Featured Locomotive for September 2012

Climax Locomotive

This month we will talk about the Climax Locomotive, the first of this style of loco being a 4-0-4 configuration, popular with all logging locos, was manufactured in March 1888 by the Climax Manufacturing Company, which started life in 1863 in Pennsylvania as the Corry Machine Co.

This first loco was known as a Class A and during its early years had three types. All three types had a two cylinder marine engine at the rear driving a cardan shaft under the frame to the bogies at either end. Early versions had all four wheels in the bogie driven, later reduced to one per side, thus reducing wear on track and wheels.

The introduction of the Class A type 1 was an immediate success, particularly for the small timber mills, many of which had used log rails or sawn timber rails.
So Type 1 had a vertical boiler and spanning March 1888 to 1893
Type 2 had a T boiler i.e. half vertical and half horizontal
Type 3 had a traditional horizontal loco boiler

by 1911 the steel frame was offered for the A class, 1912 steel cabs and sliding windows on B and C classes.

image of a train

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The Class B and C was a radical change with a cylinder on either side of the smoke box with the piston rod set towards the fire box pan. The cardan shaft was underneath and today the B and C's are the most recognised as Climax.

Weights of the various classes ranged from A, 12 to 22 tons, B 17 to 62 tons and C 70 to 100 tons. While the speed of most was between 5 to 10mph. About 1030 locos of all classes were built up to Sept 1928.

image of a train

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The picture is of our Class A Type 3 model of circa 1905, with wooden canopy and christened Jenny and, as the retail trade say, crafted in Australia from local and imported parts, actually made in Coffs Harbour by Mr Norm Mitchell of the Coffs Harbour Locomotive Works. This model being Kurremi Works No 5. The loco lies in the 12 to 22 ton range and shows the boss Jenny in charge as the driver and fireman attend to the needs of the loco, train and boss. As a feminine touch there is a towel rail attached to the rear water tank and a piece of carpet for her to stand on. The weight of the model is 1.75 kilos.

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