Very similar to the famous Lancashire Witch of the same year (Locobase 633), this is one of the very first locomotives in the United States. It was ordered by the D & H's Horatio Allen during his landmark visit to the motherland of all steam locomotives in 1828.
Like the Witch, the America had angled cylinders (33 degrees from the horizontal), which drove the leading axle directly. As in the Witch, the layout pointed the way to the more efficient layout of cylinders and driving gear. that would appear in the Rocket a year later The engine was also fitted with a variable cut-off valve gear that actually worked in reverse, using an early cut-off when starting in order to save steam generated in the inadequate boiler. The boiler was a hybrid, intermediate step between a single flue and the later multi-tube having a central flue, 2 smaller 19"-diameter return flues, and 2 water-tubes within the central flue.
The locomotive known as the America was ordered as the Pride of Newcastle and arrived in the US on 15 January 1829. Beyond that, little if anything can be said about the America's later career.
It appears Pride of Newcastle/America didn't have much time to perform, according to a transcript of Episode 2709 of John Lienhard's "Engines of Our Ingenuity" prepared at the University of Houston's College of Engineering (archived at http://uh.edu/engines/epi2079.htm, last accessed 28 December 2011). Lienhard uses an earlier article published by J Demos and R Thayer American Heritage (J. Demos and R. Thayer, The Case Of The Vanishing Locomotive ... And The Birth Of The Railroad Revolution In America. A Mystery Solved. American Heritage, Vol. 49, No. 6, Oct. 1998, pp. 91-95).
As Lienhard tells it, Demos and Thayer searched through early locomotive artifacts archived at the Smithsonian Institution that were known to include bits and pieces of the Pride of Newcastle. It was in their canvas that "...Demos and Thayer made their astonishing discovery: They found a small coffin-shaped carved wooden box -- a kind of memento. Carved on its top is the image of an embryonic train. The box is also inscribed: "John B. Jervis, 1829, D&H Canal Company" on one side -- "America" on another. And, hidden away on the bottom of the lid are the words, "Blew up July 26, 1829.""
Apparently the locomotive's explosion had been hushed up to avoid discouraging D & H investors. Ironically, the performance of the Stourbridge Lion (Locobase 5586) would dispirit them at least as much as a boiler blowup might have.
The vertical cylinders were operated by a gangling walking-beam type valve motion. As Hollingsworth (1982) notes, the arrangement actually consists of two engines in one. The single flue doubled on itself but eventually exhausted up the very tall stack.
|Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media|
|Railroad||Delaware & Hudson||Delaware & Hudson|
|Number in Class||1||1|
|Builder||RStephenson||Foster, Rastrick & Co|
|Locomotive Length and Weight|
|Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase||1|
|Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)|
|Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)|
|Weight on Drivers||15435 lbs||14000 lbs|
|Engine Weight||15435 lbs||14000 lbs|
|Tender Light Weight||5800 lbs|
|Total Engine and Tender Weight||19800 lbs|
|Tender Water Capacity||400 gals|
|Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)||0.3 tons|
|Minimum weight of rail (calculated)||13 lb/yard||12 lb/yard|
|Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort|
|Boiler Pressure||50 psi||50 psi|
|Cylinders (dia x stroke)||9" x 24"||8.5" x 36"|
|Tractive Effort||1721 lbs||2303 lbs|
|Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort)||8.97||6.08|
|Grate Area||12 sq. ft||8 sq. ft|
|Evaporative Heating Surface||66 sq. ft|
|Combined Heating Surface||66 sq. ft||0|
|Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume||37.35|
|Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)|
|Robert LeMassena's Power Computation||600||400|
|Same as above plus superheater percentage||600||400|
|Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area||0||0|