NGG16 Class Beyer-Garratts

Beyer-Garratt No.138 leaving Caernarfon - from a watercolour by David Perrin,
reproduced by kind permission of the artist

The WHR's workhorses are K1's direct descendants, NGG16 class 2-6-2+2-6-2 Beyer-Garratts built for work in South Africa - among the most powerful steam locomotives ever built for 2' gauge. Three NGG16s arrived in Wales in 1997, all from the same batch built by Beyer Peacock in 1958, followed by another in 2006, from an earlier batch. Closure of some 2' gauge lines in South Africa, together with dieselisation of others, means that a considerable quantity of rolling stock and other material has come onto the market there. The WHR Project has taken full advantage of this situation.

(archive photos courtesy of David Forsyth)

The contract to supply and overhaul the first two NGG16s for the WHR, nos. 138 and 143, went to the Alfred County Railway in South Africa. No. 143 was the last Garratt built by the Manchester firm, and will make an interesting comparison with pioneer K1. No. 138 was steamed in March 1996, with no.143 following over the summer. The NGG16s entered service after being converted from coal to oil firing, in line with general FR practice. However since their introduction the cost differential between oil and coal has meant a shift back towards coal. 87 therefore entered service as a coal burner, as did pioneer Garratt K1. 

The current intention is to keep a mix of coal and oil burners in order to give the railway some flexibility as fuel prices vary. So with this in mind when 138 re-enters service towards the end of the first half of 2010 it will continue to be an oil burner.

The five NGG16s associated with the WHR have their own pages, listed here in order of acquisition.

No. 138 Mileniwm / Millennium - entered service 1997, and returned to service after a 10 year overhaul

No. 143 - entered service 1998 and now undergoing a 10 year overhaul

No. 140 - not yet in service, however its components and engine units are being used to keep existing fleet operational

No. 87 - acquired 2006, underwent a sponsored overhaul and is now in service

No. 109 - acquired 2009 by Pete Waterman for use on the WHR and undergoing overhaul at the LNWR workshop in Crewe

NGG16 Garratts - Technical Details
Length over couplers 48 feet 5 inches
Wheel arrangement 2-6-2 + 2-6-2T
Total wheelbase of loco 43' 3"
Coupled wheelbase of each power unit  6' 3"
Power unit wheelbase inc. trailing axles 13' 10.5"
Driving wheel diameter 2' 9"
Trailing wheel diameter 1' 9"
Total heating surface 1,049.1 square feet
Heating surface of tubes 859 sq. ft.
Heating surface of firebox 82.1 sq. ft.
Heating surface of superheater 149 sq. ft.
Grate area 19.5 sq. ft.
Boiler pressure 180 pounds per sq. inch
Cylinders (x 4) 12" diameter, 16" stroke
Valvegear Walschaert
Tractive effort @ 85% pressure 21,553 lb.
Water capacity 1,823 gallons
Weight in working order 62 tons (approx.)

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Authored by Ben Fisher; last updated July 11th, 2010 by David Tidy