Garratt, Herbert William

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b. 8 June 1864 London, England
d. 25 September 1913 Richmond, Surrey, England
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English engineer, inventor of the Beyer-Garratt articulated locomotive.
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After apprenticeship at the North London Railway's locomotive works, Garratt had a varied career which included responsibility for the locomotive departments of several British-owned railways overseas. This gave him an insight into the problems of such lines: locomotives, which were often inadequate, had to be operated over lines with weak bridges, sharp curves and steep gradients. To overcome these problems, he designed an articulated locomotive in which the boiler, mounted on a girder frame, was sus pended between two power bogies. This enabled a wide firebox and large-diameter boiler barrel to be combined with large driving-wheels and good visibility. Coal and water containers were mounted directly upon the bogies to keep them steady. The locomotive was inherently stable on curves because the central line of the boiler between its pivots lay within the curve of the centre line of the track. Garratt applied for a patent for his locomotive in 1907 and manufacture was taken up by Beyer, Peacock \& Co. under licence: the type became known as the Beyer-Garratt. The earliest Beyer-Garratt locomotives were small, but subsequent examples were larger. Sadly, only twenty-six locomotives of the type had been built or were under construction when Garratt died in 1913. Subsequent classes came to include some of the largest and most powerful steam locomotives: they were widely used and particularly successful in Central and Southern Africa, where examples continue to give good service in the 1990s.
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Bibliography
H.W.Garratt took out nine British patents, of which the most important is: 1907, British patent no. 17,165, "Improvements in and Relating to Locomotive Engines".
Further Reading
R.L.Hills, 1979–80, "The origins of the Garratt locomotive", Transactions of the Newcomen Society 51:175 (a good description of Garratt's career and the construction of the earliest Beyer-Garratt locomotives).
A.E.Durrant, 1981, Garratt Locomotives of the World, Newton Abbot: David \& Charles. L.Wiener, 1930, Articulated Locomotives, London: Constable \& Co.
PJGR

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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