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Charles Wytock

Type of engine: 
steam

Charles Wytock - Bagnall No. 2891 - was built in 1945 and is a 4-4-0T 2 ft (610 mm) gauge loco.

Built for the Tongaat Sugar Company of South Africa and entering service there in 1946. By 1963 it was in use as a stationary boiler. Some time later the loco was plinthed. Purchased for preservation along with sister engine Sinembe around 1993, the two locos were stored at the Gelert's Farm Works on the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway until 1997 when they were moved to Middlesborough for restoration.

After extensive restoration work, the loco was sold to its current owner who brought it to Woody Bay to complete the restoration including the fitting of vacuum and steam brakes.

The loco is currently out of service.

Specification:

Cylinders 10” x 15”
Weight empty 15 tons
Weight in working order 19 tons
Driving wheel diameter 2ft 6in
Fixed wheelbase 3ft 6in
Bogie wheelbase 4ft Oin
Coupling height 18"
Water capacity 450 gallons
Bunker 26 cu ft
Length over buffers 21ft Oin
Width 6ft 8in
Height 9ft lin
Boiler pressure 160psi
Tractive effort at 85% 68001b
Safety valves:  Ramsbottom
Firebox: Circular marine-type with concrete arch


Remarkably, six of the thirteen Tongaat 4-4-OTs survive: four in the UK including the sister engine of Charles Wytock, Isibutu, and one in Texas (Simpola), while the sixth (Mono) still survives but is in poor condition in South Africa.

So who was Charles Wytock? A Scottish emigrant to South Africa, he rose to become a senator there and was for many years a senior director of the Tongaat Sugar Company. Curiously, all known references apart from the locomotive nameplate spell his surname "Whytock".

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