Steam Locomotive [Bertha]

Maker and role
Orenstein and Koppel, Manufacturer
Production date
See full details

Object detail

Accession number
Production period
Orenstein and Koppell 1904 0-4-0 WT well tank steam locomotive. Known as "Bertha". Currently painted black with gold/yellow highlights and some red on undercarriage.

Original Register description: 3' 6" gauge 0-4-0. Approximately 7 tons, all 4 wheels driving, no tender. Red in colour.
Brief History
This locomotive was built in 1904 by Orenstein and Koppel of Berlin at their Drewitz Works with the makers number 1411. At 5 tons, the locomotive was affectionately known as "Bertha" and was the smallest 3 ft 6-inch gauge steam locomotive to operate in New Zealand. Bertha was built as a 1' 11½" (600 mm) gauge 0-4-0WT wheel arrangement 20Hp locomotive and was one of 3 bought by the Northern Coal Company's railway at Waro for use in the Hikurangi and Waro areas north of Whangārei. It worked there until May 1913 when it was bought by the New Zealand Cement Company (formed in 1901) to operate within the quarry on Limestone Island located in the Whangārei Harbour. Five years later, in 1918, the company restructured and NZCC became Wilson's Portland Cement Company and Bertha moved to Portland. During the shift, Bertha was re-gauged to the New Zealand standard of 3 ft 6 inches by Andersons Engineering in Christchurch. It worked for a number of years on Wilson's large industrial railway, mostly on the wharf run. In 1957 it was donated to the Old Time Transport Preservation League before coming to MOTAT.

Bertha is significant as one of only five German steam locomotives ever to be imported to New Zealand and the smallest 3’6” locomotive to ever have been used in the country. The engine was not overly popular being a relatively low powered locomotive, however it saw over 50 years working on railways. It has been restored or overhauled four times at MOTAT beginning with a static restoration in the 1960s. Between 1978-1980 it was restored to operating condition and then overhauled between 1989 and 1995 and, more recently, between 2019-2022.
1411 Maker's Number
Akt. Ges. Orenstein & Koppel Berlin / LOKOMOTIVFABRIX / No_1411 / 1904 / 12 Kg. p. gcm. = 12 Atm. Maker's Plate
Other name
Credit Line
Orenstein and Koppel. 1904. Steam Locomotive [Bertha], 1964.56. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).


Public comments

Be the first to comment on this object record.

Google reCaptchaThis site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.