WAGR C-class No.1
C 1 "Katie" displayed at the entrance to the Bassendean Railway Museum on 9 May 2002.
The tender carries high-sided "hungry boards" to
contain stacks of timber fuel.
historic locomotive dates back to the construction of the first section of
the Eastern Railway from Fremantle to Guildford. It was one of two 0-6-0ST locomotives
ordered from Robert Stephenson & Co which entered service with the
Western Australia Government Railways (WAGR) in 1881. An unusual
feature of this locomotive is the distinctive "Ogee" flat-topped
saddle tank. Numbered C 1 & C 2, these two locomotives have an
interesting pedigree, being copies of the 88 F-class 0-6-0ST engines supplied
to the New Zealand Railways between 1872 and 1888. Another five copies
of this design were built during this period for other operators; three with
a slightly larger cylinder diameter for the Rio Tinto Railway in Spain, and
the two WAGR engines.
service it was quickly found that the two C-class 0-6-0ST engines carried
insufficient fuel and water for the required range, and accordingly were
modified to 0-6-0ST + T arrangement in 1887 via addition of small 4-wheel
tenders. The WAGR seems to have been quick to offload them as both were
sold into the WA timber industry around the turn of the century.
engine C 1 carries Robert Stephenson & Co builder's number 2391 of 1880
and entered WAGR service in March 1881. It was sold to a timber concern
in 1899 and remained in operation until 1940 under the final ownership of Millars, where it was known as No.1 with an unofficial
name of "Kitty". No.1 / Kitty remained in storage until 1959
when Millars made it available to the WAGR for
historical purposes. No.1 / Kitty was statically restored by the WAGR
at Midland Workshops in 1959, at which stage it received the name
"Katie". It was subsequently plinthed at the Claremont
Showground in Perth.
later moved to the Australian Railway Historical Society (WA Division)
Railway Museum at Bassendean. This fine museum is now known as The
Railway Museum, Bassendean where Katie / C 1 is displayed at the museum
entrance, representing the early days of the Western Australian Government
aside - it is fortunately that the WAGR put aside a small number of historic locomotives
in the mid 1955's for official preservation, but alas a number of significant
WAGR steam locomotive types subsequently became extinct, such as the early
Pacific engines of C / Ca and L-classes, K-class 2-8-4T and M-series early
Beyer-Garratts. This mirrors railway preservation around the
world where some very early / pioneer locomotives were retained, together
with modern machines saved by enthusiasts at the end of the steam traction
era, whereas notable designs from the middle period were overlooked and are
now relatively rare in preservation.)
interest, here is a link to the Wikipedia entry for Katie's trans-Tasman
cousins, the New Zealand Railways F class: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NZR_F_class.
My thanks to Alastair
Cross for contributing these two views of New Zealand Railways F13 “Peveril”
at the Ferrymead Railway, Christchurch,
New Zealand on 6 April 2015.
The similarity between the New Zealand and Western
Australian locomotives is immediately apparent.
A second view of F13 “Peveril”
at Ferrymead on 6 April 2015, courtesy of Alastair Cross.
Alastair writes: “F 13
was one of the two prototype locomotives built by Neilson & Co of Glasgow
in 1872 for NZR to assess.
F 13 is maker's no 1692
of 1872, and remained in traffic until 1963 when it was retired.
It was gifted to the
Canterbury Branch of the New Zealand Railway & Locomotive Society (later
the Canterbury Railway Society)
in 1964 and has lived at Ferrymead ever
Gray. W. K., 'Guide to Rail Transport
Museum, Bassendean, Western Australia',
by the Australian Railway Historical Society W. A. Division, First Edition
Gunzburg 'A history of WAGR steam locomotives',
published by ARHS (Western
Australia Division), 1984.
provided by Alastair Cross via emails dated 28 May 2014 & 3 June 2015.
observation or comment
Page updated: 11 June 2015
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