Monday, December 8, 2014

Thames (NZ): A & G Price's Locomotives

Many of us have been lucky enough to live in Thames, at a time when trains still came to the town. Being able to go past Price's Foundry and see wagons being repaired, the turntable in action. Looking in the open doors to see what activity was happening in the giant sized sheds.

Below are just a selection of the locomotives made at Thames.
The latest engine for the Auckland District: one of the Atlantic type of locomotives constructed at the Thames Works recently
Source: 1908 Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19080409-6-3
 Above: Showing AB class steam locomotive number 698, built by A and G Price at Thames in 1922.  Source: 'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 589-85'
Above Right: Badly Needed: A 75-TON CLASS A ENGINE, Just Completed at the Thames, Auckland, By Messrs. Price Bros,. For use on the Northern Lines. 

Right: Locally-built locomotive for the Government Railways: the train load of excursionists at Te Aroha on the trial trip from the Thames of the last of ten locomotives built by Messrs A and G Price for the Government.
 Source: 1905
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19050713-16-1

Above: Showing the first of the new locomotives (a Wf Class tank locomotive of 2-6-4 wheel arrangement) being built for the Government Railway Department by Messrs A and G Price of Thames
Source: 1904 Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19040908-12-1
Above: The latest COMPOUND LOCOMOTIVE, built for the Main Trunk Service at The Thames, Auckland, N.Z.
Source: 1908 Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19081231-10-4 '

There are several books available that give a complete history of A & G Price, and the details of the Locomotives built. Prices of Thames by Bob Stott has the following summary:
  • 123 Steam Locomotives built for NZ Railways
  • 22 Steam Locomotives built for other companies
  • 40 Miscellaneous petrol, diesel and battery electric locomotives
  • 54 'Second Generation' internal combustion engine locomotives.
A total of 239 locomotives.

Other sources available for further information:
Men of Metal by C W Vennell
Steam at the Rainbow's End by K I Bullock
Thames Excursion 22 March 1958 by NZ Railway & Locomotive Society Auckland Branch
The Thames Line 1898 - 1990 by R B Green & T J Lees
Te Ara Encylopedia of New Zealand

**Amazing summary and photos just found at John's site on New Zealand Geared Locomotives**

The Treasury, Thames has old records pertaining to the early days of A & G Price

Above: The staff of A & G Price Ltd seated in front of the factory with the 100th locomotive built for New Zealand Railways. The locomotive is probably an Ab Class Pacific. Photograph taken ca 1923 by an unknown photographer.

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