Queensland Government Rlys 4-8-0 Locomotives in Australia


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class C16 / NMB (Locobase 3322)

Data from C16 diagram archived on the Downsteam touris railway and Museum website at [], last accessed 13 June 2021; and D [Dennis] Rock Carling,, 4-8-0 Tender Locomotives (New York: Drake Publishers, Inc, 1972), pp. 85-86 and serial 242 on table XIV [14], pp.108-109. and [] . See also "Queensland C16 class locomotive" in Wikipedia at [], last accessed 13 June 2021. Manufactured beginning in 1903 by Ipswich shops (51), Walkers of Maryborough (45); Evans, Anderson, & Phelan of Brisbane (41); and the Toowoomba Foundry of Toowoomba (15).

GB Nutt, CME of the QR, designed these Twelve-wheelers, the first on the QR, to burn the semi-bituminous (relatively low calorie) coal available in the region. Intended for hauling livestock trains, the design's flexibility encouraged more and more additions to the stud to head up a wide variety of freight and some passenger trains.

Eleven were leased for a short time by Commonwealth Railways as class NMB for operation on their Central Australian line in the mid-1940s. QR's need for their tractive power led to reclaiming them in 1946.

Carling's data depict the original boiler with fewer tubes (possibly 180 rather than 199) and a total evaporative heating area of 1,002 sq ft (93.09 sq m).

A trial batch of ten locomotives were modified with superheaters in the 1920s. As had been shown in most earlier attempts to combine slide valves with superheaters, the valve and port faces suffered scoring that led to leaks, which ended the program and removal of the superheaters in the ten. Relatively late in the day in 1945, the QR adopted smokeboxes designed by the Association of American Railroads Master Mechanics committee. Simply stated, Wikipedia said "This [modification] greatly improved their performance."

The Downs Street website -- [], accessed 19 September 2006 -- notes that all but ten of these locomotives were still in service in 1950. They were light-footed engines


Class C17 (Locobase 4388)

Data from "C17 class", grig.org website, last accessed 8 February 2018 at [] . See also Tim Wong-See, [] on the ABC news website at [], last accessed 13 June 2021. Builders included Walkers Limited of Maryborough (138); Evans, Anderson, Phelan & Co of Brisbane (28); Armstrong Whitworth (25); Clyde Engineering (20), North Ipswich Railway Workshops (16). Production by one builder or another continued for more than two decades.

Slightly larger Twelve-wheelers than the C16s (Locobase 3322) and superheated to boot. The original boiler was pressed to 160 psi (11.03 bar), but had 50 sq ft (4.65 sq m) more tube heating surface area. This design formed the backbone of Queensland steam railroading,serving well into the 1960s.

See the Unofficial Queensland Railway website for details, where it notes that this numerous class was "the jack-of-all trades steam locomotive and could be found on anything from long-distance passenger trains to coal trains." members.ozemail.com.au/~harburg/steam.htm (no longer active) offers slightly different data, which Locobase has used. It adds that construction of this "most versatile locomotive" extended from 1920 to 1953.

The last 40 were nicknamed the "Brown Bombers". According to the Southern Downs Steam Railway site, these engines had Timken roller bearings on their axles. []

As part of an account of the 967's return to tourist service in 2019, Wong-See quoted driver Kevin "Snoopy" Baron's impression of the engine: "I love the absolute power of these engines à when you get the beat right and you've got a good load on - seven or eight coaches - and you can actually feel the power of the engine à you'll know how well the engine is going,"

Retirements began in 1954, but some served into the late 1960s.


Class C18 - Lady MacGregor (Locobase 20171)

Data from "Eight-coupled Passenger Engine, Queensland Government Railways", Engineer, Volume 118 (28 August 1914), p. 216; and "C18 later CC19 Class" on the Queensland Railway's Interest Group's website at [], last accessed 8 April 2017.

Locobase 3322 shows some of the first Twelve-wheelers to operate on the Queensland. They were built by several foreign manufacturers, but by 1914, the QSR's chief mechanical engineer Charles F Pemberton designed three considerably larger 4-8-0s and built them in his shops from imported raw materials such as steel plates. The shops transformed the materials into steaming locomotives in six weeks.

To determine the true value of superheating and the best variant to use, Pemberton built one engine with a Robinson (694) superheater installed, shown in this entry, the 692 with a saturated boiler (Locobase 20169), and 693 using a Schmidt superheater (Locobase 20170). All three used 8" (203 mm) piston valves to supply cylinders with steam.

692 received its Robinson superheater in 1916. Both engines received new boilers in 1927 that moved the safety valves from their own stand to a smaller steam dome. When the pair was retrofitted with 19" cylinders, they were redesignated CC19.


Class C18 - Schmidt (Locobase 20170)

Data from "Eight-coupled Passenger Engine, Queensland Government Railways", Engineer, Volume 118 (28 August 1914), p. 216; and "C18 later CC19 Class" on the Queensland Railway's Interest Group's website at [], last accessed 8 April 2017.

Locobase 3322 shows some of the first Twelve-wheelers to operate on the Queensland. They were built by several foreign manufacturers, but by 1914, the QSR's chief mechanical engineer Charles F Pemberton designed three considerably larger 4-8-0s and built them in his shops from imported raw materials such as steel plates. The shops transformed the materials into steaming locomotives in six weeks.

To determine the true value of superheating and the best variant to use, Pemberton built one engine with a saturated boiler (Locobase 20169) and two others, one with a Schmidt (693)--shown here-- and 694, which had the Robinson (694) superheater installed (Locobase 20171) All three used 8" (203 mm) piston valves to supply cylinders with steam.

Apparently the 693 retained its Schmidt superheater throughout its operating career. A new boiler in 1927 that moved the safety valves from their own stand to a smaller steam dome. When they were retrofitted with 19" cylinders, they were redesignated CC19.


Class C18 - saturated (Locobase 20169)

Data from "Eight-coupled Passenger Engine, Queensland Government Railways", Engineer, Volume 118 (28 August 1914), p. 216; and "C18 later CC19 Class" on the Queensland Railway's Interest Group's website at [], last accessed 8 April 2017.

Locobase 3322 shows some of the first Twelve-wheelers to operate on the Queensland. They were built by several foreign manufacturers, but by 1914, the QSR's chief mechanical engineer Charles F Pemberton designed three considerably larger 4-8-0s and built them in his shops from imported raw materials such as steel plates. The shops transformed the materials into steaming locomotives in six weeks.

To determine the true value of superheating and the best variant to use, Pemberton built one engine with a saturated boiler--shown here--and two others, one with a Schmidt (693)-Locobase 20170-- and the other a Robinson (694) superheater installed (Locobase 20171). All three used 8" (203 mm) piston valves to supply cylinders with steam.

His design faced a Brisbane-Sidney route that included the Toowoomba range of mountains that, as Engineer described it, featured a 19-mile (30.6 km) length rising over 1,000 feet (305 m) in which "the route abounds in gradients of 1 in 50 [2%] and curves of 5 chains radius." Over these grades the engine was expected to pull 230 tons of mail and passenger stock at 20 mph (32 kph). qrig notes that the three at first confined themselves to the Brisbane-Toowoomba section, but soon expanded "to Wallangarra in April 1915, Bundaberg on North Coast Line by 1918 and Roma in 1928."

692 received its Robinson superheater in 1916.


Class C19 (Locobase 4389)

Data from D [Dennis] Rock Carling,, 4-8-0 Tender Locomotives (New York: Drake Publishers, Inc, 1972), pp. 84-85 and serial 241 on table XIV [14], pp.108-109.

See also "New 4-8-0 Freight Locomotives, Queensland Government Railways", Locomotive Magazine, Volume XXX [30] (15 January 1924), p. 3; [] for details. Also [] (last accessed 7 May 2008); and "Queensland C19 class locomotive" in Wikipedia at [], last accessed 13 June 2021. Ipswich shops produced 20 between 1922 and 1928. Walker added six in 1934.

Photographs show an upright, plainly arranged design by Chief Mechanical Engineer C E Pemberton and assistants J H Rees and RJ Chalmers.

Mike Quirk of the qrig says that these were the heaviest locomotives (other than Garratts) to operate on the QR. Although prone to cracked frames, they were sturdy haulers on the mail trains and later on Brisbane-Toowoomba freight service. A large steam dome and a small safety-valve stand were later combined in a single housing in new, smaller boilers.

Wikipedia notes another disadvantage: "Both the initial and the subsequent boilers shared a firebox having a long, narrow grate which required considerable effort on the part of the fireman, and rendered them unpopular."

The Walker engines of 1934 were essentially identical, the chief differences being a reduction in tubes and flues and, consequently, lower evaporative heating surface area of 866.85 sq ft (80.53 sq m) and 192 sq ft (17.84 sq m) of supeheater area.

The first to retire went in 1955 with the last leaving service in 1962.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

ClassC16 / NMBC17C18 - Lady MacGregorC18 - SchmidtC18 - saturated
Locobase ID3322 4388 20171 20170 20169
RailroadQueensland Government RlysQueensland Government RlysQueensland Government RlysQueensland Government RlysQueensland Government Rlys
CountryAustraliaAustraliaAustraliaAustraliaAustralia
Whyte4-8-04-8-04-8-04-8-04-8-0
Number in Class152227211
Road Numbers692, 694693692
Gauge3'6"3'6"3'6"3'6"3'6"
Number Built152227111
BuilderseveralseveralIpswichIpswichIpswich
Year19031920191419141914
Valve GearWalschaertWalschaertWalschaertWalschaertWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)12.50 / 3.8112.50 / 3.8112.50 / 3.8112.50 / 3.8112.50 / 3.81
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)21.50 / 6.5522.08 / 6.7322.08 / 6.7322.08 / 6.73
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.58 0.57 0.57 0.57
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)45 / 13.7245 / 13.7252.46 / 15.9952.46 / 15.9952.46 / 15.99
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)19,040 / 8636
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)73,920 / 33,53079,865 / 36,22690,496 / 41,04890,496 / 41,04890,496 / 41,048
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)100,800 / 45,722103,040 / 46,738117,936 / 53,495117,936 / 53,495117,936 / 53,495
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)74,928 / 33,98789,600 / 40,64289,600 / 40,64289,600 / 40,642
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)175,728 / 79,709207,536 / 94,137207,536 / 94,137207,536 / 94,137
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)2418 / 9.163663 / 13.884200 / 15.914200 / 15.914200 / 15.91
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)8 / 7.30 9.10 / 8.30 7.70 / 7 7.70 / 7 7.70 / 7
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)31 / 15.5033 / 16.5038 / 1938 / 1938 / 19
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)45 / 114344.90 / 114048 / 121948 / 121948 / 1219
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)175 / 12.10175 / 12.10175 / 12.10175 / 12.10175 / 12.10
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)16" x 22" / 406x55917" x 22" / 432x55918" x 23" / 457x58418" x 23" / 457x58418" x 23" / 457x584
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)18,617 / 8444.5421,064 / 9554.4823,093 / 10474.8223,093 / 10474.8223,093 / 10474.82
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.97 3.79 3.92 3.92 3.92
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)199 - 1.75" / 44242 - 1.75" / 44
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)10.83 / 3.3010.75 / 3.2810.75 / 3.2812.75 / 3.28
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)116 / 10.78116 / 10.78116 / 10.78116 / 10.78116 / 10.78
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)18.50 / 1.7218.50 / 1.7221.37 / 1.9921.37 / 1.9921.37 / 1.99
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1076 / 99.96763 / 70.891012 / 94.021046 / 97.181340 / 124.49
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)177 / 16.44256 / 23.78264 / 24.53
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1076 / 99.96940 / 87.331268 / 117.801310 / 121.711340 / 124.49
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume210.17132.02149.39154.41197.81
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation32383238374037403740
Same as above plus superheater percentage32383853448844883740
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area20,30024,15724,36024,36020,300
Power L142456653805282713968
Power MT506.42734.61784.64805.98386.67

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

ClassC19
Locobase ID4389
RailroadQueensland Government Rlys
CountryAustralia
Whyte4-8-0
Number in Class26
Road Numbers
Gauge3'6"
Number Built26
Builderseveral
Year1922
Valve GearWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)12.50 / 3.81
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)22 / 6.71
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.57
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)48.37 / 14.74
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)93,408 / 42,369
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)120,960 / 54,867
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)74,928 / 33,987
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)195,888 / 88,854
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)2418 / 9.16
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)8 / 7.30
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)39 / 19.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)48 / 1219
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)160 / 11
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)19" x 23" / 483x584
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)23,525 / 10670.77
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.97
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)122 - 1.75" / 44
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)21 - 5" / 127
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)10.75 / 3.28
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)147.25 / 13.68
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)21.37 / 1.99
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1043 / 96.90
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)225 / 20.90
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1268 / 117.80
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume138.19
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation3419
Same as above plus superheater percentage4035
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area27,801
Power L16452
Power MT609.12

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