Australian Standard Garratt

Total Number of Engines Built 23*
First Engine Built 1943
Last Engine Built 1944

*Number of engines delivered to Queensland. Altogether, 57 were built.

Number of Engines in Class in Service as at:-

31/12/42 31/12/43 31/12/44 31/12/45
6 20


These controversial engines were designed and constructed under auspices of Commonwealth Land Transport Board for use on all Australian 3’6″ gauge railways to assist with heavy traffic during World War 2.

Despite having an axle load of 8.5 tons, their overall weight restricted them to main lines in Queensland. QR opposed the design and requested (unsuccessfully) that additional C17 class engines be constructed instead.

Twenty three engines were delivered to Queensland but QR purchased only thirteen (G1 -G5, G14 – G17 and G21 – G24) with the remainder being hired. They were mainly used on the North Coast Line between Brisbane and Rockhampton.

The engines suffered from numerous design faults and were prone to derailment. Despite modifications, many of these deficiencies could not be satisfactorily rectified and this made the class unpopular with both the administration and unions. All engines were withdrawn from service in September 1945. G9, the last engine to arrive in Queensland, was never used by QR.

Although intended for use on all 3’6″ gauge railways the class only operated in Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania during the wartime years. They were also disliked in Western Australia and the enginemen there took industrial action after cessation of hostilities. This resulted in the government establishing a Royal Commission that ultimately made 38 recommendations regarding the ASG and their operation. In November 1951, six surplus engines from WAGR were sold to South Australia to assist with increasing ore traffic from Broken Hill. There too they were unpopular and were withdrawn following the delivery of new 400 Class Beyer Garratts in 1953.

Apparently their reputation in Tasmania was not as tarnished and six ex QR engines were sold to TGR and another three to Emu Bay Railway. No buyer could be found for the remainder and they were sold for scrap in 1955.

The engines built at VR’s Newport Workshops were not fitted with builder’s plates. It has been said that the VR CME refused to allow them to be fitted lest he be held responsible for the engines (and their defects).


VR – Newport Railway Workshops, Melbourne
SAR – Islington Railway Workshops, South Australia
Clyde – Clyde Engineering Works, Granville, NSW

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Technical Details
Wheel Arrangement4-8-2+2-8-4
Cylinders (diameter x stroke) ins.14¼ x 24 (A)
Coupled Wheels diameter ins.48
Rigid Wheel Base9' 0"
Length over Buffers85' 9½"
Height over smoke stack12' 4"
Axle Load8.5
Boiler Pressure - psi.200
Heating Surface - tubes1698
Heating Surface - Total sq. ft.2013
Grate Area - sq. ft.35.0
Weight - Adhesive68.0
Weight - Engine119.0
Weight - Tender-
Coal Capacity - tons6
Water Capacity - gallons4200
Tractive Effort - lbs. (85%)34520
Factor of Adhesion4.4
Valve GearWalschaert
Class Roster