The International Steam Pages

Semi-articulated Locomotives Part 2

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

Wiener classified Semi-Articulated Steam Locomotives in two parts:

1. Semi-articulated Locomotives with a single engine and two driven trucks eg Klien Lindner axle locomotives

2. Semi-articulated Locomotives with two engines and two sets of driving wheels eg Mallets

A. Semi-articulated Locomotives with two engines and two sets of driving wheels 

Semi-articulated Locomotives with two sets of Driving Wheels, of which the rear only is mobile

Wiener records that 'A number of patents have been taken out... ... none of them has been satisfactory'. The nearest thing to a success would have been two rack and adhesion locomotives built by Esslingen for the Chilean side of the Transandine Railway. An article by Ian Thompson in Locomotives International #71 discusses these in some detail, see

Semi-articulated Locomotives with two sets of Driving Wheels, of which the front only is mobile

Essentially this means Mallet locomotives and derivatives of them - see Anatole Mallet having invented the world's first successful compound steam locomotive, in 1884 patented a design for an articulated compound system with a rigid chassis at the rear carrying two high-pressure cylinders plus two low-pressure ones mounted on an articulated front driving truck. In his book on these locomotives - see Bibliography - Durrant states "The Mallet must count as the most successful articulated steam locomotive ever designed, for the quantities built (over 5,000) and period of construction (1887 - 1961) greatly exceed those of all other types."

Unlike the Garratt which was associated primarily with one company, Mallets were built by many companies and perhaps this is why there is no one comprehensive web source - the subject is simply too vast. I saw my first Mallet in Indonesia in 1975. At the time I was woefully ignorant of articulated locomotives in general, but since Java would very soon become my favourite steam destination and it then had the largest and most varied stock of such locomotives, it was not long before I was able to put that to rights.

Amazingly some Mallets were built with flexible boilers, for information see (link dead by April 2015) and

Like Durrant, I have had to be selective in my choice of cover. As with other types, like my website as a whole, it concentrates on Asia, Africa, South America and the more far flung parts of Europe, with particular reference to today's survivors. This page summarises surviving Mallets which I know about and those which enthusiasts have seen active in the last 40-50 years. The European section will most likely be woefully incomplete (see link found broken on 27th October 2017), the North American section even more so. If you can help put that to rights, please get in touch.

For a video which shows what happens a Mallet slips watch this -



Were it not for the Eritrean Railway, this section would be very, very short. I visited Eritrea in 2002, you can read my extended report. This 950mm gauge Italian built line relied (and still relies after restoration) almost entirely on Mallets. This is 442.55, built by Ansaldo, on one of our charter trains:

The 442 class have piston valves on all cylinders, the older 440 class had slide valves on the low pressure forward cylinder. 440.008 has since been returned to service.

And if these beautiful creatures were not reason enough to visit, then the scenery is stunning. I saw this view in Charles Small's book many years ago and I never dreamed I would see it for myself:


Like Eritrea, Madagascar was 'Mallet country', Durrant's book suggested that about 50 were supplied here. Charles Small took these pictures around 1955 by which time dieselisation was complete. These pictures are all from our Safari Steam CD-ROM:

40-824 (formerly 55) was bought second hand from the Rhätische Bahn in Switzerland when it was electrified (a 2-8-0 from this railway is also shown in Thailand in our Tiger Steam CD-ROM). This 2-4-4-0T Mallet was built by SLM in 1902.

32-851 was a 0-4-4-0T Mallet built by SACM Alsacienne in 1931. The cage on its tender (which carries the number 04-851) clearly shows that it was a wood burner. On a railway where Mallet types predominated this was numerically the largest class with 31 members, some of which were built by Baldwin.

42-104 was one of a further early series of 0-4-4-0T Mallets built by Batignolles (1906). This one started out on the Bône-Guelma Railway in the Mahgreb in North Africa.


Two South African Mallets ended their working lives based at Moatize, where they have survived ever since. They were already derelict in 1968 when Basil Roberts took this picture, however, amazingly they are still there and ambitious plans exist to repatriate and maybe restore (one of) them. This is 2-6-6-0 101 (Alco 50847/1912):


While the Mallet - in both traditional compound and also simple forms - was widely used in North America, it was not greatly used in South America where Garratts and particularly Kitson-Meyers were preferred.


The Donna Theresa Christina Railway (EFDTC) had 5 2-6-6-2 simple Mallets from Baldwin which were the last active examples in South America. James Waite photographed 203 stored at Tubarao depot in September 1977 (204 was also present). Both these survive in preservation (203 at Tubarao and 204 at Rio Negrinho) but neither is anything like in working order.


2014 has seen the restoration commence on two giants ot the steam age (added 8th May 2014). There will be regular updates on the web no doubt, easily found using your favourite search engine:

Thomas Schultz comments:

Here in North America, only a handful of Mallet locomotives are serviceable:

Union Pacific Railroad 3985, 4-6-6-4 (out of action since 2010):

Black Hills Central Railroad 110, 2-6-6-2ST (Balldwin 60561/1928): (Trevor Heath picture, 22nd September 2017)

Clover Valley Lumber Co. 4, 2-6-6-2ST (Baldwin 57684/1924): (Martin E. Hansen's picture)

The Cripple Creek and Victor Railroad in Colorado has an Orenstein and Koppel Mallet(2707/1908) which was brought up from the Avalos Zacetactus mines in Mexico, it is said to run during July and August while the other two conventional locomotives run most of the services. This picture comes from Trevor Heath (22nd September 2017). Sister engine OK 6024/1912 is preserved at Saltillo, Mexico)

Mallet under repair:

Little River Railroad 126, 2-4-4-2:

Mallet withdrawn from excursion service:

Norfolk & Western Railway 1218, 2-6-6-4:

Numerous Mallet locomotives are preserved, not serviceable.



As the country which was the last to operate significant numbers of Mallets large and small, it deserves a special section. These I have placed on separate pages, they are now historical in the sense that the number of active Mallets is tiny, but many of these locomotives survive stored in sugar mills and others in static preservation. At least five have been exported including Pakis Baru #5 which is now in the UK

Indonesian Narrow Gauge Mallets on Video (added 25th December 2013)

Indonesian Narrow Gauge Mallets - Java

Indonesian Narrow Gauge Mallets - Sumatra

Indonesian Mallets - Main Line


The Insular Limber Company on Negros Island used Baldwin 0-6-6-0 compound Mallet (58239/1925) on its 1067mm (3' 6") gauge line and it was photographed by Basil Roberts at Fabrica in 1973. It is now preserved, nearby in Sagay City.


Hartman 0-4-4-2T 962 is one of two supplied by Hartmann in 1906. It was photographed by Roland Beier at Muzerib and in the Yarmuk Gorge on an enthusiasts' special in May 2004. More recently it has been reported running on what remains of the Damascus to Beirut line, its original home. None of the Henschel Mallets delivered here is likely to run again.



One of only three Mallets supplied to Australia, former Magnet Tramway 3 in Tasmania (OK 2609/1907) is under slow restoration at the Bennett Brook Railway in Western Australia, currently awaiting funds for completion. See - (link broken by April 2015). Unusually it has the rear (high pressure) cylinders at the outside instead of the middle. This is Michael Watson's picture taken on 1st November 2009.

New Zealand

Some years back the Glenbook Vintage Railway near Auckland, North Island restored this 1912 Alco 2-4-4-2 from the Totara Timber Company - the only Mallet locomotive in the country. By the time I got there in 2002 it was stored in good condition awaiting boiler repairs.


Mallets were found all over Europe although, perhaps surprisingly they never caught on in France beyond the narrow gauge. This is a short survey of those survivors I know about. For German language information see - link found broken on 27th October 2017. 

Czech Republic

The JHMD narrow gauge line has U47.001 which is a Henschel 0-4-4-0 Mallet tank. See James Waite's report of an August 2008 visit.

Roland Beir photographed it at work on 31st August 1996.


The Vivarais metre gauge line, now alas with service 'suspended' has a fine fleet of Mallets. James Waite has sent a small set of pictures from 1991, we would welcome more:

Former CP E-211 is on the Chemin de Fer de la Provence. It has not run for some time, but is under active repair.. 

See this page for a list of extant Mallets in France - (German language, link found broken on 27th October 2017.


By Durrant's reckoning 'the major user of Mallets in Europe' but there is little residual evidence of that today.

The Harzer Schmalspurbahnen (HSB) which tend to be used on special occasions. James Waite has sent some pictures from the 1970s when they worked most of the trains out of Gernrode.

The Bruchhausen-Vilsen to Asendorf Railway has 0-4-4-0 Mallet tank “Mallet” (Karlsruhe 1478/1897) which is currently under restoration.

The Frankfurter Feldbahn Museum has former Gending 4 from Java, Indonesia - see James Waite's report of its centenary celebrations in June 2009.

See this page for a list of extant Mallets in Germany - (German language, link found broken on 27th October 2017)


FCS 0-4-4-0 Mallet tank no. 202 of unconfirmed provenance survives outside the Monserrato Railway Museum, Sardinia (James Waite photograph)


This 2-4-4-0T Mallet is at Bar station - see James Waite's report of a September 2008 visit.


The metre gauge railways here were the last major Mallet operated steam railways in Europe. The Mallets came in three batches; two 0-4-4-0T were originally 900mm gauge and were later converted, there were more of the same wheel arrangement but larger and finally still larger 2-4-6-0T. James Waite has provided a pen portrait of his visits in the years before steam finished. Enjoy -  there is more like this to come!

Part 1 - The Regua Line

Part 2 - The Tua Line

Part 3 - The Tabor Line

Two of these locomotives are now in Switzerland see and another in France - Chemin de Fer de la Provence. It has not run for some time, but is under active repair see (link broken by December 2021). 

See this page for a list of extant Mallets in Portugal - (German language, link found broken on 27th October 2017).


JZ 92 043 2-6-6-0 Mallet, 760mm gauge, Henschel works no. 19472 of 1922 is preserved at Pozega Railway Museum, Serbia, see James Waite's report of a 2005 visit. The former Yugoslavia ranked foremost in Europe in its use of Mallets according to Durrant's book (but he also says that Germany was the major user in terms of quantity - I think this was correct!). They were many and varied but I fear few survive today.


While not many Mallets were built or delivered to the country, a significant proportion have been preserved. The Östra Södermanlands Järnväg (ÖSlJ) has two Mallets, you can read James Waite's report of a 2009 visit. One is a fairly 'common' OK, but their star is “Lessebo” a classic Decauville type, built in 1891 and the oldest operable Mallet in the world. 

Two more Mallets are preserved on Jädraås–Tallås Järnväg (JTJ), you can read James Waite's report of a 2009 visit. Both were built by Atlas in Stockholm in 1910. 


There is an active indigenous Mallet, Maffei built former SCB 196, said to be the only serviceable standard gauge Mallet in Western Europe. It is based at Balsthal on the Oensingen - Balsthal Bahn (OeBB), a local railway in the canton of Solothurn. See

Two more Mallets are based on the metre gauge Blonay - Chamby line, see and

Former CP metre gauge Mallets 0-4-4-0T (E164) and a 2- 4- 6- 0T (E206) are now on the CF de Jura and in full working order - see under Portugal for more information on them. See

Rob Dickinson