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Victorian Railways class A2
Australia | 1907 | 185 produced
No. 986, which is still operational today, around 1916 on the turntable in what was then the North Melbourne depot
No. 986, which is still operational today, around 1916 on the turntable in what was then the North Melbourne depot
AHRS North Williamstown Railway Museum

With the class A2, the Victorian Railways introduced the first class of steam locomotives from 1907, which they had developed themselves and which were also built in their own workshops. The first series of 125 locomotives had Stephenson valve gear and were powered by saturated steam. Between 1915 and 1922, 60 more followed with Walschaerts valve gear and a larger cylinder diameter. Soon they were built with superheaters and the earlier ones were rebuilt.

They were designed for the main line of the VR, which had many steep gradients and tight curves. Although they were express locomotives, they had the highest starting tractive effort of all VR steam locomotives until 1918. Nevertheless, they were approved for speeds of up to 70 mph or 113 km/h and could also go faster if necessary. This made it possible to shorten travel times to times that have only been bettered in modern times.

The machines were also used in front of freight trains. This primarily happened when the axle boxes were worn in the time before the next maintenance. In the 1930s, with the collaboration of Richard Paul Wagner of the Reichsbahn, a new exhaust system was developed that increased drawbar horsepower by more than 40 percent and was retrofitted not only in this class, but also in many other classes.

Due to the great depression and the Second World War, the construction of newer express locomotives was delayed, so that the A2 was the VR's primary express locomotive for over 40 years. After the introduction of the R class, they were increasingly used on branch lines that had since been upgraded to accommodate higher axle loads. In the 1950s there was an increasing number of withdrawals, and the last one disappeared in 1963.

Variant1907 variant1915 variantrebuilt oil-fired
General
Built1907-19141915-1922from 1946
ManufacturerNewport, Ballarat North, Bendigo
Axle config4-6-0 (Ten-wheeler) 
Gauge5 ft 3 in (Irish broad gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length63 ft 3 3/4 in
Wheelbase26 ft 8 in
Fixed wheelbase13 ft 4 in
Total wheelbase63 ft 7 in
Service weight151,200 lbs163,520 lbs
Adhesive weight120,960 lbs
Total weight259,840 lbs
Axle load40,320 lbs
Water capacity5,644 us gal5,524 us gal5,644 us gal
Fuel capacity11,200 lbs (coal)14,336 lbs (coal)1,801 us gal (oil)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power1,100 hp (820 kW)1,200 hp (895 kW)1,600 hp (1,193 kW)
Optimal speed26 mph28 mph38 mph
Top speed70 mph
Starting effort26,702 lbf27,107 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter73 in
Boiler pressure200 psi185 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 21 x 26 intwo, 22 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area29 sq ft32 sq ft
Firebox area145 sq ft173 sq ft
Tube heating area2,075 sq ft1,702 sq ft
Evaporative heating area2,220 sq ft1,875 sq ft
Superheater area331 sq ft375 sq ft
Total heating area2,551 sq ft2,250 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
express
last changed: 12/2023
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