By Julius de Waal

The Guinness brewery business in Dublin began to expand rapidly in the late 19th century, much of the expansion master-minded by chief engineer Samuel Geoghegan. It included construction of a narrow gauge railway of 1ft 10in gauge.

The narrow gauge system served all parts of the brewery at several levels. At a lower level more than 8000 casks could be moved in a day, serving a broad gauge link, the quay and washing plant. On the middle level trains ran between the malt store and the maltings. At the upper and middle levels, trains removed used hops and spent grain to the disposal points, while on the upper level malt and hops were taken to the brewhouse. At one time narrow gauge trains also served the jetty, connecting it with the cask cleansing and racking plant.

The first locomotives were not successful, and Geoghegan designed his own locomotive, an  innovative 0-4-0 side tank with horizontal cylinders mounted above the boiler. Drive was via vertical connecting rods. Instead of being fixed to the boiler, the cylinders were attached to the side frames which were the full height of the loco. An independent sprung frame could be wheeled out from under the lifted loco. The entire design was based on ease of maintenance and maximum protection from dirt.

The prototype locomotive was built in England in 1882 by the Avonside Engine Co. Eighteen others were built by William Spence in Dublin. The last was built in 1920. Geoghegan also designed a standard side tipping wagon and flat bogie wagon of which large numbers were built. The locomotives started to be replaced with diesels in the 1940s, and the narrow gauge system was progressively closed in the 1960s, with the last train in 1975.

The steam locomotives were withdrawn from the late 1940s through the 1950s. At least five Guinness locomotives have survived into preservation.

This simple model design is particularly suited to G3.

Click on drawings to download - for personal use only. Part two here.

Photo taken at Amberley Working Museum by Les Chatfield from Brighton.

Former Guinness loco at the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum at the Talyllyn Railway. Photo by Tivedshambo