Buenos Ayres Great Southern 0-4-0 Locomotives in Argentina

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 3C (Locobase 21001)

Data from "Buenos Ayres Great Southern Type 0.4.0 Tank Engine" Locomotives Constructed by Kitson & Co, Limited (n.d.), and D[ouglas] S[tuart] Purdom, British Team on the Pampas (London and New York: Mechanical Engineering Publications, Ltd:, 1977), pp.. 36-37. Kitson works numbers were 4084-4088 in 1902, Robert Stephenson & Co works numbers were 3181-3186 in 1906.

As Locobase entered the data for Kitson's well tank design he concluded that this seemed a well-endowed four-wheel shunter. Comparisons with other standard or broad-gauge 0-4-0 tanks confirm that this little engine punched above its weight. D S Purdom observed that with those dimensions, "they could literally go into every hole and corner on the [BAGS] system."

His point nicely illustrates the ubiquity of steam locomotives during their land-transporation heyday. Any desired size, power, or duty called for and received a response from engineers and builders.

Purdom underscored this class's value: "Apart from operating on a number of the most precarious and lightly laid sidings throughout the line, [the class] could be found ...moving 'dead' engines on and off the turntables and similar jobs."

The engines used an outside valve gear patented by Kitson, which placed part of its linkage above the running board. Given that water tank lay under boiler, Purdom described the faux tanks as protection for the valve train. (Locobase examined Kitson's photograph and considered that the protection went both ways--of the gear and of any nearby human.)

All ten endured well into the 1940s. Eight of the retirement dates are unknown, but 2040 and 2031 were sold in 1943 to Argentina's Ministry of War and to a large brewery for siding clearance. Both remained active in the mid-1970s.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID21001
RailroadBuenos Ayres Great Southern
Number in Class10
Road Numbers196-205/2031-2040
Number Built10
Valve GearKitson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m) 6.33 / 1.93
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m) 6.33 / 1.93
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase1
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m) 6.33 / 1.93
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)57,568 / 26,112
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)57,568 / 26,112
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)57,568 / 26,112
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)540 / 2.05
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT) 1.10 / 1
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)48 / 24
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)38 / 965
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)160 / 11
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)14" x 21" / 356x533
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)14,731 / 6681.88
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.91
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)43.30 / 4.02
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)9 / 0.84
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)475 / 44.13
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)475 / 44.13
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume126.95
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation1440
Same as above plus superheater percentage1440
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area6928
Power L11873
Power MT143.46

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