B12 – Originally E Class

Total Number of Engines Built 25
First Engine Built 1874
Last Engine Built 1882
First Engine Written Off 1895
Last Engine Written Off 1929


These engines were known as E Class under the old classification system. The first eight of this slightly larger version of the earlier D (B12) Class were obtained in 1874. Further orders were placed in following years to cope with increasing traffic. In 1876 instructions were issued that a locomotive should be built locally at the Government Workshop in Ipswich, although a Parliamentary Select Committee recommended that no locomotives be constructed there as the establishment was ill equipped to do so. Despite lacking some facilities for this type of work, two engines were constructed there in 1878 using cylinders, wheels and other spare parts obtained from Kitson with an earlier order. Contrary to some expectations, the Locomotive Superintendent reported that the Ipswich built engines compared favourably to imported engines. The original batch was supplied with four wheel tenders that were later replaced with six wheel ones that had the same water capacity but carried an additional quarter ton of coal. The engines ultimately worked in most areas of the state including the isolated Cooktown and Normanton Railways. They received new steel boilers with 140psi between 1895 and 1897. This increased their tractive effort (@80%) to 8270lbs. A number of other modifications were carried out during their lives. The original spartan cabs were partially enclosed. Westinghouse brakes were fitted. Those surviving to World War 1 were heavily overhauled and received new boilers with deep fireboxes and extended smokeboxes.

Original cost of engines from manufacturers: –

  • Dubs – £1,845
  • Kitson – £2,204
  • Ipswich – £2,268
  • Avonside – £2,546
Technical Details
 Four Wheel TendersSix Wheel Tenders
Wheel Arrangement2-6-02-6-0
Cylinders (diameter x stroke) ins.12 X 2012 X 20
Coupled Wheels diameter ins.3939
Boiler Pressure - psi.120120
Weight - Adhesive13.913.9
Weight - Engine18.318.3
Weight - Tender13.714.4
Coal Capacity - tons2.753
Water Capacity - gallons10001000
Tractive Effort - lbs. (85%)6646 (75%)6646 (75%)
Factor of Adhesion4.64.6
Valve GearStephenson'sStephenson's
Class Roster