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:
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- 1926 Retired 1967 - 1972 Scrapped 1969 - 1972 Current owner Feilding and District Steam Rail Society (1) Disposition Withdrawn, 2 preserved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.
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.
Key: In service Out of service Auckland Transport service Preserved Overhaul Scrapped Number Builder Introduced Withdrawn Notes 686 NZR Addington April 1917 January 1966 687 NZR Addington April 1917 January 1966 763 NZR Hillside May 1923 April 1963 772 NZR Hillside July 1924 September 1962 786 NZR Hillside July 1926 September 1947 Converted to AB class; withdrawn October 1968 787 NZR Hillside August 1926 October 1947 Converted to AB class; withdrawn April 1966 788 NZR Hillside September 1926 January 1948 Converted to AB class; withdrawn March 1969 789 NZR Hillside October 1926 August 1947 Converted to AB class; withdrawn March 1969 790 NZR Hillside December 1926 September 1957 Converted to AB class; withdrawn February 1966 791 NZR Hillside December 1926 November 1947 Converted to AB class; withdrawn October 1967 792 NZR Hillside March 1927 June 1947 Converted to AB class; withdrawn July 1969 793 NZR Hillside March 1927 February 1948 Converted to AB class; withdrawn March 1969 794 NZR Hillside May 1927 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 May 1927 December 1947 Converted as AB class; withdrawn July 1969
Preserved (as AB) by Kingston Flyer
796 A & G Price September 1926 September 1962 797 A & G Price September 1926 May 1963 798 A & G Price November 1926 March 1969 799 A & G Price November 1927 April 1969 800 A & G Price November 1927 April 1969 Stored at Glenbrook Vintage Railway. 801 A & G Price November 1927 April 1969 802 A & G Price November 1927 April 1969 803 A & G Price November 1927 April 1969
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