The International Steam Pages

True Articulated Steam Locomotives Part 2

Click here for the introduction to Articulated Steam Locomotives of the World.

Wiener classified true Articulated Steam Locomotives in three parts:

1. Articulated Locomotives having one driven and one undriven bogie - eg single Fairlies

2. Articulated Locomotives with one engine and two driven bogies - eg geared locomotives such as Shay, Climax, Heisler

3. Articulated Locomotives with two engines and two sets of driving wheels - eg double Fairlies, Meyers, Garratts (updated 17th December 2019)

3a. Articulated Locomotives with two engines and two two sets of driving wheels - eg double Fairlies, Meyers, Garratts

Ball and Socket Joint Locomotives

According to Wiener, a 600mm gauge double six coupled locomotive with 'ball and socket' transmission was built by Krauss in 1889. It appears to have been Krauss 2418 from the works list. Nothing more seems to be known about it.

Chain Driven Locomotives

Schwartzkopff/BMAG built some chain driven locomotives, of those known to have survived until relatively recent times, one was reported derelict on the Puerto Casado railway in Paraguay (a photograph is in 'World of South American Steam'). However. the most noteworthy were two reported at Cukir Sugar Mill in East Java in the early 1970s although they have long disappeared. This is #2 'Eppo' photographed by Ivor Harding:

Articulated Locomotives with Two Engines and Transmission by Connecting Rods

This group is by far the largest and most familiar to enthusiasts, apart from possibly Mallets which are strictly only semi-articulated.

In each case, boiler, firebox and cab rest on steam bogies, each of which has its own engine and cylinders. The principal problem to be solved was to ensure that steam joints were kept tight and for this reason compounding was the exception for such machines.

Meyer Locomotives - see 

The original Meyer locomotives have both sets of cylinders located at the centre. The biggest user of Meyers was the Royal Saxon Railways (Königlich Sächsische Staats-Eisenbahn) who ordered them in quantity from Hartmann in Chemnitz for both the standard gauge (compound) and 750mm narrow gauge (simple). See for a list of surviving Saxon Meyers.

Enthusiasts will be most familiar with the latter which survive(d) in the former East Germany. They owe their long life not just to sound design and original construction but also to a rebuilding programme in the 1960s carried out at Görlitz. In fact little if any of the original locomotives is thought to have survived, the term 'rebuilding' being used as a programme to build new steam locomotives to a 70 year old design would never have been accepted by the powers that be!

I visited the Oschatz - Mugueln - Kemmlitz line while it was still just real on 17th February 1994 although the locomotive was now lettered for the Döllnitzbahn as the line had been privatised the previous December. I was blessed with a beautiful cold sunny day...

A standard gauge Saxon Meyer (98.001) is preserved at the Chemnitz Industrial Museum (not Dresden as I mistakenly suggested earlier).

The remarkable Rhätische Bahn Steamblower is a Meyer, you can read James Waite's report of a 2009 visit.

A number of 'Kitson-Meyer' locomotives were built mainly by Kitsons of Leeds - Wiener confusingly calls them 'Meyer-Kitsons'!. Some had cylinders at the rear of each bogie, others had cylinders at the outer ends of each bogie. Some one hundred were built and most ended up in South America. The last active example worked on the Taltal Railway in Chile into the 1970s and it survives in preservation at Taltal:

A number of Kitson-Meyer 0-8-6-0T rack (and adhesion) locomotive were supplied to the Transandine Railways and two survive in Chile. This picture of 3349 at the railway museum in Santiago is from Bill Longley-Cross. It was built in Leeds in 1909 and modified (front rack unit and cylinders removed) at Los Andes in 1914. Front bogie is adhesion (balance weights on axles) whilst rear unit is the rack (balance weights on the rack axles and not the wheel ones). 

This is 3348 at Los Andes - picture by Ian Thomson.

Of the half dozen Kitson Meyers supplied to the FCAB, John Middleton reported that parts of all of them survived in the famous graveyard at Uyuni in Bolivia in 2008:

In the UK, Bagnalls built a number of 'Modified Meyers' for the narrow gauge, the last of them, 'Monarch' (762mm, 2' 6" gauge), is preserved on the Welshpool and Llanfair Railway in Wales, James Waite photographed it on display at Welshpool in September 2009.

One of six such locomotive supplied to sugar estates in Natal, South Africa survives at the Cripple Creek and Victor Railroad in Colorado where it was photographed by Derek Rayner (new pictures 15th October 2017). It is said to be either 3014 or 3015 of 1953. There are several pictures of this type on this wonderful website, a real treasure trove -

Double Fairlies see

These locomotives would usually have a single firebox mounted between two boilers which meant that driver and firemen were physically separated. The two sets of cylinders would be placed at the outer ends of the bogies.

Perhaps the best known of these locomotives are those on the Festiniog Railway in Wales, UK. Of those on the railway now, most of them are massively rebuilt or newly built - mainly to a slightly larger scale compared to the original designs for operational reasons. The only one which is in more or less 'as built' appearance is 'Livingstone Thompson', seen here 'at home' although normally it is to be found on display in the National Railway Museum in York.

The above picture and those below were all taken by James Waite on 15th October 2005. These other two Fairlies are 'Merddin Emrys' and 'David Lloyd George', the former is in the darker red livery.

The "Earl of Merioneth" entered service in 1979 to howls of derision from traditionalists who objected to its sloping angular tanks. I have to say it does look better from a distance - as in this 1982 picture arriving in Blaenau Ffestiniog:

This kind of locomotive had a chequered record elsewhere, one example, 'Josephine' is preserved at the Early Settlers Museum in Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - photographers would perhaps appreciate non-reflecting glass...

This metre gauge example is preserved at Obersheinsdorf in Germany - April 2001 photograph is by James Waite. See


Pechot Bourdon Locomotives

These were essentially narrow gauge Double Fairlies and were built in some numbers for service in World War 1. Two survive, one was in the Dresden Transport Museum where James Waite photographed it in April 2011: The second picture shows it at the Frankfurter Feldbahn Museum in December 2019 where it is on loan.

The other is at Pozega Railway Museum in Serbia. Known as 'Kostolac' this 0-4-4-0T was built in 1917, probably by Baldwin, 610 mm (2' 0") gauge, for the French military and is one of two of these locomotives which found their way, probably in about 1941, from France to Kostolac. It ran on the 610mm gauge line from the old pit at Kostolac to a wharf on the River Danube which closed in the 1960s. The two Pechot-Bourdons probably stopped running soon after the end of the World War 2, no-one seems to have seen a picture of them at work, this is James Waite's picture.


Du Bousquet Locomotives - and and

These were compound locomotives with cylinders on the inside of the bogies, superficially similar to Meyers although the draw gear was attached to the frame, the water tanks were on one of the bogies and they had an additional non-driving axle which reduced the cylinder overhang. The frame was supported by the rear bogie on a flat pivot and a spherical pivot on the front. The high pressure steam pipe passed through the pivot of the rear bogie where movement was limited. They saw service in France, Spain and (!) China. As far as I know none survives.

Modified Fairlie Locomotives

These were a few locomotives were built by North British in Glasgow to counter Beyer Peacock's successful (Beyer-) Garratt design, also Henschel in Germany. The arrangement of water tank, boiler and bunker was similar to a standard Garratt but in this case all were mounted on the frame. As far as I know none survives. For pictures of three classes of these locomotives built for South African Railways, please see (link not available 21st October 2013), an excellent source of data and drawings for all SAR steam locomotives. 

 Golwé Locomotives - see and 

In another variant, just the coal bunker was carried on the main frame with the water tank (U shaped) carried on the rear bogie. Deliveries were restricted to the French colonies of West Africa and none has survived. In this case the front bogie is carried under the boiler and in this respect these locomotives were more like Meyers. 

Beyer Garratt Locomotives - see and for probably the best web coverage of any articulated steam locomotive type. The latter includes a list of locomotives built, (and those surviving) as well as numerous, particularly historical, pictures the latter albeit in a somewhat chaotic state. Trevor Heath has now established a Facebook page covering the working and under restoration Garratts around the world - (28th January 2016). A 2014/2019 list is available on this site for those (like me) who decline to use Facebook, (updated 9th November 2019).!

Garratt locomotives have two well spaced bogies on which are mounted the water tank (front) and fuel bunker / water tank (rear) with the boiler and firebox on a connecting frame. This arrangement allows the latter components to be far larger for any particular loading gauge than their conventional counterparts. Garratts found particular favour on difficult mountainous lines with (potentially) heavy traffic especially on those built with a gauge of less than standard. These tended to carry with them low axle loads and high curvature, conditions which often demanded articulated locomotives. Although the Garratt design was most associated with the British company, Beyer Peacock, many such locomotives were built by European builders although these too tended to be ordered for outside Europe.

The second link above states that of over 1600 of these locomotives built, some 250 survive, but the figure is misleading because many are dumped in remoter parts of the world in varying states of disrepair, especially in southern Africa. If the wrecks in South Africa, Angola, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Bolivia were to be stripped out of this total, those with a semi-assured long term future would probably number rather less than 100. Real working Garratts are still to be found in Zimbabwe in small numbers but it seems likely they have now finished in neighbouring Botswana. As they tend to be BIG locomotives, they are expensive to operate in preservation sites where only the narrow gauge versions are regularly used. Of the survivors, by far the majority are the larger locomotives of gauges other than standard and this severely limits the possibilities for active preservation by relocation - exceptionally Cape Gauge (1067mm, 3' 6") gauge examples have been sold from Southern Africa to New Zealand. However, this is less of a problem with narrow gauge examples.

This is probably the newest Garratt in the world, turned out in 2006 - see a report on this site. Note the less usual inward facing cylinders, a feature found in the very earliest Garratts, but unlike them it is not a compound.


For a long time Puffing Billy's G42 was the only serviceable Garratt in Australasia, this is Frank Stamford's picture from 22nd September 2013 (added 25th September 2013). It has now been joined by AD 60 class 6029 in Canberra (, the picture is by Graeme Stanley via Trevor Heath (2nd June 2015).



These have now been joined by regauged South African Railways NGG 129 seen here during steam testing in late 2019.

Locomotives designed by committees were rarely successful and the Australian Standard Garrett was just one such example. Considering how unsatisfactory it was considered, it is amazing that one survived, that being an example (G33) sold into industrial service as Portland Cement Works Fyansford railway #3. It is now at the Bellarine Railway (see below for David Price's May 2013 pictures at Queenscliff) and it is planned to restore it at Laker's Siding over the next couple of years. Another former Fyansford Garratt, #2 (Beyer Peacock 6935 of 1929, 2-6-0+0-6-2 Garratt), formerly on the Puffing Billy railway will be evaluated for possible restoration in the fairly near future (all this 25th March 2014).

I have assembled a set of galleries of Garratt locomotives which survived into my own gricing history (ie the last 40 - 50 years), covering those countries which feature most on these web pages - ie Asia and most of Africa. It is necessarily very selective.

Union Garratt Locomotives

These were, in effect, a hybrid Fairlie and Garratt with the rear bunker attached to the frame instead of being carried on the rear bogie. A few were built for South Africa, were not a great success and the concept was not perpetuated. As far as I know none survives. This picture appears on - the copyright information is incomplete, this image may have to be withdrawn, I do not know the source for the scan. It's a Maffei built South African Railways U class.

Rob Dickinson