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Rhodesia Railways

 

2-6-2 + 2-6-2 Beyer Garratt Locomotive Class 14A order No. 11162 works No 7585 supplied in 1953

The Rhodesia Railway Co. Ltd. was the name from 1899 of what had been the Bechuanaland Rly formed 6 years earlier. Beira Rly Co. was formed in 1892 and three years later that became the Beira Junction Rly Co., whilst in 1897 the Mashonaland Rly was formed and took over the Beira Jn Rly in 1900 to become the Beira & Mashonaland Rly Co. Ltd. Meanwhile, in 1899 we see for the first time the title RHODESIA RAILWAY CO. LTD, a renaming of the Bechuanaland Rly. As if that wasn’t enough name swapping, the BMR merged with the RR in 1903, with an even longer title - The Beira & Mashonaland and Rhodesia Railways Co. Ltd.
In 1908 another company was formed - the Rhodesia - Katanga Junction Rly Co. That longest of titles went in 1927 when Rhodesia Railways Co.Ltd became the working company as successor to the BMR & RR Co., and the following year the RKJR became part of RR. In 1947 the Rhodesia Government took over the RR’s assets.

Beyer Peacock supplied the RR with a total of 236 locomotives, all except the first 6 in 1915 (Class 9, 4-8-0 Goods Engines of a design earlier,and also
later, built bythe North British Loco. Co.) were Garratts. They were -

2-6-2+ 2-6-2 Class 13 ...12 supplied 1925/6
Class 14 ....6 1928 and 10 in 1929
Class 14A ..18 1953
2-8-2+ 2-8-2 Class 16 ....8 1929 and 12 in 1938
Class 18 ....9 out of a War Department order in 1943/4 - these being additional to the directly - purchased 236.
Class 16A ..30 supplied 1952/3
4-6-4+ 4-6-4 Class 15 ....4 1940 and 30 1947-1949
Class 15A...30 1949/1950 and 10 in 1952
4-8-2+ 2-8-4 Class 20 & 20A 61 supplied 1954 and 1957/8

Having been brought together in ‘bits’, in 1967 the RR system was to be broken up
among the newly—named countries in that part of East Africa - Zimbabwe Rlys (ex Southern Rhodesia); Zambia Rlys (Northern Rhodesia); Botswana Rlys (Bechuanaland)whilst earlier, in 1949 Mozambique Rlys had taken over what was known as the Beira Railway section of the RR.

Along with South African Railways' standard gauge lines, the RR was 3'6" gauge, whereas the two railways that came together in 1948 on the amalgamation of the Tanganyika Rly and the Kenya and Uganda Rly, were Metre gauge. The TR had 6 4-8-0 Goods Engines from BP in 1923, the only others were 3 Beyer Garratts in 1931 that were 4-8-2 + 2-8-4s. The KUR’s orders with BP were all for Beyer Garratts, 4-8-2 + 2-8-4s 4 in 1926, 12 in 1928 & 2 in 1930 (they also received some War Department engines in this wheel arrangement in 1944/5); and their 4-8-4 + 4-8-4s numbered 12, in 1939/1940. The East African Railways & Harbours Board bought 81 Beyer Garratts from BP between 1949 and 1955, 18 of which had been pre-amalgamation ordered by the KUR (4-8-4 + 4-8-4s) all the rest being 4-8-2 + 2-8-4s : 29 ‘60’ Class in 1953/4 and 34 ‘59’ Class in 1955. The EAR then came to be split up between the countries through which the railway passed.

Information provided by Joe Lloyd