Kerr Stuart steam railmotor

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Kerr Stuart steam motor car
Kerr Stuart steam railcar.jpg
Kerr Stuart steam railmotor in 1913
Type and origin
Power type Steam, vertical boiler
Builder Kerr, Stuart & Co. - power unit
Victorian Railways - body
Build date 1912
Total produced 1
Gauge 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm)
Driver dia. 48 in (1,200 mm)
Length 60 ft (18 m)
Loco weight 41.52 long tons (42.19 t; 46.50 short tons)
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 1,680 lb (760 kg)
Water cap 430 imp gal (2,000 l)
 • Firegrate area
14.18 sq ft (1.317 m2)
Boiler pressure 160 psi (1,100 kPa)
Heating surface 663.64 sq ft (61.654 m2)
Cylinders 2
Cylinder size 16 in × 12 in (406 mm × 305 mm)
Valve gear Walschaerts
Performance figures
Tractive effort 6,144 lbf (27.33 kN)
Operators Victorian Railways
Number in class 1
Numbers Motor Car 3
First run 25 January 1913
Last run 1924
Disposition Scrapped

The Kerr Stuart steam railmotor, also known as Motor Car 3, was a steam railcar operated by the Victorian Railways from 1913 to 1924.


The engine unit was ordered in April 1912 from Kerr, Stuart & Co..[1] It was of the same type used on steam railcars of the Great Western Railway.[2][3] The engine unit was delivered to Melbourne on 24 November 1912.[3]

The body was constructed by the Victorian Railways at Newport Workshops. The body was supported on the power bogie by four vertical links in the same style as the Great Western Railway steam railcars.[4] It was designated Motor Car 3 (following on from the Rowan steam railmotors which were Motors No.1 and No.2) and entered service in June 1913.[2] It could carry 27 first class and 27 second class passengers, using seats from the contemporary Tait trains.[1]


Motor Car 3 made its first run on 25 January 1913 and commenced regular testing the following month.[5] It entered service on 5 March 1913 between Warrnambool and Hamilton.[6] It was unable to accommodate the number of passengers and a trailer car for 30 passengers was attached. The additional weight of the trailer car resulted in it running late on every trip and requiring water every 18 miles.[7] By late April 1913 the new steam car had failed and had to be returned to Newport for repairs.[8]

From May 1913 it operated between Maryborough and St Arnaud, initially as a temporary measure to replace a McKeen railmotor and permanently from April 1914.[9][10]

From January 1915 it operated local services between Ballan and Ballarat.[11] However it suffered frequent breakdowns and accommodation for passengers and luggage was often inadequate.[12]


By 1922 the cost of operating the one-carriage steam car proved to be more expensive than the new petrol cars.[13] Motor Car 3 was withdrawn in 1924[2] after travelling 50,000 miles (80,000 km) in service and was scrapped in 1927.[14]

See also


  1. ^ a b "RAILWAY MOTORS. Steam Car Ordered". The Argus. 13 April 1912.
  2. ^ a b c Railways in Australia. Traction Publications. 1949. p. 7.
  3. ^ a b "STEAM MOTOR-CAR". The Argus. 26 November 1912.
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference RiA4 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ "NEW STEAM CAR". The Argus. 19 February 1913.
  6. ^ "STEAM CAR". The Argus. 28 February 1913.
  7. ^ "STEAM CAR". The Argus. 12 March 1913.
  8. ^ "NEW STEAM CAR". The Argus. 29 April 1913.
  9. ^ "STEAM CAR". The Argus. 14 May 1913.
  10. ^ "THE RAILWAYS". The Argus. 3 April 1914.
  11. ^ "BALLAN TO BALLARAT". The Argus. 20 January 1915.
  12. ^ "STEAM CAR". The Argus. 13 February 1915.
  13. ^ "Railway Motor Cars". Northern Argus. 21 July 1922.
  14. ^ ""Great Western" Steam Car".

External links

  • 1913 Kerr Stuart Railmotor
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