Contributions by michaelgreenhill
The WAGR P and Pr classes are two classes of 4-6-2 "Pacific" type steam locomotives designed for express passenger service on the Western Australian Government Railways 1067mm (3'6") narrow gauge mainline network. The initial designs were prepared by E.S. Race and together the two classes had a total build number of thirty-five locomotives, the P and Pr classes entering service in 1924 and 1938 respectively. Both classes were used on express passenger services, greatly improving the economy and speed of long-distance passenger travel in Western Australia, the results of which were most visible on the West Australian stage of the Trans-Australian Railway, the 'Westland Express'.
The need for more powerful locomotives in the 1920s resulted in the introduction of twenty-five P class locomotives which provided a significant improvement in power, speed and economy over previous WAGR locomotives, quickly proving to be a highly successful design. The Great Depression of the 1930s, coupled with the effects of The Great War, thwarted the WAGRs later expansion and acquisition plans resulting in many obsolete locomotives remaining in operation into this period. As a result ten new P class locomotives featuring detail improvements to boilers, valves and bogies were introduced in 1938, a year before the outbreak of the Second World War. The new locomotives became the first WAGR engines to be given names, each bearing that of a prominent West Australian river. These 'River class' locomotives were very successful and proved so invaluable to the operation of the wartime WAGR that eight P class locomotives were modified to their standard. All eighteen locomotives were officially classified as the 'Pr Class' in 1946.
The initial ten P class locomotives were built for the WAGR by the North British Locomotive Company in Glasgow while the remainder, including the new ten Pr class locomotives, were built locally by the WAGRs Midland Government Railway Workshops in Midland near Perth. One example of the P class and one example of the Pr class (class leader Pr 521 Ashburton) are preserved in non-working order at the Australian Railway Historical Society's Rail Transport Museum in Bassendean, Perth.
We identify rebuilt and renumbered locomotives from this class as well as other classes with similar mechanical configurations and present those classes below.
|Manufactured by||North British Locomotive Company, Glasgow|
|Number in database||42|
|Weight||102 tons 5 cwt|
|Number in database||42|
|Preserved - Static||1||P508|
|Rebuilt||8||P453 P454 P455 P456 P457 P459 P461 P464|
|Renumbered||17||P441 P442 P443 P444 P445 P446 P447 P448 P449 P450 P451 P452 P458 P460 P462 P463 P465|
|Scrapped||16||P501 P502 P503 P504 P505 P506 P507 P509 P510 P511 P512 P513 P514 P515 P516 P517|
|Road number||Gauge||Status||Last owner||Last operator / caretaker|
|P508||Narrow1067mm||Preserved - Static|
Please note - in the case of scrapped, renumbered or rebuilt locomotives, the last operator or owner is listed.
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