South African Class 14C 4-8-2, 4th batch

The South African Railways Class 14C 4-8-2 of 1922 was a steam locomotive.

South African Class 14C, 14CM, 14CR & 14CRM 4-8-2, 4th batch
Class 14CM no. 2028.jpg
Class 14CM, fourth batch, possibly no. 2028, c. 1945
Type and origin
♠ Class 14C, standard, as built with a Belpaire firebox
Class 14CM, rebalanced for mainline working
Class 14CR, standard, Watson Standard boiler
Class 14CRM, mainline, Watson Standard boiler
ʘ 22 in (559 mm) bore - ʘ 21+34 in (552 mm) bore
Power typeSteam
DesignerMontreal Locomotive Works
BuilderMontreal Locomotive Works
Serial number63075-63087
ModelClass 14C
Build date1922
Total produced13
 • Whyte4-8-2 (Mountain)
 • UIC2′D1’h2
Driver2nd coupled axle
Gauge3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge
Leading dia.28+12 in (724 mm)
Coupled dia.48 in (1,219 mm)
Trailing dia.33 in (838 mm)
Tender wheels34 in (864 mm)
Wheelbase59 ft 14 in (17,990 mm)
 • Engine30 ft 8 in (9,347 mm)
 • Leading6 ft 2 in (1,880 mm)
 • Coupled12 ft 9 in (3,886 mm)
 • Tender17 ft 11 in (5,461 mm)
 • Tender bogie4 ft 7 in (1,397 mm)
 • Over couplers66 ft 10+18 in (20,374 mm)
Height 12 ft 9+38 in (3,896 mm)
13 ft 34 in (3,981 mm)
Frame typeBar
Axle load 16 LT 16 cwt (17,070 kg)
16 LT 15 cwt (17,020 kg)
 • Leading 15 LT 16 cwt (16,050 kg)
16 LT 2 cwt (16,360 kg)
 • 1st coupled 15 LT 8 cwt (15,650 kg)
16 LT 8 cwt (16,660 kg)
 • 2nd coupled 16 LT (16,260 kg)
15 LT 15 cwt (16,000 kg)
 • 3rd coupled 16 LT 16 cwt (17,070 kg)
16 LT 10 cwt (16,760 kg)
 • 4th coupled 16 LT 16 cwt (17,070 kg)
16 LT 15 cwt (17,020 kg)
 • Trailing 10 LT 8 cwt (10,570 kg)
9 LT 1 cwt (9,195 kg)
 • Tender axle12 LT 14 cwt 2 qtr (12,930 kg) av.
Adhesive weight 65 LT (66,040 kg)
65 LT 8 cwt (66,450 kg)
Loco weight 91 LT 4 cwt (92,660 kg)
90 LT 11 cwt (92,000 kg)
Tender weight50 LT 18 cwt (51,720 kg)
Total weight 142 LT 2 cwt (144,400 kg)
141 LT 9 cwt (143,700 kg)
Tender typeLP (2-axle bogies)
Fuel typeCoal
Fuel capacity10 LT (10.2 t)
Water cap4,250 imp gal (19,300 l)
Firebox type Belpaire - Round-top
 • Firegrate area 37 sq ft (3.437 m2)
 • Model Watson Standard no. 2
 • Pitch 7 ft 7 in (2,311 mm)
8 ft 1+12 in (2,476 mm)
 • Diameter 5 ft 7+12 in (1,714 mm)
 • Tube plates 19 ft 38 in (5,801 mm)
19 ft 4 in (5,893 mm) steel
19 ft 3+58 in (5,883 mm) copper
 • Small tubes 139: 2+14 in (57 mm)
87: 2+12 in (64 mm)
 • Large tubes 24: 5+12 in (140 mm)
30: 5+12 in (140 mm)
Boiler pressureʘ 190 psi (1,310 kPa)
ʘ 195 psi (1,344 kPa)
ʘ 193 psi (1,331 kPa)
Safety valve Ramsbottom- Pop
Heating surface 2,350 sq ft (218 m2)
2,075 sq ft (192.8 m2)
 • Tubes 2,212 sq ft (205.5 m2)
1,933 sq ft (179.6 m2)
 • Firebox 138 sq ft (12.8 m2)
142 sq ft (13.2 m2)
 • Heating area 526 sq ft (48.9 m2)
492 sq ft (45.7 m2)
Cylinder size 22 in (559 mm) bore
21+34 in (552 mm) bore
26 in (660 mm) stroke
Valve gearWalschaerts
Valve typePiston
CouplersJohnston link-and-pin
AAR knuckle (1930s)
Performance figures
Tractive effortʘ 37,360 lbf (166 kN) @ 75%
ʘ 37,480 lbf (166.7 kN) @ 75%
ʘ 37,090 lbf (165 kN) @ 75%
ʘ 37,950 lbf (168.8 kN) @ 75%
OperatorsSouth African Railways
ClassClass 14C, 14CM, 14CR, 14CRM
Number in class13
First run1922
The leading coupled axle had flangeless wheels

In 1922, the South African Railways placed the fourth and last batch of thirteen Class 14C steam locomotives with a 4-8-2 Mountain type wheel arrangement in service to bring the total in the class to 73. All four batches had different maximum axle loadings. Through reboilerings, rebalancings and cylinder bushings during its service life, this single class eventually ended up as six distinct locomotive classes with two boiler types and a multitude of axle loading and boiler pressure configurations.[1][2][3][4][5]


In 1922, the last thirteen Class 14C locomotives were ordered from the Montreal Locomotive Works (MLW) in Canada. They were delivered in that same year and numbered in the range from 2026 to 2038. Of the four batches built which all differed in terms of maximum axle loading, weight on driving wheels and engine weight, the engines of 1922 were the heaviest.[1][2][3][4]

The Class 14C was ordered at a time when further orders of the earlier Class 14 models were unobtainable from manufacturers in the United Kingdom. The Canadian manufacturer undertook to supply engines of equivalent power, wheelbase and weight, but to their own design. As a result, bar frames substituted plate frames and several other important modifications were made.[2]


As built, the locomotives of the fourth batch were heavier than all three previous batches, 6 long tons 7 hundredweight (6,452 kilograms) heavier than the first, 7 long tons 11 hundredweight (7,671 kilograms) heavier than the second and 5 long tons 17 hundredweight (5,944 kilograms) heavier than the third. All four batches were delivered with Type LP tenders with a coal capacity of 10 long tons (10.2 tonnes) and a water capacity of 4,250 imperial gallons (19,300 litres).[3][4][6]

Modifications and reclassificationsEdit

Watson Standard boilersEdit

During the 1930s, many serving locomotives were reboilered with a standard boiler type designed by A.G. Watson, CME of the SAR at the time, as part of his standardisation policy. Such Watson Standard reboilered locomotives were reclassified by adding an "R" suffix to their classification.[3][4][5]

All thirteen locomotives were eventually reboilered with Watson Standard no. 2 boilers and reclassified to Class 14CR. Only slight alterations were necessary to the engine frames. With the new boilers, the side running boards and platforms were attached to the engine frames instead of to the boilers as in the original design. In the process, the boiler pitch was raised from 7 feet 7 inches (2,311 millimetres) to 8 feet 1+12 inches (2,476 millimetres), which raised the chimney height from 12 feet 9+38 inches (3,896 millimetres) to 13 feet 34 inch (3,981 millimetres). This exceeded the loading gauge height of 13 feet (3,962 millimetres) above the railhead.[2]

Their original Belpaire boilers were fitted with Ramsbottom safety valves, while the Watson Standard boilers were fitted with Pop safety valves. The reboilered engines were also equipped with Watson cabs with their distinctive slanted fronts, compared to the conventional vertical fronts of their original cabs, to allow easier access to the firebox stays. The footplate was also modified to conform to SAR standard practice. Early conversions were equipped with copper and later conversions with steel fireboxes.[2][3][4]


Around 1930, the question of maximum axle loads for locomotives was thoroughly investigated by the Mechanical and Civil Engineering Departments of the SAR. It was found that, among some other locomotive classes, the Class 14C had a rather severe vertical hammer blow effect on the track when running at speed due to an undue proportion of the reciprocating parts being balanced. Modifications were accordingly made to the Class 14C.[2]

The locomotives had weights attached between the frames to increase adhesion. Over time, most of the Class 14C family of locomotives were "rebalanced" by having these weights increased or reduced to redistribute, increase or reduce the axle loading and adhesive weight, by altering the loads on the individual coupled wheels, leading bogies and trailing pony trucks. Coupled wheel axle loading adjustment was achieved by attaching steel boxes, filled with an appropriate amount of lead, over each axle between the frames.[3][4][6]

Since they were too heavy for use on light track, the fourth batch version of the rebalanced locomotives was reclassified to Class 14CM, with the "M" indicating mainline service. Twelve of these locomotives, all except no. 2035, were rebalanced and reclassified to Class 14CM. The boiler pressure setting of rebalanced locomotives of the fourth batch was not altered and remained at 190 pounds per square inch (1,310 kilopascals). It is not clear which of these reboilering and rebalancing modifications were carried out first, one, the other, either one or together, but in whichever order, all twelve rebalanced locomotives were eventually also reboilered with Watson Standard no. 2 boilers and reclassified to Class 14CRM.[2][3][4][6]

Cylinder bushingEdit

Several of the locomotives had their cylinders bushed to reduce the bore from the as-built 22 to 21+34 inches (559 to 552 millimetres). At the same time, the boiler pressure setting of the Classes 14C and 14CR locomotives was adjusted upwards from 190 to 195 pounds per square inch (1,310 to 1,344 kilopascals) to keep their tractive effort more or less unaffected by the reduction in piston diameter. The boiler pressure setting of the mainline Classes 14CM and 14CRM was adjusted upwards from 190 to 193 pounds per square inch (1,310 to 1,331 kilopascals).[2][3][4]


The Class 14C was placed in service on the Cape Eastern system, working on the mainline to Cookhouse. Some went to the Cape Western system, where they banked up the Hex River Pass from De Doorns.[5][6]

Works numbersEdit

The table lists their years built, manufacturer's works numbers, engine numbers and eventual classifications.[3][4]


  1. ^ a b Holland, D. F. (1972). Steam Locomotives of the South African Railways. Vol. 2: 1910-1955 (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, England: David & Charles. pp. 34–36, 83–84. ISBN 978-0-7153-5427-8.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Espitalier, T.J.; Day, W.A.J. (1945). The Locomotive in South Africa - A Brief History of Railway Development. Chapter VII - South African Railways (Continued). South African Railways and Harbours Magazine, September 1945. pp. 675-676, 704.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i South African Railways & Harbours/Suid Afrikaanse Spoorweë en Hawens (15 Aug 1941). Locomotive Diagram Book/Lokomotiefdiagramboek, 3'6" Gauge/Spoorwydte. SAR/SAS Mechanical Department/Werktuigkundige Dept. Drawing Office/Tekenkantoor, Pretoria. p. 43.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i South African Railways & Harbours/Suid Afrikaanse Spoorweë en Hawens (15 Aug 1941). Locomotive Diagram Book/Lokomotiefdiagramboek, 2'0" & 3'6" Gauge/Spoorwydte, Steam Locomotives/Stoomlokomotiewe. SAR/SAS Mechanical Department/Werktuigkundige Dept. Drawing Office/Tekenkantoor, Pretoria. pp. 6a-7a, 41, 43.
  5. ^ a b c Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. pp. 10–11, 58–59. ISBN 0869772112.
  6. ^ a b c d Durrant, A. E. (1989). Twilight of South African Steam (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, London: David & Charles. pp. 81–82. ISBN 0715386387.