Garratt Articulated Steam Locomotives

Picture of a Garratt steam locomotive from The Olden Days

Built: Proposed in 1907 by Herbert William Garratt, the first Garratts were made for the Tasmanian (Australia) Government in 1909. The last ones were built in 1968 for South African Railways.

Description: A three-section articulated locomotive with various wheel configurations. The steam boiler being mounted between two steam engines. It was designed in this way to allow the locomotive to negotiate tight curves. A big disadvantage of a Garratt (shared with all tank engines) is that as the water is used from the front tank and coal from the rear bunker, the weight on their wheels decreases, and slipping occurs. To help solve this problem, a wagon containing water was attached behind the Garratt, and this practice also permitted the engine to operate over longer distances.

Duties: First used in Tasmania, then Western Australia and Victoria, and later in other places including Africa, Europe, Asia and South America.

Retirement: There are over 100 Garratts preserved around the world.

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