The reference for locomotives and railcars
Burma Railways GA.I to GA.IV
Myanmar | 1924 | 16 produced
GA.II No. 208, the only one with compound cylinders
GA.II No. 208, the only one with compound cylinders
flickr/Historical Railway Images

On the line from Mandalay to Lashio, Burma Railways not only had curve radii starting at 330 ft (100 m), but also a long gradient of four percent. For this purpose, four class GA.I Garratts were built in 1924 as Double Consolidation, i.e. with the wheel arrangement 2-8-0+0-8-2. At the time they were put into service, they were probably the most powerful meter-gauge locomotives in the world.

Due to the narrow curve radii, the innermost driving axle had a lateral displacement of 3/8 inches (9.5 mm) in both directions. On the four percent steep gradient, the GA.Is were able to reach 9 mph or 14.5 km/h with a 200-ton train.

In 1927, a single compound locomotive was ordered for comparison and was designated GA.II. This also only had two cylinders at each end, with the high-pressure cylinders located behind the cab and the low-pressure cylinders in front of the smoke box. Since the additional complexity apparently didn't pay off, the other locomotives were built with simple expansion.

Standard variant with four equal cylinders
Standard variant with four equal cylinders
flickr/Historical Railway Images

Three GA.IIIs followed in 1927, which were largely similar to the GA.I, but had the smaller superheater of the GA.II. In 1929 Krupp delivered eight GA.IVs, which were similar to the previous locomotives but again had a larger superheater. According to A.E. Durrant, all four classes were retired due to damage during World War II.

ManufacturerBeyer, Peacock & Co.Krupp
Axle config2-8-0+0-8-2T (Double Consolidation (Garratt)) 
Gauge3 ft 3 3/8 in (Meter gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase59 ft 7 in
Fixed wheelbase7 ft 4 in
Service weight221,984 lbs231,504 lbs227,584 lbs234,192 lbs
Adhesive weight179,872 lbs189,168 lbs187,712 lbs189,392 lbs
Axle load22,624 lbs23,856 lbs23,520 lbs24,416 lbs
Water capacity2,402 us gal1,777 us gal2,402 us gal
Fuel capacity11,200 lbs (coal)9,184 lbs (coal)11,200 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power1,250 hp (932 kW)1,325 hp (988 kW)1,300 hp (969 kW)1,350 hp (1,007 kW)
Optimal speed21 mph17 mph20 mph
Starting effort37,701 lbf49,545 lbf41,890 lbf42,937 lbf
with start valve59,454 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter39 in
Boiler pressure180 psi205 psi200 psi205 psi
Expansion typesimplecompoundsimple
Cylindersfour, 15 1/2 x 20 infour, HP: 17 1/2 x 26 in
and LP: 26 1/2 x 26 in
four, 15 1/2 x 20 in
Grate area43.9 sq ft
Firebox area183.5 sq ft
Tube heating area1,551.5 sq ft1,552.5 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,735 sq ft1,736 sq ft
Superheater area365 sq ft319 sq ft409 sq ft
Total heating area2,100 sq ft2,054 sq ft2,145 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
tank locomotive
last changed: 04/2024

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