Class H 0-8-0T (1860)

Class H 2-Cylinder Banking Tank Locomotive
Designed by Marek Luršimonš
Built in 1860 by August Borsig, Berlin, Germany

Most locomotives running on the RSR at the beginning of the 1860s were quite adequate by the standards of the day but often found themselves in trouble on the more steeply-graded lines in the south. To avoid double-heading over a whole journey, Luršimonš decided to keep a number of banking engines at the foot of the severest inclines, including those at Rovniebera and Forihv. An extra locomotive depot was established at Rovniebera for stabling and fuelling. Borsig delivered the first twenty of these feisty little 0-8-0Ts in 1860 and another twenty followed in 1862. Their adhesive weight of some 48 tonnes guaranteed sure-footedness and their tractive effort of over 10 tonnes gave a lively leg-up to many a 2-4-0 struggling at the front of a train. Since their job was virtually redundancy-proof, they remained in service until the late 1890s, when they were finally displaced by relegated class M 0-8-0s.

Text and graphics © Norman Clubb 2012