Beyer Peacock, Gorton Works, Manchester, 1924
Since Cronk and Maron are much higher than Suddery Junction near Wellsworth, the four miles at a ruling gradient of 1 in 45 have through the years been a testing ground for NWR locomotives. Bankers are stationed at Wellsworth specifically for this section.
In 1924 the NWR ordered an articulated 2-8-0+0-8-2 Beyer-Garratt from Gorton, to do the work of two locos while requiring a single crew. The design was to use the wheels, motion and cylinders from ex-ROD 2-8-0s being sold as war surplus, enabling a commonality of components with other NWR locos.
For crews, the Garratt was hard work. Lack of a mechanical stoker put a huge strain on the fireman. The enclosed cab, whilst a great help in Winter when the cold wind blows in from the Irish Sea, was a furnace in high summer.
When compared to Gresley’s 6-cylinder Garratt, the NWR example was able to maintain a head of steam and occasionally worked service trains.
Like most NWR goods locos, ‘Revenge’ was named after a warship built at Barrow, in this case the battleship HMS Revenge of 1915.
Hattons’ ‘Sale of the Century’ yielded a supply of cheap ex-GWR ROD 2-8-0 locos, the tenders of which ended up on the Woolwich moguls. The chassis found their way onto the Garratt.
I had to re-mount the motors so they sat over the centre of the chassis, thereby locating them in the engine units and enabling the boiler frame to sit over the driving wheels.
The boiler itself was also from Hattons’ spare parts department, a victim of Heljan’s burnt out motors and broken valve gear from the first production run of the LMS Garratt.
The engine unit superstructures were mounted on running plates salvaged from Hornby 8Fs I was cutting up for the boilers and cabs, with the bodies made from styrene sheet. Handrails are from Markits and the filler lids were salvaged from Great British Locomotives static models.