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Highland Railway River class
Caledonian class 938
Great Britain | 1915 | 6 produced
Locomotive Magazine, February 1917

The River class was Smith's only design for the Highland Railway. They were the most powerful locomotives of this company, but exceeded the axle loads permitted there. Although Smith had designed the locomotives to induce as little hammer blow as possible on the rails, they were not allowed to be used and Smith was forced to resign.

However, they managed to sell all six locos to the Caledonian, where the rails were stronger. After minor changes to the loading gauge, they were successfully used in front of express goods trains and were subjected to a great deal of stress. After the takeover by the LMS, the calculation of the hammer blow was better understood and it was concluded that these locomotives could certainly run on the routes of the former Highland Railway. This in fact took place before the locomotives were retired between 1936 and 1946.

ManufacturerHawthorn, Leslie & Co.
Axle config4-6-0 (Ten-wheeler) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length55 t 5 in
Service weight162,000 lbs
Adhesive weight116,816 lbs
Axle load39,760 lbs
Water capacity4,804 us gal
Fuel capacity15,680 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power1,100 hp (820 kW)
Optimal speed30 mph
Starting effort23,324 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter72 in
Boiler pressure160 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 21 x 28 in
Grate area25.3 sq ft
Firebox area139.6 sq ft
Tube heating area1,460 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,599.6 sq ft
Superheater area448 sq ft
Total heating area2,047.6 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
Fredrick George Smith
last changed: 04/2023

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