A Garratt In Miniature

Category Archives: Information

Progress has stalled…

Just to update followers to this blog on the state of the 16! Simply put, we bought a new house last month and are in the middle of gutting and rebuilding it.

My other half seems to think that this is more important than building a new workshop…. But, I’m not going to win 🙂

So, house first, workshop second!

Next year will see the loco progress once again, but in a new home.

Cheers, Chris

Hunslet work first


With my resident model engineering society on the move this year, the likelyhood of my old hunslet getting a fair few runs, is unlikely. Hence, I’ve made the decision to restore her during the clubs downtime.

Basically its a re-pipe, as the water feeds are too small for this size of loco. Bigger injectors all round.

This will mean that there will be some downtime on the garratt until work is completed.

Cheers, Chris

October Update?

No, do not fear… i’ve not stopped work on the project, but have taken a short break during October to take care of some other things in my life. Work will commence next week to complete the major component parts of the cylinders and pictures will of course follow.

However, there will be a short hiatus over the winter, as my Hunslet needs some TLC (and a few mods) ready for next years running season.

Cheers, Chris

Official research jolly

A few weeks back, I took the opportunity to visit the WHR. Glorious day, picturesque surrounding and of course a few NGG16’s for good measure. Thought I’d post a few pictures, including one at the recently opened Pont Croesor extension, only a few miles from its final destination of Porthmadog, which is rumoured to open later in the year.

138 at Dinas on the first train of the day…

138 arrives at the new Pont Croesor station…

138 rounding the final curves on the climb to Rhyd Ddu…

87 ready for departure, as 138 clears the line to Waunfawr…

Why an NGG16?

Why not!… You can’t really get much bigger than a narrow gauge Garratt in 5″ gauge and thinking of the long term, I needed a big project to get stuck into – something that would challenge me and allow me to learn new skills along the way.

I’ve had a short list for several years now…

*Welsh Highland Railway, Russell 2-6-2 (Hunslet)
*Tasmanian Railways, K1 Garratt 0-4-0 + 0-4-0 (Beyer Peacock)
*Lynton And Barnstable Railway, Lyn, 2-6-2 (Manning Wardle)

All had their pros and cons, but ultimately, it kept coming back to the NGG16, the elegant and powerful South African 2′ Garratt. For those not familiar with the 16, it’s a 2-6-2 + 2-6-2 Beyer Peacock Garratt, built right here in the Northwest of England in Manchester. Many 16’s can still be seen operating in South Africa and there are currently 3 working example over at the Welsh Highland Railway in Caernarfon. We even have one being restored in my hometown!

In the beginning…

All shiny and new, a works photograph if you wish.

Passing the station at my club track, the Mid Cheshire SME.

I guess it all started many moons ago, when I became involved in model engineering as a hobby. I was probably more inclined to ‘play trains’ at first, although this soon subsided and the prospect of building a loco took my fancy. Not content with building a lawnmower or battery on wheels, there was clearly only one way to go – live steam was calling!

Having always had a leaning towards narrow gauge, the obvious loco of choice would be a quarry Hunslet. Once common as muck in the Welsh valleys, these iconic locos could provide a good size loco in 5″, capable of pulling a few trucks full of happy passengers. The Hunslet took around 10 years to complete, although I did have a 5 year holiday in the middle of construction!

Quite happy in the knowledge that my Hunslet was now fully painted and running well, my thoughts turned to my next project… and here we are!