Western Australia 2-8-4 Locomotives in Australia

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class K (Locobase 9567)

Data from Howell, Comparative Statistics of the Australasian Railways, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, March 1899, pp. 96-97 and Leon Oberg, Locomotives of Australia: 1850s - 2007 (Rosenberg Publishing, 2007), pp. 96-97.

This double-dozen of pocket tanks served the Eastern Goldfields Railway heavy freight traffic. They served the Kalgoorlie and Collie branches well and remained in use for decades. Not to be confused with superpower Berkshires, these engines had long, straight boilers with a single, centered steam dome and short cabs. All of the wheels were small and the two trailing axles rode in a bogie. For some reason, Oberg shows the boiler pressure as delivered set at 120 psi, but Howells' tables, published in 1899, clearly show 160 psi. Grate area decreased later to 15.8 sq ft (1.478 sq m).

An additional six engines of the class were diverted by the British government for use in South Africa during the Boer War; see Locobase 20903.

Beginning in 1915, the 24 WAGR began installing superheaters; a total of five had been made over by 1929. But the superheater's advantages were more than outweighed by its maintenance demands and all five engines regained their saturated boilers.

According to Oberg, the class was, not surprisingly, run into the ground by the demands of traffic induced by World War II and some were scrapped soon afterward. The departures of others of the class were considerably delayed by the need for heavy switchers and extra power for heavy passenger demands (like race day, e.g.). The last K-class engine was withdrawn in 1964.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID9567
RailroadWestern Australia
Number in Class24
Road Numbers
Number Built24
BuilderNeilson & Co
Valve GearStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)11.25 / 3.43
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)28 / 8.53
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.40
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)28 / 8.53
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)18,480 / 8382
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)73,920 / 33,530
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)118,720 / 53,851
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)118,720 / 53,851
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)2400 / 9.09
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT) 2.80 / 2.50
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)31 / 15.50
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)17" x 21" / 432x533
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)21,721 / 9852.49
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.40
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)12 / 3.66
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)93.30 / 8.67
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)16.70 / 1.55
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1013 / 94.11
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1013 / 94.11
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume183.62
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation2672
Same as above plus superheater percentage2672
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area14,928
Power L12718
Power MT324.25

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