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South African Class NG2 0-4-2ST

The South African Railways Class NG2 0-4-2ST of 1897 was a narrow-gauge steam locomotive from the pre-Union era in Transvaal. Between 1897 and 1901, Arthur Koppel, acting as agent, imported a number of Dickson-built 0-4-2 narrow-gauge saddle-tank steam locomotives for mines on the Witwatersrand. In 1915, when an urgent need arose for additional locomotives in German South West Africa during the First World War, two of the 0-4-2ST locomotives were purchased second-hand by the South African Railways, for use in that territory, they were classified as Class NG2. Between 1897 and 1901, several narrow-gauge 0-4-2 saddle-tank steam locomotives, built by Dickson Manufacturing Company of Scranton in Pennsylvania shortly before it merged with seven other manufacturing firms to form the American Locomotive Company in 1901, were delivered to various gold mines on the Witwatersrand by Arthur Koppel, acting as importing agent; the engines had bar frames, with the cylinders arranged outside the frames and actuated by Stephenson valve gear.

Their saddle-tanks had a 200 imperial gallons water capacity. Their operating boiler pressure was set at 130 pounds per square inch and they had a 1,950 pounds-force tractive effort at 75% of boiler pressure. In 1915, shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, the German South West Africa colony was occupied by the Union Defence Forces. Since a large part of the territory's railway infrastructure was destroyed or damaged by retreating German forces, an urgent need arose for locomotives for use on the narrow-gauge lines in that territory; the South African Railways therefore bought two of these Dickson-built 0-4-2ST locomotives second-hand, numbered them NG93 and NG94 and placed them in service in South West Africa. The identity of these locomotives is difficult to prove, but the SAR diagram book for the Class NG2 gives dimensions which limit the possibilities to only three of the known Koppel imports. Two of these, Dickson works numbers 978 of 1897 and 1019 of 1898, had been delivered to the Lancaster Gold Mine in Roodepoort.

That mine closed in June 1913 and the company was wound up in early 1915. It therefore seems a good probability that it were these two locomotives which the SAR bought for service in SWA. A third locomotive with the same dimensions, for which no ownership history is known, was Dickson works no. 1102 of 1899. It is possible, but unproven, that this locomotive went to Lancaster Gold Mine, since it was of identical dimensions to the other two. Although they were classified as two foot narrow-gauge locomotives along with the rest of the South African narrow-gauge locomotive fleet, they were constructed to a 600 millimetre gauge; the actual two-feet narrow-gauge rail spacing depended on whether or not the track was laid by a metricised country. German-built narrow-gauge lines in German South West Africa were therefore 600 mm gauge, while those in South Africa, built to Imperial standards, were 2 ft gauge. In practice, the two gauges are still being treated as one and the same by, for example, the British Military.

The same applied as part of the British Commonwealth at the time. The 3⁄8 inch difference was considered as insignificant and narrow-gauge locomotives migrated between the lines laid to German standards in SWA and those laid to Imperial standards in South Africa; the two locomotives remained in SWA after the war. In 1920, they were both reboilered by the SAR using boilers supplied by Henschel and Son, in the process they lost their saddle tanks. Since this modification converted them to tankless tank locomotives, they were equipped with timber-bodied two-axle tenders to carry their water and additional coal. A system of grouping narrow-gauge locomotives into classes was only introduced on the SAR somewhere between 1928 and 1930. At that point, the two locomotives were designated Class NG2; the Class NG2 locomotives spent their last working years on the SAR working at the Usakos workshops in SWA, until they were withdrawn from service in 1936. Engine no. NG93 was sold to the Zebediela citrus estates in northern Transvaal in 1937, where it was withdrawn from service by 1943.

Engine no. NG94 was sold to Igusi Timbers in Rhodesia and remained in service there until c. 1961

Electoral district of Altona

The electoral district of Altona is one of the electoral districts of Victoria, for the Victorian Legislative Assembly. It covers an area of 79 square kilometres in western Melbourne, includes the suburbs of Altona, Altona Meadows, Point Cook and Seaholme, it includes the RAAF Williams airbase and the Point Cook Coastal Park. It lies within the Western Metropolitan Region of the Legislative Council; the Altona seat was created in an electoral redistribution for the 1992 election, has been a safe seat for the Labor Party throughout its history. It was won in 1992 by Carole Marple, associated with the party's Pledge Left faction, a hard-left splinter from the Socialist Left. In 1993, a broad "peace deal" was struck between the Socialist Left and the right-wing Labor Unity faction, which saw both factions agree to deliver the Altona preselection for the 1996 election to Socialist Left candidate Lynne Kosky instead of Marple; as a result, Kosky defeated Marple for Labor preselection, succeeded her as member for Altona at the 1996 election, while Marple instead contested and lost the marginal Legislative Council seat of Geelong Province.

Kosky served as a minister throughout the 1999–2010 Labor government under Steve Bracks and John Brumby, holding the positions of Minister for Post Compulsory Education and Employment, Minister for Finance, Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Public Transport and Minister for the Arts. Kosky resigned mid-term on 18 January 2010; this necessitated a February by-election, won by former Labor state president Jill Hennessy. Hennessy was re-elected at 2014 election. Following the Labor victory at the 2014 election, she was appointed Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services in the Andrews Ministry. Electorate profile: Altona District, Victorian Electoral Commission