Garratt Locomotives

TGR K, L, M & G Classes

EBR Beyer-Garratt and ASG Types

There were four types of 3’6" gauge garratt locomotives operated in Tasmania. The first two types were the TGR’s 1912-built L and M class locos. Both classes were built by Beyer, Peacock and Company of Manchester, England and shared many features. The two L class locomotives were built for heavy goods traffic, and these 90 ton machines performed sterling service on the TGR until the arrival of further conventional Q class locomotives, and were stored for most of the 1930s. The two passenger M class locos were the only eight cylinder garratt locomotives in the world, and despite their haulage abilities and speed were difficult to maintain and were withdrawn some time after the arrival of the R class ‘Pacifics’ in 1924. Although the L class had a short respite in the dark days of World War Two, all four locos were cut up during the great scrapping splurge of late 1940s.

The Emu Bay Railway’s three Beyer-Garratt locomotives fared better than their smaller government counterparts. Delivered in 1930, they hauled the majority of heavy freight traffic over the steeply graded line until the delivery of the ASG locomotives from 1950.


The Australian Standard Garratt (ASG) locomotive was designed by the Commonwealth Land Transport Board. The ASG was to be a suitable narrow gauge locomotive aimed at easing a chronic shortage of motive power on the various state 3’6" gauge systems, which was a result of the advent of World War 2. Sixty-five ASG locos were built in 1943–44 by railway workshops in South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia, and by Clyde Engineering in Sydney. Most of the locos operated in Queensland and Western Australia, with eight units assigned to the TGR as their G glass.

The TGR’s original allocation was complemented by another batch of six ex-Queensland locos in 1949–50. Around the same time, the Emu Bay Railway purchased three locos from Queensland, and in 1962 two surplus TGR locos were obtained, one to replace a loco written off soon after entering service.

asg 17 at Burnie

Top:One of the TGR L class stored at Launceston during the late 1940s
Middle: Emu Bay Railway Beyer-Garratt number 13 at Primrose in 1937
Bottom: EBR number 17 (formerly CLTB G23) and Dubs 6 on shed at Burnie in April 1965

All photos ARHS Tasmania Collection

The TGR also owned two 2’ gauge K Class garratts, of an 0-4-0 + 0-4-0 design. A locomotive of this class is preserved in the United Kingdom by the Welsh Highland Railway, and there is a good history of the locomotives at the K1 page on the Welsh Highland Railway Society's Project website. An approximately two third sized replica (15” gauge) of a K class loco was completed in 1990 for use at a tourist attraction near Port Arthur, south of Hobart. This loco has since been sold and is now in the UK. Although none of the Tasmanian ASG locos survived past the mid 1960s, one of the other locomotives built, G33, is preserved at the Bellarine Peninsular Railway in Victoria and various water tanks survive around Tasmania and interstate.









Beyer, Peacock Beyer, Peacock Beyer, Peacock Beyer,  Peacock CLTB


0-4-0 + 0-4-0 2-6-2 + 2-6-2 4-4-2 + 2-4-4 4-8-2 + 2-8-4 4-8-2 + 2-8-4

Intended use:

Narrow gauge
Goods Passenger Goods Goods


1909 1912 1912 1930 1944

Number in Class:

2 2 2 3 14 (TGR)
5 (EBR)

Boiler pressure:

195 psi 160 psi 160 psi 180psi 200psi

Total Weight:

33.5 tons 90 tons 94 tons 132 tons 119 tons


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