South Australian Railways
Class operators South Australian Railways
Ownership History Trust of South Australia
Provenance Victorian Railways. Transferred to SAR as N477 on 16th February 1951
Number in class 10
Condemned 750 - 759
Designer A. E. Smith
Built by North British Locomotive Co., Glasgow, Scotland
Entered service 2nd March 1951 (S.A.R. service)
Withdrawn 21st August 1967
Entered the museum 14th April 1967
Length (over coupling points) 67’ 5’’ (20.5486 metres)
Total Weight 124 tons 13 cwt (124,660 kilograms)
Wheel Arrangement 2-8-2
Driving Wheels Diameter 55.75’’ (1416mm)
Maximum Axle Load 13 tons 17 cwt (13,863 kilograms)
Cylinders 2x outside - 20" x 26" (508mm x 660mm)
Valve Gear Walschaert
Boiler Pressure 175 lbs psi
Tractive Effort 28,650 lbs
Coal Capacity 6 tons (6000 kilograms)
Grate Area 31 square feet (2.87 square metres)
Water Capacity 4,600 gallons (20,912 litres)
Mileage 262,593 miles (422,602 kilometres)
Maximum Speed 60 mph (96 km/h)
The years immediately following World War Two saw an acute shortage of motive power on the South Australian Railways. Increasing traffic coupled with a backlog of maintenance due to the demands of the war effort were taking their toll, forcing management to look for a quick solution to the problem.
Two sources presented themselves: the Victorian Railways found themselves with a surplus of N-class 2-8-2 locomotives and the Clyde Engineering Company, Granville, NSW had begun building 40 2-8-2s for China, the order having then been cancelled due to the communist incursion. The SAR purchased 10 of each type which became their 750 and 740 classes respectively. Unfortunately no 740-class was saved for preservation, but their design was based on Fred Shea’s 700-class of 1926, represented in the museum’s collection by locomotive No.702.
The Victorian Railways N-class were built to the design of A. E. Smith and had been introduced in 1925, 83 having been built before production ceased in 1951. The 10 purchased by the SAR were from a batch of 50 then being supplied by the North British Locomotive Co., and were given road numbers 750-759. No.752 had been VR’s No.477, carrying builder’s number 26787 of 1950, and entering service on 16th February 1951. It was delivered to the SAR eight days later on the 24th.
The 750s immediately displaced the ageing Rx-class engines from branch-line service, particularly over the light lines of the Mallee radiating from Tailem Bend. Two were retained at Mile End for service on the Port line.
Though efficient and free-steaming they were unpopular with engine crews because of their cramped cabs in comparison to the South Australian locomotives. Just 10 years after entering service only two, Nos.752 and 755 remained. No.752 still saw occasional service and, in November 1963, was used to haul the Myer ‘Santa Specials’, which brought children and their parents to the city, at discounted fares, to do their Christmas shopping. It was last steamed in November 1964, placed in the Mile End Museum on 14th April 1967 and formally written off on 21st August 1967.