Friday, 3 June 2011

Zwillinge Steam Locomotives, South West Africa

Zwillinge locomotives were a class of small 2 feet (610 millimetres) narrow gauge paired steam locomotives that were built in Germany in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The first large consignment of Zwillinge locomotives arrived in Swakopmund between 1898 and 1899. As indicated by their name "Zwillinge" (twins), they were actually two separate locomotives that were designed to be semi-permanently coupled back-to-back at the cabs, allowing a single footplate crew to fire and control both engines. The pairs of locomotives shared a common manufacturer’s works number and running number, with the units being designated as A and B. The A locomotives had higher cabin roofs than the B locomotives so that the roofs could overlap while coupled, to provide better protection for the crew. They were designed so that they could also be used separately, each having a full set of controls. When run in single mode they were referred to as Illinge. The particular locomotives depicted are the second DSWA pair, numbered 2A and 2B.The station on the postcard is Okahandja in 1903

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