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'Now What Has She Got That 400 Others
(BY HELEN RICHARDS)
'I want you to find out what she's got that the other 400 haven't got!' That was my job for the day. 'You mean ? -??' 'Yes, I mean the Garratt,' the editor said calmly, 'the big new locomotive that precipitated this week's railway strike. Look it over, tell our readers about it.'
So there was I in a cream frock with a green bolero, gallantly climbing into the cab of the Garratt. She stood, a mighty man-made monarch or steel. Maybe I should have played with trains more instead ot dolls when I was a child, I thought desperately. But everyone at Midland was so really delightful, so keen to teach me all about the Garratt that my awe at being the first girl in the monster's cabin goon vanished. 'Now, what has she got that the other 400 or more engines haven't! got?' I reminded myself Where does she differ from the 'P' class loco- motives that we see on the expresses, or the new 'S' class, whose first hint at streamlining adorns this year's WAGR calendars? Actually the Garratt is two engines coupled back to back with only one boiler and one crew It has a greatly increased haulage power, and in contrast to other engines which have to be turned at the end of their jour- ney, can be driven equallv well in either direction, as it has a four-wheeled bogie at each end. There is no tender, the coal and water being carried on the engine it- self which comprises three main units: the front engine unit, the boiler unit, and the hind engine unit which carries the bunker. Its boiler unit is carried on two pivot centres, placed one on each en- gine unit, so as to give the flexibility required when travelling over curves and crossings they act as large hinge pins. As the Garratt goes backwards or forwards tor long journeys the en- gine cab is closed at the back to keep out wind and rein, but unfortunately in the tunnel (the 'rat hole' aa it is known) it also keeps in fumes and heat. Now, it may have to be cut away again. As against the 350 ton load an 'S' engine pulls, on the same grade the giant Garratt has hauled 380 tons, and in a year's haulage that represents
a mighty big increase. On the comparatively new 'S' type are the biggest coupled driving- wheels our tracks will support, and the best way to increase the power without pulling up the tracks was to have two sets of wheels with the pivot centres. Hence the new Garratt. For Garratts Only So this is what the Garratt has got that the other 400 engines haven't. Its twin engine has a greatly in- creased haulage, with a saving of crew, water and coal, for only a little more than half the cost of two other engines. While the S class is restricted to main lines — it doesn't go over the Fremantie bridge for example — the Garratt can go anywhere. You'll recognise them when you see them pass by. G26, G27, G28. A Midland Workshops product, this is the first real approach to a stan- dard Australian locomotive, and the first Garratt locomotive to be de- signed and built entirely in the Southern Hemisphere. And now how to get out of the cab? Easy enough to climb up those pre- cipitous iron steps. But how to get down? Frontways or backways? What a long way! What a pre- dicament! What an engine! What a climax! I jumped.
Here's the difference between the much-in-the-news Garratt locomotive (top) and the con ventional S class (lower). Note the Garratf has driving wheels at each end. the S class only one set. Garratt's cab is closed at the back, the other engine's is open. (Story this page.)