- NZR AB class
NZR AB class Preserved AB 778 hauling the Kingston Flyer Power type Steam Builder NZGR Addington Workshops (38)
North British Locomotive Company (83)
A & G Price Limited, Thames (20)
Build date 1915–1918, 1921–1927 Total produced 141 Configuration 4-6-2 Gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge Driver diameter 54 in (1.372 m) Wheelbase 52 ft 6 in (16.00 m) Length 62 ft 5 in (19.02 m) Locomotive weight 51.3 long tons (52.1 tonnes) Tender weight 33.4 long tons (33.9 tonnes) Locomotive & tender
84.7 long tons (86.1 tonnes) Fuel type Coal Fuel capacity 4.0 long tons (4.1 tonnes) Water capacity 3,500 imp gal (16,000 l; 4,200 US gal) Boiler pressure 180 lbf/in² (1.24 MPa) Firegrate area 33 sq ft (3.1 m2) Heating surface:
1,148 sq ft (106.7 m2) Superheater area 204 sq ft (19.0 m2) Cylinders Two, outside Cylinder size 17 × 26 in (432 × 660 mm) Top speed 60 mph (97 km/h) Tractive effort 20,030 lbf (89.10 kN) Career NZR Number 608–838 Locale All of New Zealand First run October 1915 Withdrawn 1963–1969 Preserved 7 (608, 663, 699, 745, 778, 795, 832) Current owner Kingston Flyer, Mainline Steam Disposition Withdrawn, Preserved
The NZR AB class was a class of 4-6-2 Pacific tender steam locomotive that operated on New Zealand's national railway system. Originally an improvement on the 1906 A class, 141 were built between 1915 and 1927 by NZR's Addington Workshops, A & G Price Limited of Thames, New Zealand, and North British Locomotive Company, making the AB class the largest class of steam locomotives ever to run in New Zealand. An additional ten were rebuilt from the tank version of the AB – the WAB class – between 1947 and 1957, while another two North British-made locomotives were built, but were lost in the wreck of the K class of 1932 and the J class of 1939, and were relegated to secondary duties. However they were still to be seen running relief expresses during the busier parts of the year. The majority of the class was withdrawn from NZR services during the 1960s, as diesel traction replaced steam, with a few members of the class lasting to the end of steam itself in 1971. Two were retained to operate the Kingston Flyer, possibly New Zealand's most famous heritage railway. The Flyer has now passed into private ownership and it is still run by AB 778 and AB 795. Five more have been preserved by various other preservation societies.
Seven members of the AB class have been preserved.
The Kingston Flyer approaching the terminus at Fairlight.
NZR AB class No. 663 "Sharon Lee" running backwards around the Woodville balloon loop.
Key: In service Out of service Auckland Transport service Preserved Overhaul Scrapped Number Builder Introduced Withdrawn[n 1] Current status Notes 608 NZR Addington October 1915 October 1967 Undergoing restoration NZRLS on lease to Steam Incorporated, Paekakariki. 663 NZR Addington December 1917 July 1969 Operational and mainline certified Preserved, Mainline Steam, Plimmerton. 699 A & G Price August 1922 March 1968 Operational Preserved, Pleasant Point Museum and Railway. 745 North British Loco. July 1922 January 1957 Awaiting restoration Preserved, Taranaki Steam Locomotive Trust (Taranaki Flyer Society). 778 NZR Addington September 1925 July 1969 Operational (stored in shed) Preserved, Kingston Flyer. 795 NZR Hillside May 1927 July 1969 Operational (Stored in shed) Preserved, Kingston Flyer. Originally built as a Wab class locomotive. 832 North British Loco. July 1925 December 1967 Awaiting restoration MOTAT on lease to Glenbrook Vintage Railway, Auckland.
- ^ Withdrawn dates are the date from when the locomotive was withdrawn by NZR.
- NZR Steam locomotives - Ab class
- Official website of the Kingston Flyer
- Official website of the Pleasant Point Museum and Railway
- Heath, Eric, and Stott, Bob; Classic Steam Locomotives Of New Zealand, Grantham House, 1993
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