Thursday, June 04, 2009


I know next to nothing about English railroads and equipment, but the postcard collection contains several dozen cards of English locomotives. As usual, you can left/click on the photos to enlarge. Here are a few:

This first one, using the Whyte classification of locomotives, would be a 2-2-2-T. No information is on the card other than it was in use in 1862. Named the "Dwarf", protection from the weather for the engineer and fireman was basically non-existent, only a metal windbreak surrounding the upright firebox.

This next one, a 2-2-2, or perhaps a kind of 2-2-2-T, if that's a tank with the number on it. Named the "President", the card says it was built in 1851 and had "7 ft" driving wheels. Good for more speed, but reduced pulling power. Crew protection from the weather was totally non-existent.

Next is another 2-2-2, named "Lady of the Lake", and shows that tenders had become a standard fixture. the locomotive had even larger driving wheels at 7' 6" diameter, and sported a half-hearted attempt at crew protection. According to the card, this locomotive - number 531 - was built in 1862, and rebuilt in 1876 and 1898. They ran this thing for 35 years?

Following is an 0-8-0. Obviously a freight locomotive, the drivers had shrunk to a diameter of 4' 3". Protection for the crew from the weather was still a joke. The card says this locomotive was built in 1901, and is said to be a four cylinder compound coal engine.

Lastly, this number 6000 is a 4-6-0 Pacific class type of locomotive, named the "King George". This loco was sent to the Baltimore and Ohio Centenary Exhibition in 1927, still sporting the six-wheel tender design first developed around 1862 for locomotives like the "Lady of the Lake" (see above)

The back of this card carries quite a bit of information:

Now here's a real unique item: A postcard sized photo of an African railroad locomotive... with a truly intriguing message on the back.

Says the message:
On our great worlds record run of 856 miles from Johannesburg to Cape Town, with the premier train of South Africa, the "Union Limited", August 13th and 14th, 1925.
(signed) Harry

Our (?) in white coat. He and I went together on all tests of these experimental engines.
Volumes and volumes left unsaid there.

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