TGR K Class

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works photograph of K1
blueprint of K class engines

The Tasmanian Government Railways (TGR) K Class was a class of steam locomotive. The class numbered two locomotives, K1 and K2 built in 1909. They were 0-4-0+0-4-0 Garratts and the first garratt locomotives ever produced. K1 survives at the Welsh Highland Railway in Wales.

Ironically, they differed in two important details from Herbert Garratt's original concept. It is actually a compound locomotive, with two high pressure cylinders on the rear engine, and a pipe leading to two larger low pressure cylinders on the front engine. Secondly both sets of cylinders were placed facing each other inside their engine units, rather than facing out as in all other garratts. This was especially a problem in the Australian summer, as one pair of cylinders was under the cab, making the cab uncomfortably hot.

The North East Dundas Tramway on which they worked closed in 1929. The boiler of K1 was sold to a sawmill, and in 1947 K1 was sold back to its maker Beyer-Peacock, with the boiler of K2 attached. It was then shipped back to Britain.

Beyer-Peacock closed in 1966, having offered K1 to the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum in 1961 and it was then sold to the Ffestiniog Railway in 1966. However, K1 was too tall and wide for use within the FR's restricted loading gauge, and after ten years of storage at Porthmadog, K1 was loaned to the National Railway Museum where it was cosmetically restored.

As the Welsh Highland Railway rebuilding project reached fruition, K1's potential for the line was recognised and in 1995 it left the NRM. A new boiler was found to be required. Parts were restored at various locations, but it was reassembled at Boston Lodge. After conversion to oil-firing, it steamed again in 2004 and finally received HM Railway Inspectorate approval in September 2006 to haul trains single headed. K1's first public workings were at the Welsh Highland Railway's 'Superpower' weekend (9th and 10th September) when it worked a shuttle service between Caernarfon and Dinas.

K1 is to be converted back to coal-firing for the 2007 season after rising oil prices forced a change of policy for the WHR.

See also


  • Belibin, Bruce and McKillop, Bob - K1 steams again Light Railways, Number 193 February 2007 pp.3-7

External links