Re: the SA V class 0-4-4RT

Frank Stamford

On 1/06/2015 10:12 PM, Frank Stamford frank.stamford@... [LRRSA] wrote:

Hello John,

Very interesting questions.

The reason they did not work as expected was that they were just too small and too light for 'mainline' work. In that respect they had the same faults as the horses they replaced. I do not think there was anything fundamentally wrong with the design, and they worked sufficiently well in shunting duties to warrant building more of them even after they had failed in 'mainline' work.

Since writing the above I have done a lot more probing. This has led me to the conclusion that the V class were not by any means failures on the Kingston - Narracoorte line. They did everything that was expected of them. After working on that line for three years they were superseded by the W class 2-6-0 tender locomotives, which was a design of locomotive which did not exist in 1875 when the V class were ordered.

The W class performed better in that role than the V, but does not mean the V failed. It was a case of evolution from experience.

From everything I have read the V class provided a reliable service, and carried all the traffic that was offering without problems to the customers.

When called upon to run excursion trains they could do the the 52 miles between Narracoorte and Kingston in less than 3 hours hauling trains with many hundreds of passengers. Less than three hours on a light railway with 35 lb rails, with a well loaded train is a pretty good effort I think.



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