Ceylon Government Railway Beyer-Garratt Locomotives in Ceylon


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class C1 (Locobase 579)

Data from Gavin Hamilton's excellent compilation of Garratt data posted at []

(6 September 2005); and "Ceylon Government Railways-Design 1128", Beyer-Garrrat Patent Articulated Locomotives (Manchester, England: Beyer-Peacock & Company Limited, 1931), archived on flickr's Historical Railway Images at [], et seq, p. 28.. See also Eng. Udaya Peeligama, "A Concise History Of Motive Power Development On Sri Lankan Railways", presented on the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka-New South Wales Chapter website at [], posted 7 September 2018, last accessed 3 August 2021. Beyer works number 6410.

This Double Prairie Garratt proved to be the prototype for the more robust octet described in Locobase 580, but operated alone for the first 18 years.


Class C1A (Locobase 580)

Data from Gavin Hamilton's excellent compilation of Garratt data posted at []., accessed (6 September 2005). See also Eng. Udaya Peeligama, "A Concise History Of Motive Power Development On Sri Lankan Railways", presented on the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka-New South Wales Chapter website at [], posted 7 September 2018, last accessed 3 August 2021. Works numbers were 7160-7167.

Prairie Garratts that followed the lone C1 (Locobase 579) after several years and a war. The designers took the opportunity to enlarge the firebox considerably (26%) while maintaining almost the same axle loading. Thermic syphons likely provided the additional direct heating surface area.

Eng Peeligama's assessment of this design underscores the significant boost in power these engines represented: "[T]he Garratts were the undisputed steam era Kings of the Hill Country, their thunderous and asynchronous four cylinder exhaust beat reverberating across the mountain sides."

Indeed, their power caused them to be used always at the head end of trains on the incline. "The Garratts were never operated as bankers lest their formidable tractive effort cause derailment through coupler over-run."

They were equipped with Hadfield power reversers, the first such introduction on a Garratt by Beyer, Peacock and Nicholson thermic syphons to enhance boiler heat transfer."

Apparently "later efforts at oil firing, [while] no doubt lessening the fireman's chores, had some deleterious effects on the engine crew."


Class H1 (Locobase 578)

Data from Gavin Hamilton's excellent compilation of Garratt data posted at [], last accessed 6 September 2005; and "Ceylon Government Railways-Design 1158", Beyer-Garrrat Patent Articulated Locomotives (Manchester, England: Beyer-Peacock & Company Limited, 1931), archived on flickr's Historical Railway Images at [], et seq, p. 21. Beyer, Peacock works number was 6629.

Hauling freight between Colombo and Opanake on the Kelani Valley line, this little Garratt had a relatively large Belpaire firebox and grate for its boiler. This may reflect both the relatively low quality of fuel and the use of superheat to augment the power of the boiler's steam.

Compared to many Garratts built for broader gauges, the toy-like dimensions reflect both the 762-mm gauge as well as curve radii as tight as 70 ft. Another consideration was the very short 19 miles (30.6 km) on a section between Nanu-Oya and Rigalla, which were ruled by 4.17% grades. As with many Garratts, however, the attraction of joining two engine sets to replace two separate locomotives of the 0-4-2T arrangement proved able to decrease coal consumption by 17% while hauling 83% more train tons.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

ClassC1C1AH1
Locobase ID579 580 578
RailroadCeylon Government RailwayCeylon Government RailwayCeylon Government Railway
CountryCeylonCeylonCeylon
Whyte2-6-2+2-6-22-6-2+2-6-22-4-0+0-4-2
Number in Class181
Road Numbers241343-350293
Gauge5'6"5'6"2'6"
Number Built181
BuilderBeyer, PeacockBeyer, PeacockBeyer, Peacock
Year192719451929
Valve GearWalschaertWalschaertWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)19.67 / 610.50
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)41.17 / 12.5535.75
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.48 0.29
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)63.42 / 19.3335.75
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)30,016 / 13,61530,240 / 13,71715,680 / 7112
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)178,752 / 81,081181,216 / 82,19862,720 / 28,449
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)275,296 / 124,872288,512 / 130,86787,360 / 39,626
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)275,296 / 124,872288,512 / 130,86787,360 / 39,626
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)4800 / 18.184800 / 18.181200 / 4.55
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT) 7.70 / 7 7.70 / 7 2.20 / 2
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)50 / 2550 / 2526 / 13
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)43 / 109243 / 109230 / 762
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)184.20 / 12.70188.50 / 13178.40 / 12.30
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)16" x 22" / 406x559 (4)16" x 22" / 406x560 (4)10" x 16" / 254x406 (4)
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)41,014 / 18603.6641,971 / 19037.7516,175 / 7336.87
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.36 4.32 3.88
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)174 / 16.16220 / 20.4558 / 5.39
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)44.80 / 4.1644.90 / 4.1714.90 / 1.38
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1826 / 169.641860 / 172.86492 / 45.72
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)346 / 32.14362 / 33.6482 / 7.62
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2172 / 201.782222 / 206.50574 / 53.34
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume178.33181.65169.14
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation825284642658
Same as above plus superheater percentage957398183030
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area37,17948,10511,796
Power L1749182044661
Power MT554.34598.84655.34

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