Class 164A 4-10-2+2-10-4

Class 164A 6-Cylinder Compound
Beyer-Garratt Express Goods Locomotive

Designed by Jochann Ketterik
Built in 1963 by RSR Works, Bevice-Akohniçe, Ruhnia under
the direction of Beyer Peacock & Co., Manchester, England

It was on the RSR that the Garratt locomotive, like several other types, saw its final development. By the early 1960s, the quantity of coal passing over the so-called "Back Door Route" between Tormu and Forihv had reached record levels and the RSR was hard-pressed, even with engines like the 533A and 533B, to keep the trains moving. It had become necessary for engines to haul 2200 tons unaided over the Gelodre summit at a minimum of 60 kmh. Clearly, only an articulated locomotive could deliver this sort of power, and with this in mind, the newly-appointed Jochann Ketterik turned to the grand old Manchester firm of Beyer Peacock. Since Gorton Foundry had already been closed in 1958, the RSR charged Beyer Peacock with producing the drawings and subsequently engaged a number of the Manchester firm's most experienced engineers as consultants and supervisors for the construction work at Akohniçe. The result was the magnificent Beyer-Garratt seen here. In keeping with current RSR design policy, the entire class was fitted with poppet valves. These, the only Garratts ever built with twenty driving wheels, at once revolutionised the RSR's entire freight traffic operations, being equally at home slogging over the southern highlands or spinning down the Kroplihne valley. In the event, this was not the last Garratt built for the RSR.

Text and graphics © Norman Clubb 2012