THE INDUSTRIAL RAILWAY RECORD

Nos. 3 & 4 - p62-64

DECEMBER 1963

HUNSLET 2-6-2 TANKS
FOR SIERRA LEONE

by GEOFFREY HORSMAN

    (Although strictly speaking these locomotives are outside our field, it is thought that details will be of interest in view of their association with the engine RUSSELL described in RECORD No.2 Hon. Ed.)

    The first Hunslet locomotives for the 2 6" gauge Sierra Leone Government Railways were two 7" x 12" 0−6−0 side tanks built in 1896 (Hunslet 650 and 651: SLGR 1 and 2) but these appear to have had little in common with the 2−6−2 side tank design introduced in 1898. Five 12" x 16" 2−8−2 side tanks (Hunslet 883-887: SLGR 101-105) were delivered in 1906 but these again showed no similarity to the 2−6−2 design, having inside frames and an extremely shallow firebox so shallow in fact that the water-legs were practically non-existent. It was necessary to build a firebrick wall across the front of the grate to stop the fire going up the tubes!

    Between 1898 and 1954 Hunslet built thirty-two 2−6−2 tanks to a design which altered basically very little. The table below gives the Hunslet works number, date of despatch and the SLGR (or SLR) number.

673 22. 6.1898 SLGR 21 826 30. 7.1903 SLGR 32 1202 28.11.1919 SLR 43
674 22. 6.1898 SLGR 22 834 11.12.1903 SLGR 33 1203 18.12.1919 SLR 44
675 22. 6.1898 SLGR 23 835 12.12.1903 SLGR 34 1204 8. 1.1920 SLR 45
709 19. 1.1900 SLGR 24 836 28. 1.1904 SLGR 35 1409 17.11.1920 SLR 46
710 26. 1.1900 SLGR 25 837 9. 2.1904 SLGR 36 1410 18.11.1920 SLR 47
744 18. 4.1901 SLGR 26 1011 18.10.1909 SLGR 37 3398 24. 6.1947 SLR 81
745 27. 4.1901 SLGR 27 1012 21.10.1909 SLGR 38 3399 24. 6.1947 SLR 82
800 17. 1.1903 SLGR 28 1013 21.10.1909 SLGR 39 3400 11. 7.1947 SLR 83
801 6. 2.1903 SLGR 29 1014 25.10.1909 SLGR 40 3814 8.10.1954 SLR 84
802 13. 2.1903 SLGR 30 1081 21. 9.1911 SLGR 41 3815 8.10.1954 SLR 85
825 17. 7.1903 SLGR 31 1145 31.12.1913 SLGR 42      

    Some, at least, of these engines were named, as on 5th December 1906 the Crown Agents ordered from Hunslet pairs of nameplates for Sierra Leone locomotives 1 to 24. Of these 21 to 24 were named respectively BOAGIBU, LAGO, KENNAMA and NIAWA.

    I have divided the engines into six batches and indicated the main features which underwent change over the years.

21-27 : raised round-top firebox; Ramsbottom safety valves inside the cab with extension tubes protruding through the roof; dome in centre of barrel; compensated spring gear; eccentric driven feed pump; steam and hand brakes; oil lamps; manual sanding
28-36 : flush round-top firebox; Ramsbottom safety valves outside the cab; dome forward of centre of barrel; larger boiler fitted in which the maximum outside diameter was increased from 2 5" to 323/8"; increased water and fuel capacity; otherwise as 2127.
37-41 : no boiler feed pump; steam and hand brakes (engine) and vacuum brake (train); otherwise as 28-36.
42-47 : fixed spring gear; otherwise as 37-41.
81-83 : Ross "pop" safety valves; increased water and fuel capacity; electric lighting; Wakefield "Eureka" type C hydrostatic lubricator; otherwise as 42-47.
84-85 : roller bearing axleboxes on the pony trucks; otherwise as 81-83.

The upper photograph of 23 shows the double roof at that time favoured in hot countries. Several detail differences will be noted on 84 (lower), including the much smaller headlamp.    (Hunslet Engine Co. Ltd.)

    No details of the livery of the early engines have survived, but 43-47 are recorded as "painted Gorton green and lined out in black and chrome". 81 to 85, however, were painted black which is the present standard livery for tank engines. 26 and 27 were supplied for the extension to Bo, 33 for the extension to Baoma, and 41 for the extension to Rowalla.

    The leading dimensions are as under:-

 

 

21-27

28-47

81-85

Cylinders

:

10" x 15"

10" x 15" 10" x 15"
Tubes : 78 of 15/8" dia. 97 of 15/8" dia. 97 of 15/8" din.
Working Pressure : 160 lbs./sq.in. 160 lbs./sq.in. 160 lbs./sq.in.
Water Capacity : 350 gallons 440 gallons 470 gallons
Coal Capacity : 12 cwts. 13 cwts. 1 ton *
Heating Surface (Tubes) : 277 sq.ft. 345 sq.ft. 345 sq.ft.
Heating Surface (Firebox) : 35 sq.ft. 36 sq.ft. 36 sq.ft.
Grate Area : 6 sq.ft. 6 sq.ft. 6 sq.ft.
Coupled Wheels (diameter) : 2' 4" 2' 4" 2' 4"
Bogie Wheels (diameter) : 1' 6" 1' 6" 1' 6"
Coupled Wheelbase : 5' 6" 5' 6" 5' 6"
Total Wheelbase : 15' 4" 15' 4" 15' 4"

        * 25 cwts. on 84 and 85

The following weights have been recorded:-

(empty)  : 15t. 10c.(21-23), 16t. 0c.(31-32), 16t. 16c.(42), 17t. 12c.(84-85).

(loaded) : 18t. 10c.(21-23), 20t. 2c.(31-32), 20t. 13c.(42), 22t. 9c.(84-85).