Rhaetia 2-8-0 Locomotives in Switzerland


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class G4/5 (Locobase 4801)

Data from [] and from "A big example from the mountains A brief history of the Rhaetian Railway (2 October 2005)", [], last accessed 31 December 2006.

The first six were delivered as compounds and they are discussed in Locobase 8045. But by 1907, the RhB adopted the Schmidt superheater for its locomotives and the design was converted to simple expansion. The result is shown in the specifications above. Reshaping the basic SLM Consolidation meant increasing the grate area as well as enlarging the boiler. As a point of comparison, the superheated G 4/5 could work the same load (90 tons) up the same grade (a steep 3 1/2%) at a 75% higher speed (32 km/h/20 mph vs 18 km/h/11 mph)

But the handwriting for steam in Switzerland was already on the wall. As the [] website explains, coal was scarce during World War I, so much so that Sunday service was cancelled. Moreover, coal prices tripled. From 1918 to 1922, all lines were gradually electrified. Some G4/5 were held in reserve and the two survivors -- 107 & 108 (SLM works #1709-1710) -- were available to steam again when fan trips became popular decades later.

The others went to two different railways, one in Spain and one in Southeast Asia. 109-111 left the RhB in 1920, having been purchased by the Hulleras de Sabero. In 1923, that company was taken into the Ferrocarriles de Robla. All three were retired in 1970.

112-129 were sold to the Royal Thai State Railway in 1926, which renumbered them from 331-348.


Class G4/5 (Locobase 8045)

Data from Info Retica /2001, pp 29-31 and [] and from "A big example from the mountains A brief history of the Rhaetian Railway (2 October 2005) [], last accessed 31 December 2006.

The Rhaetian hills between Landquart and Davos called for more powerful locomotives than the Moguls already in service on this Schmalspurbahn. So the RhB acquired this impressive stud of Consolidations between 1904 and 1915.

The first six were delivered as compounds and they shown here. The SLM works # show that three were completed in a batch as 1582-1584. 104 bore works 1587. They were rated at 90 tons up a 3 1/2% grade at 18 km/h (11 mph). When the Rhaetian electrified, says the "big example" article, these locomotives were sold all over the world. Of the first four, 101 & 103 went to Brazil, where they served under three different railroad heralds (but the same track) in to the 1960s.

102 & 104-106 went to the FC La Robla railway in Spain, retiring only in 1970.

Locobase 4801 discusses the 23 that were built beginning in 1907 to a revised, simple-expansion, superheated design.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

ClassG4/5G4/5
Locobase ID4801 8045
RailroadRhaetiaRhaetia
CountrySwitzerlandSwitzerland
Whyte2-8-02-8-0
Number in Class236
Road Numbers107-129101-106
GaugeMetreMetre
Number Built236
BuilderSLMSLM
Year19061904
Valve GearWalschaertWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)20.01 / 6.10
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)37.14 / 11.32
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)91,712 / 41,60090,169 / 40,900
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)104,058 / 47,200129,852 / 58,900
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)44,974 / 20,400
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)149,032 / 67,600
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)2600 / 9.851320 / 5
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT) 2.80 / 3 2.20 / 2
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)38 / 1938 / 19
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)41.30 / 105041.30 / 1050
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)174 / 12188.50 / 13
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)17.32" x 22.83" / 440x58017.32" x 22.83" / 440x580 (1)
Low Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)25.98" x 22.83" / 660x580 (1)
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)24,526 / 11124.8218,394 / 8343.39
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.74 4.90
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)13.12 / 413.12 / 4
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)90.38 / 8.40
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)22.60 / 2.1020.44 / 1.90
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1135 / 105.501265 / 117.60
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)296 / 27.50
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1431 / 1331265 / 117.60
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume182.31406.39
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation39323853
Same as above plus superheater percentage47583853
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area19,029
Power L18178
Power MT786.35

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