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25NC Class 4-8-4 No. 3405 - 3' 6" gauge

3405 in front of Rewley Road

Robert Frise - 3405 in front of Rewley Road

This is one of over 100 steam locomotives of this class built for South African Railways by the North British Locomotive Company works, makers number 27291. They were amongst the most technically advanced and powerful rigid-frame steam locomotives ever to have been built in this country. She was shipped to South Africa to provide motive power for South Africa´s heavy and most prestigious passenger services, including the world-famous and luxurious "Blue Train" until the late 1970s. In her later years she continued service in the Orange Free State, where she worked until dieselisation.

This locomotive has many special features, including electric lighting and a self-cleaning smoke box. The letters NC after its number show that it is a non-condensing engine. Other locos in the class were condensing engines which reused steam from the exhaust, after it had passed through condensing radiators carried in the tenders. They could then run for over 800 miles without refilling with water, which was a great asset in South Africa´s deserts.

Repatriated to England, arriving at Southampton Docks on 23rd October 1991, and at Quainton by low loader on 28th October 1991, she is now undergoing restoration. The saga of her acquisition and the generosity of Transnet Museum Preservation Control Board (formerly S A R Museum) of Johannesburg, to say nothing of her long journey across South Africa, marshalled in a freight train, to be loaded onto the MV Ango of Ellerman Lines in Durban Harbour, is quite a story.

When it is restored it is hoped to operate a 3´ 6" gauge line, with appropriate rolling stock, here at Quainton. This loco has been temporarily named Lynda.

Originally reimported in to the UK by the North British Locomotive Society, that society amalgamated with the Quainton Railway Society in October 2006, the locomotive becoming the property of the Quainton Railway Society from that date.

A slight gauge problem behind 25NCs tender!

Robert Frise - A slight gauge problem behind 25NCs tender!

Builder :- North British Locomotive Date Built :- 1953 Origin :- South African Railways
Number :- 3405 Alternate Numbers :- - Name :- Lynda
Wheel Arrangement :- 4-8-4 Tractive Effort :- 51, 410 lb Boiler Pressure :- 225 psi
Cylinder Dimensions :- 24" Diameter Weight :- 117t - loco
105t - tender
Driving Wheel Dia. :- 5' 0"
Owner :- QRS Status :- Awaiting Heavy Overhaul Location :- Up Yard
Accession Number :- W/0136 Arrival Date :- NBLS 1991
QRS 2006
Power Classification :- BR - Not Classified

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 13 September 2017