Garratts Around The World

Did You See These Monsters?

In the 1970s, I made my world trip to see steam. What started out as a six month trip ended nearly 3 years later, after visiting many steam operations.

Having been brought up with the mighty AD60 class Garratts in my home state of NSW Australia, I had more than a passing interest in Garratts in other parts of the world.

By the time I started photographing steam, the 60 class was the only mechanical stoker engine in the state as the 3 cylinder 57s and 58s had been retired.

I found the above photo of a 57 in action in a Gwydir Valley Models Catalog.

We had to be content with Garratts. They were remarkable in that, while extremely powerful and the equivalent of 2 small engines, they had a light axle load and could travel on many lines.

Mechanical Stoker in full swing, 6002 climbs Hawkemount, 80 miles north of Sydney, heading South

You can see from the above picture that there was no issue producing smoke with these engines, and the Newcastle high grade coal certainly did the trick.


By the time we reached this part of the world, at remote Uyuni, there was a remaining Garratt lying idle, one which never ran again. Please read the article on steam at the top of the world for working steam trains in Bolivia

Bolivian Garratt 901 Set Aside At Uyuni 1976

Southern Africa

Before travelling to South America, we spend some time in Southern Africa. This included a trip to Mozambique, where we spied the magnificent Henschel Passenger Garratts.

These ran between Beira and Machipanda to the Rhodesian border and then the train continued on diesel powered to Salisbury, now Harare.

Henschel 2-6-2 + 2-6-2 Garratt at speed on a passenger in Mozambique 1975

After getting many shots in this part of the world, we returned back to Garratt country via Malawi and Zambia. We were warned that it was very dangerous to take pictures in Zambia, but couldn’t resist. Here is a 20th class heading from Livingston to the Rhodesian border.

I know it is not very exciting, but it is a 20th class number 711 heading from Livingston to the Victoria Falls Bridge

In those days once the train neared the border they would attach the engine to the rear of the train and push it onto the bridge. The loco never went past half way.

The reason is that they didn’t trust each other and were guarding against locos being stolen by their neighbours. Such is Africa, even today.

Heading south into Rhodesia, I managed a couple of more interesting shots of regular steam in this country where Garratts lasted a very long time.

14A no 512 on the West Nicholson Line 1975.

Later I will write a more expansive article on this country where Garratts were king.

South Africa


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