Malta Railway

Locomotives & Rolling Stock

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List of Locomotives

The locomotives were painted dark olive green with black wheels and frames. The smokebox was also painted black and the buffer beams were painted vermilion. The locomotives carried a brass oval number plate with the brass number raised on a red background.

Locomotives 1 to 3 normally hauled 4 or 5 carriages up the 1 in 60 bank from Valletta to Birkirkara and 4 carriages up the 1 in 40 bank up to Notabile. Manning Wardle 2-6-4 Tank Locomotive No 2

Locomotive 4 normally hauled 5 or 6 carriages.

Locomotives 5 & 6 were almost twice the weight of the earlier locomotives and could haul up to 10 carriages. Manning Wardle 2-6-4 Tank Locomotive No 5 outside the engine shed at Hamrun. Manning Wardle 2-6-4 Tank Locomotive No 5

Locomotives 7 to 10 being more powerful normally hauled up to 10 carriages and at festivals as many as 12. During the First World War troop trains composed of more than 12 carriages were common running non stop from Valletta to Museum with locomotive 4 used as a banker. Beyer Peacock 2-6-4 Tank Locomotive No 9 and train at Hamrun Station

The 7 mile line was single track throughout with a run round at Valletta and Museum stations and passing loops at other stations. The locomotives were oriented with the smokebox of locomotives 2 & 8 facing Valletta terminus. Locomotives 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 & 10 smokebox facing Museum terminus. It soon became apparent that the 42 lbs. per foot rails were insufficient for the heavier locomotives and a program of replacement with more substantial 60 lbs. per foot rails was started.

List of Rolling Stock

The carriages had steel chassis and fixtures with wooden bodies. The 1st class carriages were varnished and the 3rd class painted dark green. The carriages were lit by candles until 1900 when 8 cell storage batteries and low voltage electric light bulbs were installed. Connecting planks between each carriage allowed ticket inspectors to pass along the train.

At Birkirkara station a single 3 rd class preserved carriage is all that is left of the rolling stock. Inside view of the carriage

First and third class train stationary at Hamrun station after closure.

Rolling stock at Hamrun workshop and sidings after closure

Time Table 1883

On weekdays the train service consisted of 13 trains down and 14 up between Valletta and Museum. In additional there were 3 down and 2 up between Valletta and Attard, 3 down and 4 up between Valletta and Birkirkara, and 3 in each direction between Valletta and Hamrun. The down journey time from Valletta to Museum was 35 minutes and the up time was 30 minutes. Departures from Valletta were signalled by the guard's whistle and augmented by the ringing of a hand bell.

On Sundays and festivals there were 20 trains in each direction of which 10 trains ran in each direction from Valletta to Museum and 4 in each direction between Valletta and Attard.