Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives by wheel arrangement, the 4-8-4+4-8-4 is a Garratt articulated locomotive. The wheel arrangement is effectively two 4-8-4 locomotives operating back to back, with the boiler and cab suspended between the two engine units. Each engine unit has two pairs of leading wheels in a leading bogie, followed by four coupled pairs of driving wheels and two pairs of trailing wheels in a trailing bogie. Since the 4-8-4 type is sometimes known as a Northern, the corresponding Garratt type would be referred to as a Double Northern.

4-8-4+4-8-4 (Double Northern)
KUR EC3 class, the first Double Northern Garratt, 1939
Equivalent classifications
UIC class2D2+2D2
French class242+242
Turkish class48+48
Swiss class4/8+4/8, 8/16 from the 1920s
Russian class2-4-2+2-4-2
First known tank engine version
First use1939
CountryKenya & Uganda
LocomotiveKUR EC3 class
RailwayKenya-Uganda Railway
DesignerBeyer, Peacock and Company
BuilderBeyer, Peacock and Company
Evolved from4-8-2+2-8-4


There were only two classes of 4-8-4+4-8-4 steam locomotives across the globe, all of which were constructed by Beyer, Peacock and Company, the owners of the Garratt patent.[1]

The predecessor 4-8-2+2-8-4 Double Mountain was probably the optimal Garratt wheel arrangement, with the four-wheeled leading bogies and the two-wheeled trailing trucks on each engine unit ensuring stability at speed and with sixteen coupled wheels for traction. More coupled wheels would inhibit the locomotive on tight curves, while the only advantage of more non-coupled wheels, such as on the Double Northern, was to reduce the axle loading.



The second Double Northern locomotive class were the AD60 class Garratts of the Australian 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge New South Wales Government Railways, of which 47 were delivered in 1952. Of these, 42 were delivered fully assembled while the last five were delivered in pieces as spare parts. The locomotive weighed 260 imperial tons and was the largest locomotive in the Southern Hemisphere. The last of the AD60 class entered service in 1956 and the last one was withdrawn from service in 1973.[1]

Four of the New South Wales AD60 class have been preserved.

Kenya and Uganda

The first Double Northerns to be built were thirty class EC3 locomotives for the 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge Kenya Uganda Railway (KUR). The thirty locomotives of the class were constructed in three batches in 1939, 1940 and 1949. These engines later became classes 57 and 58 on the East African Railways (EAR).[1]

One of the East African Railways locomotives survives, no. 87 Karamoja of 1940, EAR no. 5711. It is on display in the Nairobi Railway Museum in Kenya.[3][4]


  1. Hamilton, Gavin N., The Garratt Locomotive - Garratt Locomotives produced by Beyer, Peacock, retrieved 10 November 2012
  2. Hamilton, Gavin N., The Garratt Locomotive - Surviving Garratt Locomotives, retrieved 10 November 2012.
  3. Wall, Graeme (30 October 2009). "Nairobi Railway Museum". Greywall. Greywall Productions. Archived from the original on 26 January 2010. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  4. Wall, Graeme (30 October 2009). "Named Locomotives of East African Railways". Greywall. Greywall Productions. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
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