North East Dundas Tramway Beyer-Garratt Locomotives in Australia

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class K (Locobase 794)

Data from "Tasmanian Government Railways-Design 9954", Beyer-Garrrat Patent Articulated Locomotives (Manchester, England: Beyer-Peacock & Company Limited, 1931), archived on flickr's Historical Railway Images at [], p. 16; Articulated Locomotive for the Tasmanian Government Railways", Railroad Age Gazette, Volume XLVII [47], No.20 (12 November 1909), pp. 917-918; and "Garratt Locomotives for the Tasmanian Government Railways", Engineering, Volume 88 (10 December 1909), p. 802. . See also " Locomotive Engines. 17,765. 26th July, 1907. H W Garratt, 25, Leweston Place, Portland Avenue, Stamford Hill.)", Railway Engineer, Volume 29 (October 1909), p.343. (Thanks to Alexander Blessing for his 19 November 2023 email correcting driver diameter, wheelbase, and boiler pressure.). Works numbers were 5292-5293 in 1909.

The first Garratts and one of the few with compound-expansion, these bore. For K1's subsequent career on the West Highland Railway, see [] . The Railway Engineer has the original patent drawing of Garratt's invention and it is interesting chiefly in how it differed from the K-1. "This invention relates to a double bogie engine having a large boiler with a low centre of gravity and large driving wheels on both bogies. The boiler and fittings are carried on a frame of the shortest length practicable, connected at both its ends to self- driven bogie tanks by swivel heads d. Steam cylinder c, with the necessary driving gear, are carried on the bogies." (Accepted 11th June, 1908).

The sketch showed a "typical" Garratt with four simple-expansion cylinders and Belpaire firebox, but with tall drivers and a truck under the nether ends of the tanks.

So it was a bit of a surprise when the very first engines sold used a compound system. The smaller HP cylinders drove the rear axles using steam from inside-admission piston valves. The LP cylinders also had piston valves (Trick-ported and outside admission. Joseph Trick designed this variant on basic piston valves to have two inlets in order to allow more efficient admission during the expansive-working phase of the stroke.)

The Engineering article cited above describes the Garratt layout's advantages in great detail

[] describes the railway for which these first-ever Garratts were built. The context is walking routes on the West Coast of Tasmania [Alas, the link no longer works]]

"Montezuma Falls: Tasmania's Highest Waterfall:

Walk Length : 7 Kilometres

Time: 3+ hours return.

... The existing track was orginally constructed in 1889, for the North East Dundas Tramway, which ran from Zeehan to Williamsford on a two-foot gauge track. The track travelled from Zeehan a distance of 29 km between the mountains and valleys surounding the picturesque Montezuma Falls to service the mines of the Ring Valley and Hercules on Mt Hamilton near Williamsford. The railway cost the government of the day well over 170,000 pounds and took more than eighteen months to complete ....

"... The railway closed in 1925 [other sources say 1929] and much of the evidence of its existence has long since disappeared but enough remains of the old formation to excite the passion of any history buff. Several examples of early timber bridge building techniques are still well preserved and one must be amazed by the fine job of surveying which took place to mark out the original route along the hillside which at times is close to vertical with the Ring River rushing along many metres below."

Beyer Peacock brought the K1 back to England in 1947, probably to restore this first-ever Beyer-Garratt. Ultimately, the Ffestiniog Railway bought the engine in 1966, knowing that the line was too light for the locomotive but hoping to find a way to run it. In 1976, K1 was cosmetically restored exhibit at the National Railway Museum at York. The fFestiniog still had aspirations and now owned the West Highland Railway.

The two conditions merged in 1995 when the FR moved the K1 to the West Highland Railway in 1995 to begin a thorough restoration. Twelve years later, the locomotive steamed for the first time in decades.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID794
RailroadNorth East Dundas Tramway
Number in Class2
Road NumbersK1-K2
Number Built2
BuilderBeyer, Peacock
Valve GearWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)8 / 2.44
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)26.75 / 8.15
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.30
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)26.75 / 8.15
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)19,376 / 8789
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)75,236 / 34,127
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)75,236 / 34,127
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)75,236 / 34,127
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)1008 / 3.82
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT) 1.10 / 1
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)31 / 15.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)31.50 / 800
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)195 / 13.40
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)11" x 16" / 279x406
Low Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)17" x 16" / 432x406
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)14,361 / 6514.05
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 5.24
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)170 - 1.75" / 44
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m) 7.28 / 2.22
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)60.04 / 5.58
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)14.80 / 1.37
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)628 / 58.34
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)628 / 58.34
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume356.84
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation2886
Same as above plus superheater percentage2886
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area11,708
Power L12261
Power MT265.01

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Wes Barris