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The Book of the LM Garratts
Irwell

The Book of the LM Garratts

Regular price £20.00
Two into One Does Go It was George Hughes, CME of the new LMS, that got development work under way, or at least it was he who first began to think about, a Garratt design for the LMS. This was at the end of 1923, according to E.S. Cox; a mogul and a Pacific had been proposed, together with a Garratt for heavy freight work. The notion of the articulated Garratt, it should be recalled, was the stuff of newness at this time, the design being barely more than a decade old. It is always said of course that the reasoning behind the Garratts was to supersede double headed coal trains on the Midland main line between Toton and Brent and this was indeed the case, though it seems clear that wider horizons were envisaged, or at least contemplated at one stage. The mighty Garratts would replace a pair of 3Fs/4Fs and on every one of the countless coal trains that so characterised the Midland main line and a crew (or rather their wages) would be saved. While it is true that Garratts were indeed able to accomplish this (in spades; their power was restricted only by the loading gauge and the firing rate) and while the Toton-Brent workings may well have been at the forefront of his thinking, the fact that the first stirrings in the evolution of an LMS Garratt should take place at Horwich, and as part of a standard range, rather suggests that Hughes had a wider sphere of operation in mind, at least initially. Not that this matters; within a year or so the strange dynamics of dynasty change and its unexpected consequences meant the Garratt solution was indeed applied to a strictly Midland problem. There were practical reasons too, why it was the Midland main line and no other; it has to be borne in mind (shades of the Mikados on the GN main line) that the operation of long freights was not determined solely by the capacity of the locomotive. Short block sections and refuge sidings hamper and inhibit such workings but the Midland between Toton and Brent was more suited than most, where extensive use was made of the permissive block. Two of the four lines were designated goods and under permissive block trains could back up one behind the other if necessary. There are many references to this sort of working in The Book of the 9F 2-10-0s (Irwell Press 2006). The 9Fs of course, were the successors to the Garratts on this work.

ISBN: 9781903266830

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