On 16 August 2009 the Puffing Billy Railway ran a special train from Belgrave to Cockatoo, featuring 2ft 6in gauge Beyer Garratt locomotive G42.

G42 is a 2-6-0+0-6-2 which was built in 1926 — and a rather large engine for 2ft 6in gauge.

It is currently the only serviceable Garratt locomotive in Australia, and the occasion was to celebrate 100 years of Garratt locomotives.

The event co-incided with special celebrations at Manchester, England, to mark the 100th anniversary of the building of the first Garratt locomotive, which was also built for Australia, K1 of the Tasmanian Government Railways.

Happily, K1 has also survived and is alive and well on the rebuilt Welsh Highland Railway. It is currently in Manchester taking part in the centenary events close to where it was built.

G42 had been in storage for some months, waiting a major scheduled overhaul. It was taken out of storage specially for this event, and performed magnificently on what was an exhilerating day for all who travelled behind her — despite very peculiar weather, which became quite foul beyond Lakeside.

By all reports, K1 is also performing magnificently.


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The headboard

At Menzies Creek. On its approach to Menzies Creek G42 to was greeted by the whistle of the late G41 and the whistle of a South African Garratt, which were attached to a boiler in the Menzies Creek museum.

At Menzies Creek

At Menzies Creek

In No.2 Road at Emerald, after a very invigorating run up the 1 in 30 grade from Clematis. Waiting to cross a Belgrave-bound train.

At its destination — Cockatoo, in very foul weather!

At Lakeside on the return journey.

At Lakeside

Loco 6A at Lakeside waiting to depart for Belgrave.

The patent plate on G42.

At Emerald, after another invigorating run from Nobelius.

Crossing bridge No.5 — (Monbulk Creek, near Belgrave)

Back at Belgrave, arrival was about five minutes early. The end of a most memorable day.

Much more recently, G42 is seen on the Lunch Train at Emerald, 14 April 2012.

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All photographs Copyright Frank Stamford who may be contacted by email at: frank.stamford@bigpond.com

Last updated: 2 April 2016