Locomotive Rx93

South Australian Railways

Broad Gauge



Class operators                                                  South Australian Railways

Condition                                                            Excellent

Ownership                                                          History Trust of South Australia

Provenance                                                        South Australian Railways

Designer                                                             W. Thow (R class), T. S. Roberts (Rx class)

Class                                                                  Rx

Class Builders                                                    Dubs & Co. Glasgow Scotland (6), James Martin & Co. Gawler (24), S.A.R. Islington Workshops (14), North British Locomotive Co. Glasgow Scotland (15), Walkers Maryborough Queensland (25)

Number in class                                                  84

Number series                                                    5, 9, 10, 15, 20*, 25*, 48, 55, 56, 91* - 96*, 102* - 107*, 138* - 153*, 155, 158, 160, 190 - 203, 206 - 235 (* originally built as R class)

Built by                                                               Dubs & Co., Glasgow, Scotland

Entered service                                                  29th March 1886

Condemned                                                       28th October 1966

Entered the museum                                         28th September 1966

Length (over coupling points)                            58’ 12’’ (17.98 metres)

Total Weight                                                      88 tons 12 cwt (88,609 kilograms)

Maximum Speed                                                60 mph (96.54 km/h)

Wheel Arrangement                                          4-6-0

Driving Wheels Diameter                                  54’’ (1371mm)

Maximum Axle Load                                          11 tons 8 cwt (11,406 kilograms)

Boiler Pressure                                                 175 lbs psi

Cylinders                                                          2x outside – 18’’ x 24’’ (457mm x 609mm)

Tractive Effort                                                  21,420 lbs

Coal Capacity                                                  7 tons 15 cwt (7,762 kilograms)

Grate Area                                                      20.27 square feet (1.88 square metres)

Water Capacity                                               4120 gallons (18,729 litres)

Mileage                                                           1,312,446 miles (2,112,177 kilometres)


In 1886 the South Australian Railways placed in service six 4-6-0 locomotives built by the Scottish builder Dubs & Co. These were the first members of the R-class and later, after rebuilding, the Rx-class which eventually amounted to 84 engines, the most numerous class on the broad gauge. No.93, which had been given builder’s number 2142 of 1885, was one of them and entered service on 29th March 1886.

Used primarily for goods haulage over the steeply graded main south line they were soon also hauling the Intercolonial Express between Adelaide and Murray Bridge after the South Australian and Victorian Railways had been joined at Serviceton in January 1887.

Thirty Rs were built between 1885 and 1895 but, between 1899 and 1913, all were rebuilt with larger Belpaire boilers and were reclassified Rx. No.93 was reissued to traffic after rebuilding on 4th November 1910. As built all were equipped with six-wheel tenders but, with the introduction of the first of the Islington built Rx-class engines in 1909, eight-wheel tenders were fitted. No.93 retained its six-wheel tender until the early 1950s when it received a bogie replacement from an engine previously written off. In this form it ran until 1966 when, on 28th September, it was placed in the Mile End Railway Museum. It was formally written off on 28th October of that year.

The Rx-class was a most successful design, and handled all main line traffic until displaced by Fred Shea’s Big Power engines under the Webb administration of the 1920s. Thereafter they were relegated to secondary duties over branch lines, shunting in freight yards and occasionally hauling local passenger trains.

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South Australia  5015
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