Sandstone Heritage Trust - Rail News

RN 141 - Special feature on John Cockerill NGG 16's by David Payling

17th January 2006

NG 85 to NG 88 - DECEMBER 2005

Click here to download the article written by David Payling >>

(To download the excel sheets, click below)

1. Index of Drawings for John Cockerill NG/G16 Nos. NG85-Ng88 (1936) (CE No. A 14533).
2. SAR Catalogue of Details for John Cockerill NG/G16 Nos. NG85 – NG88 (1936). –available from ---THF Library, Johannesburg
3. SAR Catalogue of Details for Beyer Peacock NG/G16 Nos NG109-NG116 (1939) -available from ---THF Library, Johanesburg

In the early 20th Century the railway authorities in South West Africa saw the solution to the future development of narrow gauge motive power as lying with fast, powerful Pacific and Mikado locomotives with a fixed wheelbase for passenger and freight traffic, respectively. In South Africa itself the South African Railways faced a similar question for power for its narrow gauge lines in Natal and at Port Elizabeth. Their solution however was quite different from that chosen in the neighbouring territory. With their first order for three narrow gauge articulated Garratt locomotives in 1914 they became pioneers in the use of this type. For the next fifty years they continued to foster their use and development.

The delivery of the first three NG/G11 locomotives was delayed until 1920 by the First World War but their immediate success in service ensured a repeat order in 1925. Just two years later, however, freed by the lapse of the HW Garratt articulation patent, the South Africans went to Hanomag of Germany to develop a project to build a new class of Garratt locomotives. These were the three NG/G13 locomotives of 1927. Performance trials with them led to the immediate extension of the order by a further two engines and, within a year, a further seven had been ordered. The NG/G13s had proved to be both powerful and free steaming, despite having a smaller grate area than their predecessors!

By 1936 Hanomag’s locomotive building business had been sold to Henschel of Cassel and SAR turned again to Beyer Peacock for their next locomotives. However the order for four new engines constrained the supplier to build them essentially to the German NG/G13 design. These were the four engines whose construction was out-licensed by Beyer Peacock to John Cockerill of Seraing, Belgium, because their own workshops were fully occupied. In the next thirty years a further thirty Garratts and at least three spare boilers were built, essentially to the same design. Indeed they were the only type of locomotive built for the SAR narrow gauge during this period, other than the fifteen NG15 Mikados built in the 1950s for service in South West Africa.

This folder contains a summary of the information so far discovered about the place of the John Cockerill batch of NG/G16 locomotives in the history of the development of this class. It includes an account of the historical development of the NG/G16s, starting with the design of the NG/G13 locomotives in 1927. A further Section deals with the distinguishing features of the Cockerill locomotives. A summary of the history of Class member NG87 is also included together with the SAR General Arrangement Drawing and Weights Diagram.

David Payling
9th December 2005
Click here to download the article written by David Payling >>

Click on the thumbnails below to view more information on these locos and read the articles from The Locomotive April 15th, 1937 & The Locomotive April 14th, 1951.
The fore-runners (1). Hanomag NG/G13 No. NG83 (1928) is shown in an old print from the 1950s. L Paxton collection The fore-runners (2). Another of the Port Elizabeth engines, Hanomag NG/G13 No. NG82 (1928) is shown in a later state of modification. L Paxton
John Cockerill NG/G16 No. NG87 on shed at Ixopo, 11th May 1971. Leith Paxton

NG/G16 No. NG88 stands at Paddock with a Banana Express excursion in 1971.
Photo: Errol Ashwell

NG/G16 No. NG85 stands at Ixopo on 6th September 1966.
Photo: Leith Paxton
A more recent view of John Cockerill NG/G16 No. NG85 on a train at Ixopo (11th May 1971).
Photo Leith Paxton
RN_141_07 RN_141_08
"The Locomotive" - April 15, 1937 - Page 105
"The Locomotive" - April 14, 1951 - Page 52
RN_141_09 RN_141_10
"The Locomotive" - April 14, 1951 - Page 105
"The Locomotive" - April 14, 1951 - Page 54