For long-distance 3ft 6in gauge passenger trains the Norwegian State Railways (NSB) began using a series of 4-4-0 tender locomotives in 1881.

The first of these was the Type XI, four of which were built by the Scottish builder Dübs in 1881. These were followed by the Type XIa, of which there was only one example, built by Nohab in 1891; the Type XII, of which there was one built by Nohab in 1892, and finally the Type XIII.

Nine examples of the Type XIII were built, starting with four by Dübs between 1893 and 1895, three by the German builder Hartmann between 1895 and 1900, and two by the Norwegian builder Thunes in 1900 and 1902.

As was the fashion of the time, these locomotives were compounds, with two cylinders of different diameters.

Only one of these has been preserved, No.7, the first of the Type XIII class to be built by the Norwegian engineering firm Thunes. The reason it has been preserved is that it is also the first locomotive of any type to have been built by Thunes. However, it is an extremely interesting locomotive in its own right, showing an unsusal blend of influences in its design and style.

No.7 was used on the Stavanger—Flekkefjord Railway in the south-west of Norway, and was taken out of service in 1946 after that railway had been converted to standard gauge.

Other Type XIIIs were used on the Hamar—Røros—Trondheim line, where they ran double-headed hauling overnight sleeping car trains, and on the Oslo—Drammen—Randsfjord line.

Frank Stamford

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No.7 on display at Hamar Railway Museum. Unfortunately its location is very confined, making photography difficult. The style of the Thunes built locomotives of this class is extremely interesting, and displays a number of nineteenth-century American influences, including the un-painted planished-steel boiler cladding and the spacious wooden cab, which made use of the excellent timber available in Norway. The Scottish Dübs built locomotives of the same class had steel cabs.

A close-up view of No.7's cab and four-wheel tender.

Another view of No.7's cab which was designed to protect the crew from the harsh Norwegian climate.

Taking a side view photograph of No.7 is unfortunately almost impossible due to the confined location, combined with strong backlighting. This is my best attempt using a fisheye lens, then defishing it with computer software, and using PhotoShop to compensate for the backlighting.

No.7 is a two cylinder compound with cylinder diameter of 320 and 480mm, cylinder stroke of 457mm, driving wheel diameter of 1422mm, coupled wheelbase of 1905mm, and a total locomotive wheelbase of 3886mm. The tender wheelbase is 1829mm, and the total wheelbase of the locomotive and tender is 7864mm. The overall length is 11,582mm.

The total weight in working order is 32.6 tonnes, and the maximum axle load only 6.9 tonnes. Water capacity is 3,100 litres, and coal capacity 1 tonne.

The maximum permitted speed running forwards was 55 km/h, and tender first was 35 km/h.

Leading to bridge

No.7's kerosene headlight.

bridge pier

The maker's plate on No.7. "Thunes Mekaniske Værksted" translates to Thunes Mechanical Workshop, and Kristiania was the name of the city of Oslo in 1901. (The name was changed to Oslo in 1925).

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All photographs Copyright Frank Stamford, 2010, who may be contacted by email at:

Last updated: 27 December 2010