Phoenix Foundry

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The Phoenix Foundry was a company that built steam locomotives and other industrial machinery in the city of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. Over 30 years they built 352 locomotives for the Victorian Railways, of 38 different designs. [1]

Contents

History

AA class locomotive of 1900 AA class locomotive.jpg
AA class locomotive of 1900

The Phoenix Foundry was established in 1854 to build mining machinery and was incorporated as the Phoenix Foundry Co. Ltd. in 1870. [2]

The company was established by iron-founder William Shaw, moulder Robert Holden, and engine-smiths Richard Carter and George Threlfall. The business prospered, and by November 1861 it employed 96 men, producing a wide range of products. From around 1858 the employees were working an eight-hour day while doing as much work as English workers did in ten hours. [3] In 1871 Phoenix completed the locomotive named Governor Weld which was the first steam locomotive to operate in Western Australia. Also in August 1871 the foundry successfully tendered for the first Victorian Government railway locomotive contracts, with the first locomotive being delivered on 27 February 1873, and by 1884 over 350 men were employed. Modernisation of the works was carried out after Shaw visited Britain in 1871 and 1885, with the workshops becoming the most advanced in the southern hemisphere. The hundredth locomotive was completed in April 1883 and the two hundredth by October 1887. [3] The majority of locomotives built were duplicates of imported 'pattern engines' designed and built overseas by other companies. [4]

Problems arose in 1889 when Shaw attempted enforce a non-union shop, which resulted in conflict with the employees. [3] Further trouble arose regarding the foundry's relationships with the Victorian Railways (VR), with a tender war erupting between Phoenix and the VR Newport Workshops for the construction of Dd class 4-6-0 light-line locomotives. [5] A Royal Commission was appointed in October 1904 to resolve the question of the 'real costs' of production. The Commission found in favour of Newport, which could produce a locomotive for £3,364 - some £497 cheaper than Phoenix's cost, and noted that Phoenix was making a 23 percent profit on each locomotive. Phoenix received no further orders from the VR beyond the seven members of the Dd class which were delivered in 1904. The works lasted another year until the directors entered voluntary liquidation. [5]

Locomotives

B class with original spark-arresting funnel B class at Ballarat.jpg
B class with original spark-arresting funnel

Locomotives built by the Phoenix Foundry for the Victorian Railways included: [6] [7]

Engineering heritage award

The foundry received an Engineering Heritage Marker from Engineers Australia as part of its Engineering Heritage Recognition Program. [11]

See also

Related Research Articles

Victorian Railways X class Class of 29 Australian 2-8-2 locomotive

The Victorian Railways X class was a mainline goods locomotive of the 2-8-2 'Mikado' type operated by the Victorian Railways (VR) between 1929 and 1960. They were the most powerful goods locomotive on the VR, aside from the single H class, H220, which was confined to the North East line, until the advent of diesel-electric traction, and operated over the key Bendigo, Wodonga, and Gippsland mainlines.

Victorian Railways C class

The C class was a mainline goods locomotive of the 2-8-0 'Consolidation' type that ran on the Victorian Railways between 1918 and 1962. Although its original design had some key shortcomings, a number of improvements were made over the class' long career on the VR, many of which were subsequently applied to other locomotive classes on the system.

Victorian Railways A2 class Class of 185 Australian 4-6-0 locomotives

The A2 class was an express passenger locomotive that ran on Victorian Railways from 1907 to 1963. A highly successful design entirely the work of Victorian Railways' own design office, its long service life was repeatedly extended as the great depression and later world war II delayed the introduction of more modern and powerful replacement locomotives.

The Victorian Railways S class was a class of 4-6-2 express passenger steam locomotive operated by the Victorian Railways (VR) in Australia between 1928 and 1954. Built when the VR was at its zenith and assigned to haul the broad gauge-leg of its Melbourne to Sydney interstate express passenger services, the S class remained the VR's most prestigious locomotive class until the advent of diesel electric locomotives in the early 1950s.

Victorian Railways K class

The K class was a branch line steam locomotive that ran on Victorian Railways in Australia from 1922 to 1979. Although its design was entirely conventional and its specifications unremarkable, the K class was in practice a remarkably versatile and dependable locomotive. It went on to outlast every other class of steam locomotive in regular service on the VR, and no fewer than 21 examples of the 53 originally built have survived into preservation.

The N class was a branch line steam locomotive that ran on Victorian Railways from 1925 to 1966. A development of the successful K class 2-8-0, it was the first VR locomotive class designed for possible conversion from 5 ft 3 in to 4 ft 8+12 instandard gauge.

Victorian Railways H class

The Victorian Railways H class was an express passenger steam locomotive operated by the Victorian Railways from 1941 to 1958. Intended to eliminate the use of double heading A2 class locomotives on The Overland services on the steeply graded Western line to Adelaide, wartime restrictions led to only one locomotive being built. Nicknamed Heavy Harry, H220 was the largest locomotive ever built in Australia and the largest non-articulated steam locomotive to run on Australian railways.

Victorian Railways J class

The Victorian Railways J class was a branch line steam locomotive operated by the Victorian Railways (VR) between 1954 and 1972. A development of the successful Victorian Railways K class 2-8-0, it was the last new class of steam locomotive introduced on the VR. Introduced almost concurrently with the diesel-electric locomotives that ultimately superseded them, the locomotives were only in service for a relatively short time. They should not be confused with an earlier group of five 2-4-0 locomotives built by Beyer, Peacock & Co. in 1860, also designated as J class.

The DD class (later reclassified into D1, D2 and D3 subclasses) was a passenger and mixed traffic steam locomotive that ran on Victorian Railways from 1902 to 1974. Originally introduced on mainline express passenger services, they were quickly superseded by the much larger A2 class and were relegated to secondary and branch line passenger and goods service, where they gave excellent service for the next fifty years. The DD design was adapted into a 4-6-2T tank locomotive for suburban passenger use, the DDE (later D4) class. They were the most numerous locomotive class on the VR, with a total of 261 DD and 58 locomotives built.

Operation Phoenix (railway)

Operation Phoenix was a post-World War II rehabilitation program carried out by the Victorian Railways (VR) in Australia. The program commenced in 1950 and was originally planned to take 10 years and cost £80 million pounds. Operation Phoenix was named after the bird from Egyptian mythology.

Victorian Railways AA class

The AA class was an express passenger locomotive that ran on the Victorian Railways between 1900 and 1932. The largest, heaviest and most powerful 4-4-0 steam locomotive to run in Australia, it was the final development of this locomotive type in Australia.

Victorian Railways B class

The mainline passenger locomotives, later classified as B class, ran on the Victorian Railways (VR) between 1862 and 1917. They used a 2-4-0 wheel arrangement, which provided greater traction on the new, more heavily graded Geelong–Ballarat railway and the Melbourne-Bendigo-Echuca railway, as opposed to the 2-2-2 arrangement previously selected for the relatively level Geelong line. The B class locomotives are regarded as the first mainline VR motive power, and were highly successful in passenger operations.

Victorian Railways E class (electric)

The Victorian Railways E class was a class of electric locomotive that ran on the Victorian Railways from 1923 until 1984. Introduced shortly after the electrification of the suburban rail system in Melbourne, Australia, and based on the same electrical and traction equipment as Melbourne's early suburban electric multiple unit fleet, they provided power for suburban goods services and shunting for six decades.

Victorian Railways M class

The Victorian Railways M class were 4-4-0T (tank) steam locomotives for suburban passenger service in Melbourne, a pattern engine being supplied in 1879 by Beyer, Peacock & Co. Twenty-one further locomotives of this model were built by the Phoenix Foundry of Ballarat, in three batches, from 1884 to 1886. They were numbered 40, 210-240, and 312-320, and were classed M in 1886.

Victorian Railways 'Old' V class were the first government goods steam locomotives on Victorian Railways, built by George England & Co. The four engines were 0-6-0 configuration tender engines built in 1857-8 with builders numbers 142-145. The engines arrived in Port Phillip in September 1858 along with a passenger locomotive of 2-2-2 tender configuration.

Victorian Railways Z class

The Victorian Railways Z class were three locomotives built in 1893 in Victoria, Australia. The class is unusual in that the third member of the class bore little resemblance to the first two. One example of the class survives, at the Scienceworks Museum in Melbourne.

Victorian Railways Y class

The Victorian Railways Y class was a class of 0-6-0 steam locomotives.

Victorian Railways E class

The pattern suburban E class tank loco was built by Kitson & Co of Leeds, England, in 1888 and was a typical British tank engine of the 2-4-2 wheel arrangement. The original loco, named "Tasmania" by the builder, was displayed in the Centennial International Exhibition in the Melbourne Exhibition Buildings in 1888.

V&SAR Intercolonial Express Carriages

V&SAR Intercolonial Express Carriages were carriages on a new train called the Intercolonial Express running on Victorian Railways and South Australian Railways in 1887. The track of two railways met on Wednesday 19 January 1887. The Victorian Railways' Western Line to Dimboola, and the South Australian Railways' Wolseley line, met at Serviceton. Since both sides shared the broad gauge of 5'3", an agreement was made between the two railways allowing a pool of carriages, classed O, to be specifically allocated to interstate trains linking the capitals of Melbourne and Adelaide. The operating and maintenance cost of the new train would be funded by both railways, roughly 60% paid for by the Victorian Railways and 40% by the South Australian Railways.

Victorian Railways T class (1874)

The 23 Victorian Railways T class locomotives were built from 1874 as a light lines goods engine.

References

  1. "Victorian Railways: Phoenix Foundry Locomotives". Museum Victoria. Retrieved 3 August 2008.
  2. "Phoenix Foundry Co Ltd - Australian Science at Work Corporate entry". www.austehc.unimelb.edu.au. Retrieved 2 August 2008.
  3. 1 2 3 Graeme Cope. "Shaw, William Henry (1830 - 1896)". Australian Dictionary of Biography Online. www.adb.online.anu.edu.au. Retrieved 2 August 2008.
  4. Lee, Robert (2007). The Railways of Victoria 1854-2004. Melbourne University Publishing Ltd. p. 109. ISBN   978-0-522-85134-2.
  5. 1 2 Lee, Robert (2007). The Railways of Victoria 1854-2004. Melbourne University Publishing Ltd. p. 141. ISBN   978-0-522-85134-2.
  6. VicRail Public Relations (1981). Power Parade. ISBN   0-7241-3323-2.
  7. Cave, Buckland & Beardsell (2002). Steam Locomotives of the Victorian Railways - Volume 1: The First Fifty Years. Melbourne: ARHS. ISBN   1-876677-38-4.
  8. Cave, et al., p. 51
  9. Oberg, Leon (2007). Locomotives of Australia 1854-2007. Rosenberg Publishing. pp. 83–84. ISBN   1-877058-54-8.
  10. Cave, et al., p. 202
  11. "Phoenix Foundry, 1856 - 1906". Engineers Australia. Retrieved 7 May 2020.

Further reading