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New South Wales Government Railway


2-8-0 Tender Locomotive Class T or 524 order No. 7989 works No 3770-3774 supplied in 1885

The New South Wales Govt. Railways were alone in adopting the Standard Gauge in Australia, from their inception in 1855. It has over 6000 route miles of line.
The NSWGR was Beyer Peacock’s largest customer (by number of locomotives bought), totalling 622 by the time of the last ones delivered to them in 1956, which were the AD.6O Class Beyer Garratts and proved to be quite a humbug of an order.

The first BP locos were 9 ‘23’ Class 2-4-0 tender engines in 1865 (which were in fact rebuilt 1903-5 as 4-4-Os), and also in the same year 3 ‘14’ Class 2-2-2 tender engines. At that time the class identities were taken from the running No. of the first engine in the class. 4 more ‘23’ Class followed in 1870 and then two classes were supplied in quantity - the C.79 Class 4-4-0 from 1876 to 1881, 4O tender engines, some of which were later rebuilt into 4-4-2 Tank Engines, from 1896 when more powerful main line locomotives were needed; and the A.93 Class 0-6-0 Goods Engines from 1877 to 1881, 50 engines, and some of these too - with the arrival of more powerful freight engines - came to be converted, these into 2-6-4 Tank Engines for coal and mineral haulage (this being between 1902 & 1910) when they joined 12 similar Tank Engines supplied brand new by BP in 1890/1.

There were some other big classes from BP: 70 were 2-6-0 Tender Engines B.205 Class built 1881-5; 106 4-6-0 Tender Engines P.6 Class 1891-1909; 151 2-8-0 Tender Engines T.524 Class 1895-1909, with one each of these last two mentioned built in 1911 with Schmidt superheaters - the first to have these on the NSWGR, and later fitted to the rest of these classes as they passed through Workshops; 95 4-6-4 Tank Engines S.636 Class 1903-1914, initially intended for Sydney passenger services but transferred for further suburban service when Sydney’s main suburban services 5 were electrified in 1928, and when they became surplus from that work a number were converted into 4-6-0 Tender Engines, starting from 1928. There were a few other designs built in small numbers for the NSWGR but nothing after 1914 UNTIL orders were placed for 50 mammoth AD.60 Class Beyer Garratts 4-8-4 + 4-8-4, weighing 255 tons in working order and 108’7” overall length, with 60,000 lb. tractive effort on a 16 -ton axleload, and a mechanical stoker and roller bearings on all axles. Initially 25 were ordered and these began entering service in 1952. Perhaps surprisingly, considering that diesel -electric locomotives were arriving on the NSWGR, a further 25 AD.60s were ordered and then a period of financial stringency resulted in an attempt to either cancel or partly cancel, which understandably BP would not accept, ultimately 42 completed engines being delivered and the NSWGR having to pay heavily for the unassembled components of the majority of the remaining engines which had to be purchased as spare parts. Not a very happy way to complete so many years of supplying steam locomotives to this the largest customer BP had. Withdrawals of the AD.60s commenced in 1958 & 1963 with accident damage or cannibalised "to overcome a shortage of spare parts" it has been said, unbelievable with what had been crated off to them !! but 14 were still active by early 1970, and the last one in traffic No.6042 was withdrawn in March 1973. Four have been preserved: 6039 & 6042 at the Dorrigo Steam Railway & Museum, 6029 in the Canberra Railway Museum and 6040 in the NSW Rail Transport Museum at Burwood, Sydney (also known as the Thirlmere Rly Museum).

In 1949 a jointly -owned subsidiary company METROPOLITAN-VICKERS, BEYER, PEACOCK LTD was established, at Bowesfield Works, Stockton-on-Tees "for the purpose of designing, manufacturing and selling Electric, Diesel-Electric and Gas TurboElectric Locomotives (excluding Steam Locomotives)" and amongst the orders completed was one in 1954/5 for New South Wales Department of Railways comprising 40 Co-Co 3820 hp Electric Locomotives for 1500 dc overhead current, and these weighed 108 tons. The bogies were coupled at the inner ends. One of these is now preserved at Dorrigo.

HERBERT WILLIAM GARRATT (1864 -1913) came into association with the firm of Beyer Peacock & Co. Ltd. through his appointment as the Inspecting Engineer for the New South Wales Govt. Railway in 1907 on the contracts for the building at Gorton Foundry of 10 of the 4-6-4Ts) 15 of the 4-6-Os and 30 of the 2-8-0s mentioned above. Whilst there, and evidently after many discussions with the drawing office and design staff, Garratt filed his ‘Complete Specification’ for his Patent-design of articulated locomotive in 1908, that was accepted by the Patent Office, and after which Garratt concluded his agreement with BP whereby they enjoyed sole manufacturing rights in the United Kingdom for Garratt Locomotives.

Information provided by Joe Lloyd