British War Mission/Palestine Railway 4-6-0 Locomotives in Palestine

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class H (Locobase 14594)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University, Volume 57, p. 271. Works numbers were 50201-50202, 50311-50313, 50315-50319, 50347-50358 in October 1918; 50446-50466, 50618-50621, 50634-50636 in November. See also "Palestine Railways H class', Wikipedia at [] . As noted in Locobase 14592, the British War Mission bought locomotives for several colonies and protectorates at the end of World War One. The Ten-wheelers supplied by Baldwin for the Egyptian State Railway earlier in 1918 were satisfactory, so the Mission bought fifty for the Palestine Military Railway. Once the British were given the Palestine Mandate to govern, the PMR was transformed into a civilian line that ran the length of the Mandate, covering 500 km (311 miles) from the Egyptian to the Syrian border.

Modifications to the design were dictated by operational constraints.Wikipedia explains that the Jerusalem-Jaffa line's Jerusalem terminus did not have a turntable or Y to turn the 4-6-0s and running the Hs backwards over the "tight curves and steep gradients" would not do. At first the PR tried Class K 2-8-4ST saddle tanks built by Kitson & Company, but these frequently derailed. So the PR sent six of the class--895, 904-905, 909, 915, 918--to Armstrong Whitworth in 1926 to be converted to 4-6-2T tanks. Reclassed H2, the six were renumbered 7-12. Their tonnage capacity was less than the Ks, but they served.

The PR never liked the steel fireboxes Baldwin used in the Hs. Six of the other 44 Hs went to AW for copper fireboxes, while the remaining engines received Belpaire fireboxes and saw one of the sandbox domes removed. In 1937-1938, Nasmyth Wilson helped the PR convert five Hs--881, 896-897, 910, and 912--to 4-6-4T tanks. The PR redesignated this class as H3 and gave them the next five numbers in the conversion series" 13-17.

The Hs were survivors. Although they were supplanted in the heaviest service, they persevered whereever the PR operated them. During World War Two, the class was converted to oil-firing by 1943. Six were lost in accidents in very dense traffic condtions. After the emergence of the State of Israel, Thirty-three H, six H2, and five H3 were taken into the Israeli Railways. Only the adoption of diesel power in the mid-1950s led to retirements. Once replaced, however, these now aged engines were all scrapped by 1960s.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID14594
RailroadBritish War Mission/Palestine Railway
Number in Class50
Road Numbers871-920
Number Built50
Valve GearWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)13.33 / 4.06
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)24.75 / 7.54
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.54
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)54.35 / 16.57
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)37,250 / 16,896
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)108,600 / 49,260
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)142,600 / 64,682
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)120,000 / 54,431
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)262,600 / 119,113
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)6000 / 22.73
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT) 9.90 / 9
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)60 / 30
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)62 / 1575
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)190 / 13.10
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)19" x 26" / 483x660
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)24,449 / 11089.89
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.44
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)138 - 2" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)22 - 5.375" / 137
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)14 / 4.27
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)141 / 13.10
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)29.20 / 2.71
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1578 / 146.60
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)366 / 34
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1944 / 180.60
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume184.95
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation5548
Same as above plus superheater percentage6602
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area31,880
Power L112,833
Power MT781.54

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