Class G

A series of 34 4-6-0 locomotives built by Kitson (16), Hunslet (9), Neilson Reid (6) & R. Stephenson (3).

 These became FMSR Class G and were ordered initially by Perak and Selangor with four each in 1898. More small orders followed for these two railways and for the FMSR from 1903, with two going to the Malacca Railway in 1904.  

Above: Hunslet Class G as Perak 22.

Below: Kitson Class G as FMSR 59.

Below: in order, FMSR 41, FMSR 62 & FMSR 57. All 3 photographs reproduced with permission from the Stephenson Locomotive Society, they are thought to be from the H M le Fleming collection.

 

Maker Number Year First Owner/number FMSR No. Date to FMSR Notes

  Hunslet

 691

1899

Perak Railway

21

36

July 1901.

Scrapped 1/1931

  Hunslet

 692

1899

Perak Railway

22

37

July 1901.

Scrapped 2/1932

  Hunslet

 693

1899

Perak Railway

23

38

July 1901.

Scrapped 11/1930

  Hunslet

 694

1899

Perak Railway

24

39

July 1901.

Scrapped 8/1929

Kitson

3863

1898

Selangor Railway

11

40

July 1901.

Scrapped 2/1928

Kitson

3864

1898

Selangor Railway

12

41

July 1901.

  Scrapped 3/1930

Kitson

3865

1898

Selangor Railway

13

42

July 1901.

  Scrapped 9/1934

Kitson

3866

1898

Selangor Railway

14

43

July 1901.

  Scrapped 12/1928

Kitson

3984

1901

Selangor Railway

15

44

July 1901.

Scrapped 11/1931

Kitson

3985

1901

Selangor Railway

16

45

July 1901.

  Scrapped 5/1934

R Stephenson

3007

1901

Perak Railway

25

46

July 1901.

  Scrapped 7/1934

R Stephenson

3008

1901

Perak Railway

26

47

July 1901.

  Scrapped 11/1931

R Stephenson

3009

 1901

Perak Railway

27

48

July 1901.

  Scrapped 7/1934

Kitson

4110

1902

Selangor Railway

17

49

July 1901.

Still active 4/1938

Kitson

4111

1902

Selangor Railway

18

50

July 1901.

Still active 4/1938

  Neilson Reid

6105

1902

Perak Railway

28

51

July 1901.

Scrapped 7/1934

  Neilson Reid

6106

 1902

Perak Railway

29

52

July 1901.

  Scrapped 7/1931

  Neilson Reid

6107

 1902

Perak Railway

30

53

July 1901.

Still active 4/1938

  Neilson Reid

6108

1902

Perak Railway

31

54

July 1901.

Still active 4/1938

  Neilson Reid

6109

1902

Perak Railway

32

55

July 1901.

Scrapped 4/1934

  Neilson Reid

6110

 1902

Perak Railway

33

56

July 1901.

Still active 4/1938  SSB

Kitson

4189

1903

 

 

57

 

Withdrawn 5/1934

Kitson

4190

1903

 

 

58

 

Withdrawn 7/1947  #1  SSB

Kitson

4238

1903

 

 

59

 

Withdrawn 2/1934 & 7/1947  #2

Kitson

4239

1903

 

 

60

 

Withdrawn 5/1934

Kitson

4279

1904

 

 

61

 

Withdrawn 1/1931

Kitson

4280

1904

 

 

62

 

Withdrawn 2/1930

Kitson

4289

1904

Malacca Railway

3

68

1905

Scrapped 8/1931

Kitson

4290

1904

Malacca Railway

4

69

1905

  Scrapped 4/1934

Hunslet

860

1905

 

 

63

 

Withdrawn 11/1930

Hunslet

861

1905

 

 

64

 

Withdrawn 4/1934

Hunslet

862

1905

 

 

65

 

Withdrawn 2/1928

Hunslet

863

1905

 

 

66

 

Withdrawn 2/1934

Hunslet

864

1905

 

 

67

 

Renumbered 57* 1938

* Indicates a number previously carried by another locomotive

#1 An alteration of le Fleming's 1936 list states "SSB ret'd 1946 to be struck off" but Ramaer does not record it in Siam. SSB indicates that locomotive was transferred to Siam and South Burma by the Japanese.

#2  le Fleming wrote "s. 2/34" in his 1936 list but an alteration dittoes "to be struck off"

Regarding the discrepancies noted above I have come across the following statements:

The engines are the last two G class 4-6-0 steam locomotives we have left running, they first have a flatbed, with cow catcher on front, weighted down with bagged rock ballast, second comes a cut down open wagon, with a Vickers machine gun, then another taller open wagon, with a 6 pounder 6 cwt Hotchkiss Mk I gun inside, then another open wagon with a single Vickers 2 pounder Mk II Pom-Pom AA gun and then the locomotive and tender, two coaches, followed by an open wagon with a second Vickers 2 pounder Mk II Pom-Pom AA gun, and lastly another cut down open wagon, with a Vickers machine gun. All are protected by armour plate on the sides, and to some degree, above. The armour plate used will stop rifle and machine gun fire, shell splinters and grenades. They have a train and gun crew complement of 31, not counting any troops or engineers they might carry.

Historically, there was an armoured train used by the British in Malaya in 1941, although there's precious little detail about it.

Percival's Operations of Malaya Command, The Opening of Hostilities, 131, says "Concurrently, an armoured train, with a detachment of 2/16 Punjab Regt, and some engineers, advanced into Thailand from Padang Besar in Perlis." And later in the paragraph we have "Meanwhile the armoured train party had reached Klong Gnea, in Thailand and successfully destroyed a large bridge before withdrawing to Padang Besar."

Then moving to West Coast Operations 12th-17th December, 1941, 191, says "During the day (16th December) the units of the 11th Division were being reformed in Province Wellesly, covered by a weak rear-guard which consisted of one platoon and the armoured train on the railway bridge (over the River Muda) "

Alam Warren, in his book, Singapore 1942, Britain's Greatest Defeat, mentions the train's advance into Thailand subsequent withdrawal. Later, page 100, after detailing Murray-Lyon's brush with an advance party of Japanese cyclists at the Alor Star road bridge over the Kedah River, he goes on to say
"Soon after the road bridge was blown the demolitions on the rail bridge to the east were also set off. The charges failed to do their task and the bridge was left sagging, the rails broken, but still standing. An armoured train had been cut off north of the river by the attempt to demolish the bridge. Somebody decided to drive the train over the bridge in a final 'Hollywood' style bid to collapse the damaged structure. The train was slowly rolled towards the bridge. The crew leapt off, but, with its whistle jammed and shriking loudly, the train jumped the broken rails and steamed off southwards".
What happened to the train afterwards I'm not sure, and I have no idea if there was just the one armoured train of two, what steam engines were used, and what armour and guns they were equipped with?

It would appear that the locomotives were probably G class numbers 56 & 58, though 59 is also a possibility.

 

NOTES: 1. 59 was named LADY WELD, 60 was named LADY TREACHER.
  2. Although the FMSR was officially formed on 1st July 1901 the Perak and Selangor Railways were not physically connected until 15th August 1903 so the renumbering probably took place around that date. Kitson 4189 and 4190 were completed in February 1903 so would have been delivered around the middle of 1903, being the first locomotives to carry FMSR numbers from new.

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Page created 25th December 2004.

Updated 18th October 2023.

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