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100 Years of Beyer Garratt Locomotives


During the time that Beyer Peacock was active the company published many brochures. The Quarterly Review was published from 1927 to 1931, each volume contained many interesting articles.

 K1 The First Garratt Locomotive taken from BP Quarterly Review Vol 1 No 1 January 1927 ( 816k pdf )

 Musem of Science & Industy Great Garratt Gathering August 2009 ( 352k pdf )

Garratt Locomotive List

pdf Original Garratt List

pdf Wheel Arrangement List  

pdf Gauge List  

pdf Customer List   

The two very first Garratt articulated locomotives (BP 5292 & 5293) were made in 1909 at Gorton Foundry for the 2-foot gauge Dundas Tramway section of the Tasmanian Government Railway. Beyer Peacock had helped Herbert William Garratt (1864-1913) to develop his design and to register the Patent. His ideas had earlier been turned down by Kitsons. By September 1908 Garratt and BP had concluded an agreement setting down terms for the licenses, royalties, etc., and the resources of BP were made available to him, with their Samuel Jackson playing a very big part in achieving a practical design. He was to become the Works Director. Many other early schemes were prepared but none of those materialised into firm orders.

This very first Garratt design was novel in that the cylinders were positioned at the in-board ends of the engine units, no others were like that, and it was also a compound, a principle to be shared by only one other Garratt built in 1927 for Burma Railways (BP 6354).

The second Garratt to be built was also for the 2 foot gauge (BP 5407) in 1910 for the Darjeeling-Himalayan Railway. Perhaps not so commonly known, is that Garratt drew up licensing arrangements also with the Baldwin Locomotive Works, Henschel & Sohn and the Societe St. Leonard at Liege, Belgium, but of those only the last mentioned built any at that time and they were rather weird looking machines.

Garratt was dependent upon the royalties from sales of his Patent locomotives and the terms agreed with BP stipulated a payment of £2 per ton on all Garratts built, with BP having sole manufacturing rights in the UK. It appears that by the end of 1913, the year when Garratt died, advances to him had amounted to £583 - only 25 had by then been made. Western Australia had two orders, for 6 and 7 (in 1911 & 1913), with five other orders until then being for just one or two locomotives. The number had risen to 31 by 1915 when understandably there was a gap over the years of the First Great War, although orders had been placed by the South African Railways for deliveries that should have been in 1916 but delayed until 1919.

The final order of Beyer-Garratts (the correct description from the 1928 expiry of Garratt's own Patent protection), was from a South West African industrial concern and by coincidence, like those first two, was for the 2 foot gauge. These final seven 2-6-2 + 2-6-2's were almost identical to the SAR's NG/G16 design and it came about that these were sold to the SAR as the Tsumeb Corporation had meanwhile changed their line's gauge to 3'6", and as it so happens three of those last 1958-built engines are now in North Wales, two already operating on the Welsh Highland Railway between Caernarfon and Rhyd Ddu at the foot of Snowdon, including the very last one, BP 7868! About to join them on the WHR, is the now fully-restored very first Tasmanian Garratt having come by road from the Ffestiniog Railway's Boston Lodge Works and which in the course of dismantling was found to include some components of its twin K2. K1 is now to carry the name “HERBERT WILLIAM GARRATT”, most appropriately.