 1889
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
DesignerCape Government Railways
(Michael Stephens)
BuilderDübs and Company
Serial number2486-2497, 2536-2547
Build date1888-1889
Total produced24
 • Whyte4-4-0 (American)
 • UIC2'Bn2
Driver1st coupled axle
Gauge3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge
Leading dia.28 in (711 mm)
Coupled dia.49 in (1,245 mm)
Tender wheels37 in (940 mm)
Wheelbase37 ft 9 12 in (11,519 mm)
 • Engine18 ft 4 12 in (5,601 mm)
 • Leading4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm)
 • Coupled7 ft (2,134 mm)
 • Tender10 ft (3,048 mm)
 • Over couplers45 ft 8 12 in (13,932 mm)
Height12 ft (3,658 mm)
Axle load10 LT 12 cwt (10,770 kg)
 • Leading9 LT 13 cwt (9,805 kg)
 • Coupled10 LT 12 cwt (10,770 kg)
 • Tender axle9 LT (9,144 kg)
Adhesive weight21 LT 4 cwt (21,540 kg)
Loco weight30 LT 17 cwt (31,350 kg)
Tender weight27 LT (27,430 kg)
Total weight57 LT 17 cwt (58,780 kg)
Tender type3-axle
Fuel typeCoal
Fuel capacity3 LT (3.0 t)
Water cap1,950 imp gal (8,860 l)
Firebox typeRound-top
 • Firegrate area13 sq ft (1.2 m2)
 • Pitch6 ft 1 in (1,854 mm)
 • Diameter3 ft 8 12 in (1,130 mm)
 • Tube plates10 ft 4 12 in (3,162 mm)
Boiler pressure150 psi (1,034 kPa)
Safety valveRamsbottom
Heating surface763.5 sq ft (70.93 m2)
 • Tubes689 sq ft (64.0 m2)
 • Firebox74.5 sq ft (6.92 m2)
Cylinder size15 in (381 mm) bore
22 in (559 mm) stroke
Valve gearStephenson
CouplersJohnston link-and-pin
Performance figures
Tractive effort11,365 lbf (50.55 kN) @ 75%
OperatorsCape Government Railways
South African Railways
ClassCGR 3rd Class, SAR Class 03
Number in class24
First run1889

The Cape Government Railways 3rd Class 4-4-0 of 1889 was a South African steam locomotive from the pre-Union era in the Cape of Good Hope.

In 1889, the Cape Government Railways placed 24 3rd Class tender locomotives with a 4-4-0 American type wheel arrangement in service. They were intended for passenger service on the Cape Western System.[1]

Beyond Kimberley[edit]

In addition to increasing traffic on the Western System during 1887, the planned extension of the mainline northwards from Kimberley to Vryburg would also require an increase in the locomotive fleet. Michael Stephens, who had succeeded Hawthorne Thornton in 1885 as the Locomotive Superintendent of the Western System of the Cape Government Railways (CGR), therefore drew up detailed designs for a new 3rd Class passenger locomotive for the Western System. The drawings were prepared in the Salt River drawing office in Cape Town.[1][2]


Michael Stephens

An order for 24 of these locomotives was placed with Dübs and Company in Glasgow. The locomotives were built in two batches of twelve and were delivered early in 1889, numbered in the range from 93 to 116.[1][2][3]

With a boiler pressure of 150 pounds per square inch (1,034 kilopascals), these were the first South African engines to use Ramsbottom safety valves instead of the older Salter spring balance valves. The overall design resulted in an attractive locomotive which reflected credit on the designer and the drawing office.[1][2]


Cape Government Railways[edit]

The locomotives were, at the time, modern and up to date with latest practices and were possibly the most efficient engines in the country. As was usual practice with passenger locomotives on the CGR, they were painted green and had polished brass domes. They were placed in service on the easier sections of the Western System and were used on all types of traffic. On the section between Beaufort West and Kimberley, they worked passenger trains successfully in spite of the poor quality coal from the colliery at Viljoensdrif, thanks to their more liberally-proportioned boilers.[1][2]

During the Second Boer War from 1899 to 1902, at least one of these locomotives, no. 108, had armour plating fitted to protect the engine and crew from Boer small-arms fire. Two of the photographs show no. 108 in armour plating.

By 1904, six of the locomotives were transferred to the Midland System and renumbered in the range from 405 to 410. Here they were employed on the line between Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage.[1][2]

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. Although 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][5]

All 24 locomotives survived to be taken onto the SAR roster in 1912. Since they were considered obsolete by then, they were designated Class 03 and renumbered by having the numeral "0" prefixed to their existing numbers. In SAR service, they continued to work on the Uitenhage line on the Midland System and on shunting and light duties on the Western System. Some of them survived until 1923.[2][3][5]

Works numbers[edit]

The works numbers, original numbers and renumbering of the Cape 3rd Class of 1889 are listed in the table.[1][5]


The main picture shows no. 114 near Bulawayo in Southern Rhodesia, c. 1900, working on the line from the Cape of Good Hope through the Bechuanaland Protectorate.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Holland, D.F. (1971). Steam Locomotives of the South African Railways. 1: 1859–1910 (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, Devon: David & Charles. pp. 37–39. ISBN 978-0-7153-5382-0.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Espitalier, T.J.; Day, W.A.J. (1943). The Locomotive in South Africa - A Brief History of Railway Development. Chapter II - The Cape Government Railways (Continued). South African Railways and Harbours Magazine, December 1943. pp. 883-886.
  3. ^ a b Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. p. 17. ISBN 0869772112.
  4. ^ The South African Railways - Historical Survey. Editor George Hart, Publisher Bill Hart, Sponsored by Dorbyl Ltd., Published c. 1978, p. 25.
  5. ^ a b c Classification of S.A.R. Engines with Renumbering Lists, issued by the Chief Mechanical Engineer's Office, Pretoria, January 1912, p. 25. (Reprinted in April 1987 by SATS Museum, R.3125-6/9/11-1000)