NZR WAB class

NZR WAB class
WAB 794 on its first excursion after restoration, with the Capital Connection rolling stock. Photo by Joseph Christianson
Power type Steam
Builder NZR Addington Workshops, Christchurch (1+1)
NZR Hillside Workshops, Dunedin (12+8)
A & G Price Limited, Thames (3+5)
Build date 1939
Configuration 4-6-4T
Gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge
Wheel diameter 54 in (1.37 m)
Wheelbase 33 ft 1 in (10.1 m)
Length 44 ft 5 in (13.5 m)
Weight on drivers 42.0 long tons (42.7 t)
Locomotive weight 71.5 long tons (72.6 t)
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 3.0 long tons (3.0 t)
Water capacity 1,700 imp gal (7,700 L)
Boiler pressure 200 psi (1,400 kPa)
Firegrate area 33.0 sq ft (3.07 m2)
Heating surface:
Total
1,146 sq ft (106.5 m2)
Superheater area 277 sq ft (25.7 m2)
Cylinders Two
Cylinder size 18 in (46 cm) bore
26 in (66 cm) stroke
Top speed 60 mph (97 km/h)
Power output 1,000 bhp (750 kW)
Tractive effort 22,260 lbf (99.0 kN)
Number in class 30 (16 WAB+14 WS)
Number 687 - 798
Locale All of New Zealand
First run 1918 - 1926
Retired 1967 - 1972
Scrapped 1969 - 1972
Current owner Feilding and District Steam Rail Society (1)
Disposition Withdrawn, 2 preserved

The WAB class locomotives were steam locomotives designed, built and used by New Zealand Railways Department. Their wheel arrangement is described by the Whyte notation 4-6-4T. The locomotives were designed by NZR chief draughtsman S.H. Jenkinson as tank versions of the AB class 4-6-2 Pacific locomotive. Initially, the locomotives were separated into two classes, designated WAB for mainline work and WS for suburban work.

The first locomotives, WS 686 and WAB 687, were built from the boilers, frames and engine units initially destined for AB 666 and AB 667. These entered service in 1917, WS 686 in Wellington and WAB 687 at Taumarunui in the central North Island. Fourteen WS class locomotives were built between 1917 and 1925: one at Addington workshops (686), five at A & G Price Ltd, Thames (799-803) and eight at Hillside workshops, Dunedin (764-771). All the WS class were converted to WAB in 1932-4. Sixteen WAB class were built between 1918 and 1926: one at Addington (687), 12 at Hillside (786-795) and three at A&G Price (796-798). Between 1947 and 1957 11 WAB class were converted to AB class.

The remaining locomotives were kept in service until the last days of steam, operating short-haul main line freight services and fast suburban services, particularly in Auckland. WAB 794 was sold to the Ohai Railway Board in Southland for running heavy coal trains.

The locomotives were progressively withdrawn in the 1960s.

Contents

Preserved locomotives

Only three examples of the class remain, with two in their original form as WABs.

WAB 794 is preserved at Feilding, and has been used on main line excursions and also on the regular Wellington - Auckland Overlander service.

WAB (former WS) 800 is owned by the Waikato Branch of New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society and was stored for many years at the Te Awamutu Railway Museum. Following negotiation of a lease agreement, the engine has been moved to the Glenbrook Vintage Railway for eventual restoration to working order.

AB (former WAB) 795 is preserved at Kingston, for use on the "Kingston Flyer".

Class register

Key: In service Out of service Auckland Transport service Preserved Overhaul Scrapped
Number Builder Introduced[1] Withdrawn[1] Notes
686 NZR Addington 01917-04 April 1917 01966-01 January 1966
687 NZR Addington 01917-04 April 1917 01966-01 January 1966
763 NZR Hillside 01923-05 May 1923 01963-04 April 1963
772 NZR Hillside 01924-07 July 1924 01962-09 September 1962
786 NZR Hillside 01926-07 July 1926 01947-09 September 1947 Converted to AB class; withdrawn October 1968
787 NZR Hillside 01926-08 August 1926 01947-10 October 1947 Converted to AB class; withdrawn April 1966
788 NZR Hillside 01926-09 September 1926 01948-01 January 1948 Converted to AB class; withdrawn March 1969
789 NZR Hillside 01926-10 October 1926 01947-08 August 1947 Converted to AB class; withdrawn March 1969
790 NZR Hillside 01926-12 December 1926 01957-09 September 1957 Converted to AB class; withdrawn February 1966
791 NZR Hillside 01926-12 December 1926 01947-11 November 1947 Converted to AB class; withdrawn October 1967
792 NZR Hillside 01927-03 March 1927 01947-06 June 1947 Converted to AB class; withdrawn July 1969
793 NZR Hillside 01927-03 March 1927 01948-02 February 1948 Converted to AB class; withdrawn March 1969
794 NZR Hillside 01927-05 May 1927 01955-08-31 31 August 1955 Sold to Ohai Railway Board; withdrawn 1968.
Preserved by Feilding and District Steam Rail Society, operating with mainline certification
795 NZR Hillside 01927-05 May 1927 01947-12 December 1947 Converted as AB class; withdrawn July 1969
Preserved (as AB) by Kingston Flyer
796 A & G Price 01926-09 September 1926 01962-09 September 1962
797 A & G Price 01926-09 September 1926 01963-05 May 1963
798 A & G Price 01926-11 November 1926 01969-03 March 1969
799 A & G Price 01927-11 November 1927 01969-04 April 1969
800 A & G Price 01927-11 November 1927 01969-04 April 1969 Stored at Glenbrook Vintage Railway.
801 A & G Price 01927-11 November 1927 01969-04 April 1969
802 A & G Price 01927-11 November 1927 01969-04 April 1969
803 A & G Price 01927-11 November 1927 01969-04 April 1969

References

See also

External links



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