ASG Water Tank
Remnant of the Australian Standard Garratts
One of the distinctive ASG welded front water tanks survives at the Rosewood Railway, as seen in this photo of 8 October 2004.
The Australian Standard Garratt (ASG) was proposed and designed by the Commonwealth Land Transport Board in 1942 in response to the urgent wartime need for powerful locomotives for the nations 3' 6" gauge railways. The design team was supervised by the WAGR Chief Mechanical Engineer and sixty-five units were authorised for production across a number of Australian workshops:
Newport Workshops (Vic) - 16
Islington Workshops (SA) - 12
Clyde Engineering (NSW) - 27
Midland Workshops (WA) - 10
The first ASG locomotives were in steam within 12 months of design starting, reflecting the wartime emergency conditions in which the class was conceived however it seems the design was too rushed as these engines suffered from many flaws and became very unpopular with crews. Indeed the ASG locomotives were even subject to a Royal Commission in WA. Construction ceased in December 1945 with 57 units assembled and most were destined for short lives, with most working only a few years and one being scrapped having never turned a wheel.
None of the ASG locomotives allocated to the Queensland Government Railways have survived, however a number of components were adopted for further use and remain in existence. A few ASG front water tanks survive across Australia and one example has been preserved by the Australian Railway Historical Society (Queensland Division) and can be seen at the Rosewood Railway. A second example is stored at The Workshops railway museum, Ipswich. A third example was recently discovered at a Sunshine Coast home, where it had been adopted for use as a domestic rainwater tank.
The only complete ASG survivor is G33 which operated as No.3 at the Fyansford Cement Works in Victoria.
G33 displayed at the ARHS North Williamstown museum (Melbourne) in May 1986.
G 33's numberplate shows the Commonwealth Land Transport Board parentage of the Australian Standard Garratt locomotives.
This scanned photo dates from a period when G 33 was displayed at North Williamstown in Fyansford grey livery.
This ASG water tank is stored at the rear of The Workshops railway museum at Ipswich.
My thanks to David Bromage for contributing this photo of 19 October 2014
This ASG front water tank was adapted for use collecting rainwater at a house on the Sunshine Coast, Qld! 30 October 2014
Rear view of the ASG front water tank at a Sunshine Coast home. 30 October 2014.
A. Gunzburg 'A history of WAGR steam locomotives',
published by ARHS (Western Australian Division) 1984.
West A. M., 'Crimson Giants - The Articulated Steam Locomotives of Queensland Rail'
published by the Australian Railway Historical Society, Queensland Division, 1995.
Page updated: 3 December 2014