Fyansford No.2

Beyer-Garratt built to WAGR Ms-class design


Fyansford No.2 stored in the car barn at the Bellarine Railway on 10 October 2013.


Beyer Peacock & Co, Manchester

Builder’s Number & Year

6935 of 1939

Wheel Arrangement

2-6-0 + 0-6-2


This Beyer-Garratt locomotive is one of the more interesting Australian Steam survivors and has a significant pedigree. It was one of two 2-6-0 + 0-6-2 locomotives built new for Australian Portland Cement, Fyansford as essentially a repeat order of the Western Australian Government Railways (WAGR) Ms-class design. The WAGR M-class were introduced in 1912 as only the third Beyer-Garratt type in the world, and the first ordered in any quantity with 6 locomotives delivered. Beyer Peacock & Co later supplied an additional 7 locomotives to the WAGR fitted with superheaters and known as the Ms-class, and design was further developed in 1930 with a further 10 members built at the WAGR Midland Workshop as the Msa-class.

The two Fyansford locomotives were constructed by Beyer Peacock & Co, with No.1 (builder's no. 6794 of 1936) followed a few years later by No.2 (builder's no. 6935 of 1939). These locomotives were built to the WAGR Ms-class design but with boiler pressure increased from 160psi to 180psi, a more modern superheater and minor changes such as an improved cab. Interestingly, the Victorian Railways had also essentially copied the WAGR Ms-class with their order for Beyer-Garratts G41 and G42, although these were built to 2' 6" gauge with driving wheels within the frames.

Unfortunately the WAGR M/Ms/Msa-class Beyer-Garratts became extinct with the accidental scrapping of Msa 496 which had been retained at Midland Workshops, Perth for intended preservation. Today the preserved Fyansford No.2 remains as a close link to that important WAGR design in the evolution and ultimate success of the Beyer-Garratt type of locomotive.

Australian Portland Cement at Fyansford operated a 3' 6" haulage line between their limestone quarry and the cement processing plant at Fyansford. Over the years they collected an interesting assortment of locomotives to operate this line, ranging from diminutive shunting locomotives to the two 2-6-0 + 0-6-2 Garratts and culminating in G 33, the only survivor of the Australian Standard Garratt 4-8-2 + 2-8-4. This interesting locomotive fleet made a contrast to the 5' 3" and 2' 6" operations of the Victorian Government Railways, and the Fyansford site became well known to steam locomotive enthusiasts. The Australian Portland Cement Fyansford railway was rendered obsolete in 1966 when replaced by a conveyor belt system, and the donation of the surviving fleet of APC locomotives represents one of the most significant moments in Australian steam locomotive heritage.

The preserved locomotive Fyansford No.2 carries the engine units from sister No.1, Beyer Peacock & Co. builder's No. 6794 of 1936. Photos taken in 1966 show the boiler cradle and cab of the sister in storage outside the APC running shed, and evidence suggests the best parts of the two locomotives had been combined to make one operable by that time. The boiler of No.1 also survived and was overhaul and fitted to Puffing Billy's G42 during in the 1990's in the final stages of its protracted restoration.

Fyansford No.2 was statically displayed for many years under a weather roof at the Puffing Billy Museum at Menzies Creek. Together with a number of other locomotives from the Menzies Creek collection, it was transported to the Bellarine Railway on 7 June 2010 and is now stored at Lakers Siding. The majority of photos on this page date from the webmaster’s visit to the Bellarine Railway on 10 October 2013; alas my camera struggled with the low light levels in the carriage shed (leading to its replacement with a better SLR shortly afterwards!). During this trip I was intrigued to discover surviving components of the second Fyansford Garratt also stored at the Bellarine Railway; apparently the number plates, builders plates and portions of the cab and backhead fittings had been retained at Fyansford as a display and these had also been donated to the Bellarine Railway in recent years.

Hopefully this interesting and significant Beyer-Garratt locomotive will one day be restored to operation.

Front view. One of the two maker lights on the front tank is dangling!

Side view

Rear view. A full set of fire irons are racked above the coal space.

Cabside & number plate. The two fixing holes for the builder’s plate are below.

The ‘No.1’ plate is attached but Beyer-Garratt locomotives take their identity from the boiler cradle, which I believe is from No.2.

Cylinder detail

Builder’s plate for Beyer-Peacock B/n 6794 (resting on the footplate, below the two fixing holes) – This plate belongs to Fyansford No.1.

Detail of the reversing mechanism (with the box that normally encloses this machinery opened).

This red canister with a small steam inlet seems to be an urn fitted on the footplate!

Did this Fyansford loco have an auxiliary purpose dispensing cups of tea around the mine site!

This much earlier scanned photograph shows the Fyansford Garratt at the Puffing Billy Museum, Menzies Creek in 1996.



‘Garratt Locomotives of the World’ by A. E. Durrant,

published by Bracken Books, London, 1987


Information provided by D. Price

via email dated 27 January 2011.

Page updated: 23 September 2018

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