My thanks to Graham Watkins for contributing this view:

“Beyer-Garratt 1009 charges out of Mitchelton towards Ferny Grove on one of the Mitchelton Heritage Festival shuttle trips, 23 July 2000.”


Beyer Peacock & Co, Manchester

Builder’s Number & Year

7349 of 1950

Wheel Arrangement

4-8-2 + 2-8-4

No. in class


Entered Service

22 September 1950

Written Off

17 June 1968


While the Queensland Railways administration was unimpressed with the wartime 4-8-2 + 2-8-4 Australian Standard Garratts (ASGs), it seems they must have warmed to the advantages of the Beyer-Garratt principle as Beyer Peacock & Co received an order in the post-war period for 10 locomotives of 4-8-2 + 2-8-4 configuration.  These modern Beyer-Garratt locomotives were delivered in handsome lined maroon livery and proved generally successful, however their sphere of operation was limited by concerns about narrow single-track tunnel confines on the “Main Line” through the Main Range to Toowoomba.  (Similar concerns were raised for the AD60-class Beyer-Garratts in NSW; the key issue being that crews could not escape the cab if the train stalled.)  Accordingly, class operations were centred in the Rockhampton area, where there were no tunnels and the Garratts were found to steam well on the local Blair Athol coal.

A further 20 engines were ordered from Beyer Peacock & Co, with construction subcontracted to Societe Franco-Belge de Material des Chemins-de-Fer, France due to excess orders at the Beyer Peacock factory in Manchester.  (It is interesting to reflect how quickly Beyer Peacock went from post-war boom to their last steam locomotive builds by 1958 and business closure by 1966.)

No.1009 was one the first two class members in service and was placed on display at the Central Queensland Industries Fair in Rockhampton and Emerald during 1950.  1009 also featured in the Queensland Railways Centenary celebrations of 1965.  While the entire class was written off between 1968 and 1969, No. 1009 was selected to represent the class in preservation at the Queensland Railways Steam Locomotive Museum, Redbank.  It was prepared for static display and repainted before posing for official portraits, which were also published as postcards and available for sale at the Redbank Museum.  1009 was resident at Redbank from 1970 to 1992, where the webmaster remembers its size clearly dominating the other locomotive exhibits.

The Redbank Steam Locomotive Museum displayed a worthy locomotive collection but was limited to static display in an artificial "train park" environment that lacked context, small-exhibits displays and interpretive functions.  Accordingly the need was recognised for a more comprehensive museum to tell the story of rail transport in Queensland, resulting in the transformation of a portion of the Ipswich Workshops into "The Workshops" railway museum.  In 1992 the Redbank Museum was closed and most of the exhibits placed in secure storage, pending the opening of "The Workshops" in 2002.  Rather than further static display, Beyer-Garratt No.1009 was restored to operation by Queensland Rail and released to traffic in 1995.  No.1009 became somewhat of a celebrity engine during recent tour train duties, however it developed boiler problems (I understand the fusible plug &/or foundation ring is leaky) and is currently awaiting repair.  No.1009 can now usually be seen stored in the running shed at The Workshops railway museum, Ipswich.

French-built sister No.1096 was the last of the class in traffic, featuring on occasional rail enthusiast tour trains.  Unfortunately it suffered a hot axle box and was subsequently scrapped at Banyo in 1973; the loss of this engine after such a trivial fault seems tragic in retrospect, but at that time the Queensland Railways had a significant number of withdrawn steam locomotives in storage and awaiting scrapping.

An excellent book for further reading on this topic is “Crimson Giants - The Articulated Steam Locomotives of Queensland Rail” by Andrew West, published by the Australian Railway Historical Society, Queensland Division.  This book also details earlier Queensland Railways experience with Fairlie articulated locomotives, considerations of Shay and Climax geared designs, and a lengthy section on Queensland Railways’ unloved and unwanted Australian Standard Garratts.

Another excellent resource is this Beyer-Peacock promotional video showcasing the QR Beyer-Garratts during their heyday, which also provides an interesting perspective on Queensland in the early 1950’s.

Wikipedia provides further information and technical details for the Queensland Railways Beyer-Garratt locomotives.

Beyer Peacock & Co builder’s plate and Ipswich Workshops “restoration plate” attached to 1009’s cabside.  22 October 2006


An official postcard portrait of 1009 as prepared for static display at Redbank Museum.




West A. M., 'Crimson Giants - The Articulated Steam Locomotives of Queensland Rail'

published by the Australian Railway Historical Society, Queensland Division, 1995.


"Locomotives of Australia - 1985 to 2010" (Fifth Edition), by Leon Oberg,

published 2010 by Rosenberg Publishing Pty Ltd.


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