Victorian Government Rlys 2-6-2 Locomotives in Australia

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class NA (Locobase 1000)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines, as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University, Volume 21, p. 190. Works number was 15936 in May 1898. See also [] (consulted Sept 2001).

Little tank engine (works number 15936) on the narrowest gauge that served as simple-expansion prototype for the 13 Newport-built tanks of 1900-1916 (a second engine was built from parts supplied by BLW). Photos show a low-drivered side tank with a balanced profile of one tall steam dome between two shorter sand domes, a slender stack, and a large enclosed cab.

According to [] (consulted Sept 2001), the two prototypes (see the compound version at Locobase 4895) served the Wangaratta-Whitfield line.

Scrapped in March 1929.

Class NA (Locobase 2396)

Data from at [], last accessed 19 July 2020 (First supplied by Peter Cokley in Bryan Attewell ([] ([] Steam locomotive simulator (April 2000 edition). See also "NA Class 2-6-2T, Puffing Billy Railway, Victoria, Australia" on Martin Banes's Modern Steam website at [] and "6A and the Lempor"

[] , last acccessed 15 May 2021; and "Looking Inside 6A" from the Puffing Billy Railway website at []; and [], last accessed 21 May 2021.

13 Newport-built tanks of 1900-1916 built as the production variant of the simple-expansion prototype supplied by Baldwin earlier (see Locobase 1000). The first two were made of spare parts and entered service in 1900 on the Upper Ferntree Gully-Gembrook line, according to [] in Sept 2001. Newport supplied the rest as follows: 2 in 1901, 1 in 1905, 1 in 1908, 1 in 1910, 2 in 1911, 1 in 1912, 2 in 1914, 2 in 1915, 1 in 1916.

Used on Victorian Rwys branch lines (such as the 26-mile Me Hilhalla (apparently aka Walhalla) Railway, Beech Forest Line, and the 44-mile Colac Crows Railway) laid with 60-lb (30 kg/metre) rail and climbing gradients of 1 in 30 (3.33%) and very tight curvatures.

A hint of the operating style of a 2 1/2' gauge railway comes when you link the maximum permissible speed -- 20 mph (32 kph) --with the purpose description -- mixed traffic. Even so, they ran for decades and of the 17, six - 3A, 6A, 7A, 8A, 12A, 14A -- wound up on the Puffing Billy Railway. In 2005 Martyn Banes reported that Nigel Day had reworked the 6A's exhaust. He reproduced the original report from No. 164 the Journal of the Puffing Billy Preservation Society - Narrow Gauge - in March 2002.

This account began: "FOR more than a hundred years, the distinctive exhaust note of the NA class locomotives has echoed around Victoria's narrow gauge lines. The harder the locomotives were worked, the louder was the noise that became synonymous with the Puffing Billy engines.

"Unfortunately the sharp exhaust 'bark' much beloved by enthusiasts and the public alike was (and still is) an indication of inefficiency, because it indicates high cylinder back pressure which not only wastes energy but also creates a strong vacuum which, amongst other things can cause quantities of unburnt fuel to be carried over into the smokebox."

None of these were uncommon problems and they were addressed by installing a Lempor exhaust system. Then Manager Don Marshall described the Lempor as " a system of nozzles designed to efficiently use the exhaust steam from the cylinders, at a relatively lower pressure than that used on the other NAs, to create a strong vacuum in the smoke box, which in turn promotes vigorous combustion in the fire box, thereby greatly aiding the production of steam"

Reducing cylinder back pressure conferred "the added benefit of allowing the engines to run more freely when steaming hard."

Marshall's account said the new installation " boils water at a remarkable rate and which keeps on doing just that provided coal is fed to the fire box at the correct rate.

"Not-withstanding the fact that the locomotive has new piston rings and valves, the water consumption is less than the other locomotives and it is anticipated that the coal consumption will drop even further as crews get used to the different handling techniques." Marshall's detailed description of the assembly, a "steam pump" consisting of--

"1. The blast pipe or Tuyere made up of four nozzles which have convergent/divergent sections;

2. The mixing chamber;

3. The diffuser;

4. The Kordina which is so designed that each 'puff' of exhaust steam creates a vacuum in the other cylinder." --is worth studying.

Banes's assessment reported that the exhaust had "a totally different note and is quieter." It generated more power at the rail, slipped easily if not properly driven. However "the crew were generally very happy with the loco. The fireman especially so as it has turned a good steaming loco in to an excellent one."

The only downside seemed to be the very strong draught would rip the fire off the grate if the firehole door was shut - it has to be left open at all times, even if only on the first notch." That seems to Locobase to be a significant liability if it happened often.

Banes added "This did lead to an interesting sound not unlike that made by an oil burner - something of a roar. Under certain circumstances, especially slipping, it produced a pulsing sound as if excess oil suddenly ignites."

In 2017, the PBR shops switched the Lempor on 6A with the original exhaust assembly on the 14A (both had recently received new cylinders). PBR's blogpost added "6A, our oldest operating NA, now sounds like it used to, much to the delight of many, and all the `Modern Steam´ improvements are now concentrated on one locomotive."

Working with locomotive expert Roger Waller of Switzerland's DLM, the 14A also received a new oil-burning system in large part reacting to the fire danger of cinders being thrown from a coal fire (See Locobase , .

Features of the oil-firing system include:

The fuel will be light oil, namely diesel.

The oil will be held in a storage tank fitted within the bunker of the locomotive.

Gravity will feed oil to the burner pan, which will replace the ashpan of the locomotive.

The burner pan consists of 5 cylindrical burners (1 pilot burner and 4 load burners).

The oil will be atomised into a fine mist using steam superheated by elements mounted in the firebox.

There will be valves to control the flow of oil and atomising steam.

The locomotive brick arch will be replaced with a stainless-steel arch.

After tests and tweaks (a larger pilot burner, e.g.), the 2018 blogpost on early days with the 14A reported: "When it is operating, combustion is oh so clean! Whether there is one burner or 5 operating; whether the locomotive is raising steam or hauling 17 cars; if the burner is set right, there is no dark smoke whatsoever, just a heat haze from the stack.

Class NA (Locobase 4895)

See DeGolyer, Volume 21, pp. 190-191. See also about the locomotives and the narrow-gauge Wangaratta to Whitfield branch they travelled over. Works number was 15937 in January 1901.

Purchased at the same time as its simple-expansion mate (Locobase 1000), 2A was a Vauclain compound. Unlike its competitor, the Vauclain compound had piston valves, each 7" (178 mm) valve serving a set of one LP and one HP cylinder.

It proved not to be the prototype for later VR construction, although a second one (16A) was assembled out of parts supplied by BLW. 2A soldiered on until scrapped in March 1929.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID1000 2396 4895
RailroadVictorian Government RlysVictorian Government RlysVictorian Government Rlys
Number in Class1151
Road Numbers1A3A-17A2A, 16A
Number Built1151
BuilderBurnham, Williams & CoseveralBurnham, Williams & Co
Valve GearStephensonStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)8 / 2.448 / 2.448 / 2.44
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)21.83 / 6.6521.83 / 6.6521.83 / 6.65
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.37 0.37 0.37
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)21.83 / 6.6521.83 / 6.6521.83 / 6.65
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)21,224 / 962721,224 / 962720,832 / 9449
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)57,456 / 26,06257,204 / 25,94758,128 / 26,366
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)76,944 / 34,90176,748 / 34,81278,176 / 35,460
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)76,944 / 34,90176,748 / 34,81278,176 / 35,460
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)936 / 3.55900 / 3.41720 / 2.73
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT) 1.70 / 2 1.65 / 2
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)32 / 1632 / 1632 / 16
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)36 / 91436 / 91436 / 914
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)162.40 / 11.20180 / 12.40180 / 12.40
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)13" x 18" / 330x45713" x 18" / 330x4579" x 18" / 229x457
Low Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)15" x 18" / 381x457
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)11,664 / 5290.7112,929 / 5864.509113 / 4133.59
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.93 4.42 6.38
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)76 - 2" / 5176 - 2" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)12.17 / 3.718 / 2.4412.17 / 3.71
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)44 / 4.0947 / 4.3744 / 4.09
Grate Area (sq ft / m2) 9.03 / 0.84 9.05 / 0.84 9.03 / 0.84
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)524 / 48.70524 / 48.68524 / 48.68
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)524 / 48.70524 / 48.68524 / 48.68
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume189.49189.49395.36
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation146616291625
Same as above plus superheater percentage146616291625
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area714684607920
Power L1262229642183
Power MT301.82342.69248.38

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