The Class 6 A 4-6-0- and the class 6 J 4-6-0

A Class 6 A No. 462 A Class 6 J

Originally designed by locomotive superintendent Michael Stephens for fast passenger service on the Cape Government Railways, successive orders for the 6th class were placed with both British and American builders between 1893 and

1904 for use on the CGR and the OVGS For convenience, the following descriptions are distinguished between the plate and bar-framed engines and are examined in order, The first order for 40 engines was delivered from Dubs and Co in 1893 and became the 6th class- They were an enlargement of the CGR class 5 with Stephenson’s link motion but with “D” valves positioned above the now horizontal cylinders. They were placed in service on the Western and Midlands system. A further order was received from Dubs & Cc, and Sharp, Stewart and Co between 1895 and I 897.Tbese engines had larger boilers then the first order and were classified as GA on the SAP and distributed throughout the colony- The most successful bar-framed 6th class were the 14 locomotives supplied in 1902 fly Nielso, Reid and Co. Used initially on the Cape main line, they became the class 6J on the SAR. The last engine of this type was withdrawn from service in Bethlehem in 1972- All in all a great little locomotive that has stood the test of time, and proved to be a real asset to the SAR. The GA and the 6J statistics are as follows.

Class 6A has a cylinder bore and stroke of  17”x 26”, driving wheels dia. 4’ 6” boiler pressure l80lbs per sq inch, Tractive effort @ 75% BP 18780, weight of engine 45t, 15c, weight of tender 30t 7c, total length over the couplers 51’, 3 5/8”, grate area 16.6sq it, max axle load 11t 18c. She carries 7.5 tons of coal, and 2600 gallons of water.

Class 6J has a cylinder bore stroke of 17’x 26”, driving wheels dia 4’ 6”, boiler pressure 180 lbs per sq inch, tractive 4effort at 74%, engine weight 48 tons 16cwt, tender weight 34tons 3cwt, total length over the buffers 53’ 0”, grate area 18.7 sq It, max axle load l3t8cwt.

These wonderful old engines, although primitive by today’s standards, certainly stood the test of time, and were looked after by their drivers and firemen. Although I have not seen one personally doing a run, I can only imagine that they were a treat to see by all in sundry. Those were the days my friend, we thought would never end, but simply goon forever, and a day.

Next in line are the magnificent class sevens, but that’s another story.  

Best wishes,

Geoff Pullen

Chairman, The Garden Route Steam train Society.