The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 6 (October 1, 1927)
The Engines That Ran on the Oxford Branch (Canterbury) 53 Years Ago
The Engines That Ran on the Oxford Branch (Canterbury) 53 Years Ago.
The engine illustrated below is one of the “A” class 0.4.0 engines, built by Dubs and Company, Glasgow. Its principal features are as follows: Cylinders 8in. × 15in., wheels 2ft. 6 1/4in.; tractive effort (at 75 per cent. boiler pressure) 2,856lbs.; boiler pressure 120 lbs.; coal capacity 6½ cwt.; water capacity 250 gals.; total weight in working trim 11¼ tons.
12 engines of this class were imported from Dubs and Company, Glasgow, in 1873, and one from the Yorkshire Engineering Company in 1874 for service in the North and South Islands.
These little “Didos” as they were called in later years, did yeoman work during the period in which the New Zealand Railways were in the development stage and some of them were actually in service well into the 1900's, the last of them being written off in 1905.
They were the pioneers on the main line and on many branch lines, and like the men associated with the Department in those days may be said to have done their “job” and done it well.
First engine erected (at Rakaia, 1874) for 3 ft. 6 in. gauge railway in Canterbury. One of this type is being preserved as as interesting historic N. Z. R. relic.
Left to Right J. Kneeshaw, Stationmaster (afterwards General Manager, Government Tramways, Sydney);
G. Stirling. Engineman;R. Howarth, Ganger; W. Hodges, Fireman;J. Hartland, Porter;W. Hobbs, Guard;R. Howarth, Cleaner. (Taken at West Oxford, 1879).