Class 434B 2-8-4T (1939)

Class 434B 3-Cylinder Compound Passenger Tank Locomotive
Designed by Frihdrik Tešlov
Built in 1939 by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England

This locomotive was unusual in a number of ways. It was Tešlov's only pre-WW2 tank engine design and one of only three compound types to originate from his drawing board. It shares the boiler of the class 433B 2-8-0 and various details from other classes. Also, the "family resemblance" is  unmistakable. Just why Tešlov chose once again to produce a compound is not on record, although the 1938 express Garratt would seem to indicate that he was looking on compounding more favourably again. The first 434B was delivered from Newcastle in April of 1939 and followed by twelve others (with scattered numbers). The rest of the order (for a total of fifty) was stopped by the outbreak of the Second World War. The engines were immediately put to work on the Bevice outer suburban services, for which they had been ordered. During the war, one was taken to Germany with the 864A Garratt and three lost to partisan sabotage. The remaining nine engines kept up the good work between Tupfdu Rulauriku and Martihpe until they were displaced by the Rodnivacek 4-8-4Ts of 1954, after which they became something of a tramp steamer fleet, pulling parcels and postal trains, banking up to Rovniebera or moving transfer freight in the Bevice area.

Text and graphics © Norman Clubb 2012