Barsi Light Railway 0-8-4 Locomotives in India

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class Hamilton (Locobase 20990)

Data from William Henry Cole, Light Railways At Home and Abroad (London: Charles Griffin & Company, 1899), pp.131-133 and 248-249. Works numbers were 3648-3651 in 1896 and 3779 in 1897.

Edward Calthrop's 30" gauge railway ran from Barsi Road Junction, 234 miles (377 km) away from Bombay (21st c Mumbai) on the Great Indian Peninsula Railway up the already graded Barsi Road to Barsi itself some 21 3/4 miles (35 km) further. It was approved first as a steam tramway in 1892, but upgraded to light railway by 1895.

This quintet of "Consolidation tanks" set the tone for Kitson's response to the specifications Calthrop drew up. Cole commented that Calthrop's desire for "maximum haulage power" combined with the 5-ton uniform axle loading was the "leading motive in the design." On rail weighing a minimum of 30 lb/yard (15 kg/metre), he limited both locomotives and rolling stock to a maximum axle load of 5 long tons. Maximum speed would reach "under ordinary circumstances, 15 miles per hour."

He added, however, that it was "scarcely correct to say that this have saved the weight of rail, as that does not depend only on the maximum on any one (italicized in the original) pair of wheels." Placing all the coupled weight on a short wheelbase meant it soon became "necessary to strengthen or replace the bridges."

Yet it was inarguably true to report that the engine's power exceeded specification. For example, a requirement of 151 tons trailing load to be taken up a 1 in 57 (1.1%) grade was beaten in trials when the locomotive hauled 190 tons. All engine wheels, coupled and trailing, were steam braked.

The first of the batch was named Hamilton. Following engines took Sir R E Webster, Fowler, Fred Firebrace, and Lord Redy.

Locobase 20991 shows the 1905 update order for 12 more locomotives that carried a larger firebox, grate, and boiler on a 4-8-4T arrangement.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID20990
RailroadBarsi Light Railway
Number in Class5
Road Numbers1-5
Number Built5
BuilderKitson & Co
Valve GearWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m) 8.25 / 2.51
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)26.25 / 8
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)11,200 / 5080
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)44,240 / 20,067
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)65,856 / 29,872
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)65,856 / 29,872
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)1105 / 4.19
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT) 2.20 / 2
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)18 / 9
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)30 / 762
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)160 / 11
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)13" x 18" / 330x457
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)13,790 / 6255.05
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.21
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)110 - 1.75" / 44
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m) 9.58 / 2.92
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)44 / 4.09
Grate Area (sq ft / m2) 8.75 / 0.81
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)528 / 49.05
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)528 / 49.05
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume190.94
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation1400
Same as above plus superheater percentage1400
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area7040
Power L12164
Power MT431.36

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