South Australian Railways
Class operators South Australian Railways
Ownership History Trust of South Australia
Provenance South Australian Railways
Class Builders Sir W. G. Armstrong-Whitworth & Co., Newcastle-on-Tyne, England
Number in class 10
Number series 700 - 709
Designer F. J. Shea
Entered service 20th September 1926
Condemned 9th July 1964
Entered the museum 1st June 1965
Length (over coupling points) 73’ 2’’ (22.3 metres)
Total Weight 171 tons 3 cwt (171,152 kilograms)
Wheel Arrangement 2-8-2
Driving Wheels Diameter 57’’ (1448mm)
Maximum Axle Load 18 tons 18 cwt (18,914 kilograms)
Boiler Pressure 200 lbs psi
Cylinders 2x outside – 22’’ x 28’’ (559mm x 711mm)
Valve Gear Walschaert
Tractive Effort 40,400 lbs
Coal Capacity 17 tons (17,000 kilograms)
Grate Area 47 square feet (4.36 square metres)
Water Capacity 5,900 gallons (26,821 litres)
Mileage 775,526 miles (1,248,088 kilometres)
Maximum Speed 45 mph (72 km/h)
Historically No.702 is one of the most important locomotives in the museum’s collection, for it represents the third of Fred Shea’s most successful designs for the rehabilitation of the motive power of the South Australian Railways in the 1920s.
Besides the 700-class 2-8-2s, he also produced designs for the 500-class 4-8-2s and the 600-class 4-6-2s. All types were of the same general configuration and, though built in Great Britain by the Armstrong-Whitworth Company, were of classic North American style. No.702 was given builder’s number 645 of 1926 and was placed in service on 20th September 1926.
The 700s were main line freight locomotives and released many Rx-class 4-6-0s, until then the largest engines available for this traffic, for shunting and branch line services. The difference in power between the these two classes can be gauged by the fact that a 700 could lift 390,000kg over Mt Lofty while an Rx could manage only 190,000kg.
The 700-class proved so successful that another 10 were ordered, this time from the SAR’s own Islington Workshops. Though dimensionally similar to the original engines they differed in some minor details and so were classified 710. Unlike the 500 and 600 classes, which were substantially rebuilt, the 700s (with the exception of No.706) retained their classic ‘Webb’ lines throughout their lives. No.702 was the only member of the class to be equipped with a coal pusher in 1951. It was condemned 9th July 1964 and placed in the Mile End Railway Museum on 1st June 1965.