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Locomotives for Matheran Railway.
Railway and Locomotive Engineering—August, 1907

The Matheran Railway in India is a small line of 2 ft. gauge constructed up the hillside of a pleasure resort in the near vicinity of the city of Bombay. The railway has a total length of 12 miles, and starts from Neral Station, on the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, 132 feet above the sea level, and rises to the Matheran terminus, 2,495 feet. The maximum grade is 1 in 20, and to work the trains over this line some small tank engines have been supplied by Messrs. Orenstein & Koppel, which are of novel construction. They have six coupled drivers 30 ins. in diameter, which are not connected direct to the axles in the usual way, but are mounted on hollow cylinders or sleeves, through which the driving axles pass, the motion being communicated through ball joints at the centre. The larger of our line illustrations shows the complete arrangement of one of these engines, while the other represents the details of the driving gear and hollow or sleeve axles.

These little engines, when delivered in India, were fitted with the "counter-pressure" retarding device. This brake apparatus, known as the Riggenbach system, is so designed that when the engine is running down grade with the valve gear reversed and the blast pipe closed air is drawn into the cylinders through the cylinder cocks and pumped into the steam pipe, and so acts as a retarding agent. The pressure is regulated by means of a valve in the cab under the control of the engineer, who can supply water from the tanks to the cylinders to cool them when necessary. This arrangement, we understand, did not work satisfactorily, and has since been replaced by the automatic vacuum brake.

The side tanks have a capacity of 450 imperial gallons for water, but this is not sufficient for the present system of working, and is supplemented by a small tender. The total weight of the engine in working order is 39,000 lbs.

A few of the principal dimensions are as follows:

Cylinders—Diameter, 11 and 13-16 ins.;
stroke, 13 and 13-16 ins.
Boiler—Length of barrel, 7 ft. 10½ ins.;
diameter, 3 ft. 2 ins.
Heating surface, 452 sq. ft.;
grate area of fire-box, 7 sq. ft.; working pressure, 175 lbs. per sq. in.


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