The Northern

Peter Gabriel - Steam

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The Northern Locomotive

Northern 4-8-4 Engine

Since the 4-8-4 was first used by the Northern Pacific Railway, the type was named "Northern". Most North American railroads used this name, but some adopted different names.

A total of twenty-three 4-8-4 locomotives operated in Australia, built to three distinct designs.

In 1929 the ten 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) South Australian Railways 500 class 4-8-2 Mountains of 1926 were equipped with steam boosters, in the form of small auxiliary steam engines, in order to increase their power. This necessitated the replacement of their two-wheel trailing trucks with four-wheel trucks. The booster contributed an additional 8,000 pounds-force (36 kilonewtons) to the tractive effort and permitted an increase in the locomotive’s load across the Mount Lofty Ranges to 540 tons. In their new 4-8-4 configuration, they were reclassified to 500B class.

In 1943 the first of twelve streamlined South Australian Railways 520 class locomotives were delivered from the Islington Workshops in Adelaide. Although they were large locomotives, they were designed to run on lightly constructed 60 pounds per yard (30 kilograms per metre) track, with the engine's weight being spread over eight axles. Their 66 inches (1,676 millimetres) diameter driving wheels were specially balanced for 70 miles per hour (110 kilometres per hour) running.

Victorian Railways H220 "Heavy Harry"

The H class three-cylinder 4-8-4 of the Victorian Railways, built in 1941, was designed for heavy passenger work on the line between Melbourne and Adelaide. Nicknamed "Heavy Harry", it was the largest and most powerful non-articulated steam locomotive built in Australia and was one of the four known classes of three-cylinder 4-8-4 locomotives. Construction of three locomotives commenced at the Newport Workshops in 1939 and three sets of frames were manufactured. Although work was halted due to the outbreak of World War II, a shortage of motive power caused by increased wartime traffic resulted in authorisation being given for the completion of class leader H220. The locomotive went into service on 7 February 1941, but remained the sole member of the class since the other two partly built locomotives were never completed. Since the necessary upgrades to the Adelaide line was deferred, the H class operated only on the line between Melbourne and Albury in New South Wales.

The Northern is a beautiful locomotive, in fact they all are. Just a matter of choice!  But I'm here to help you with that.

Common components

This engine uses all the same components that I supply. This simplifies the process of making this beauty tremendously.

  • 10 inch driver
  • triple axle tender
  • twin compound steam pumps
I can extend the frame and boiler from my Pacific range to make this... got everything else either in components, drawings or castings.

Contact for further information, and I'll help you on your journey into the wonderful world of 7 1/4 scale trains.