Virginian 2-10-10-2 Locomotives of the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class AE (Locobase 417)

Firebox heating surface includes 78.5 sq ft of arch tubes. Works numbers were 60000-60001 in April 1918 60002 in May, 60003-60004 in June, 60005 in July, 60006 in August, 60007 in September, 60008 in October, and 60009 in November.

These were far better proportioned engines than the Triplexes built for the Erie or the 2-8-8-8-4 that later entered service on the Virginian. Their boiler and grate demand factors were within reason, which meant the crew could keep steam up. The LP cylinders measured 48 in (1,219 mm) in diameter and contained a volume of 33.51 ft (949 liters) each. Simple starting TE reached 176,000 lb.

Hollingsworth (North American Locomotives London: Salamander Books, 1984) says they had piston valves on the HP cylinders, slide valves on the LP where pressures and temperatures were lower.

Estimating Engineer James Partington of Alco, in a paper delivered in December 1921 ("Avoidable Waste in Locomotive Operation as Affected by Design", Railway Age, Volume 95, No. 11 (5 November 1921), pp. 673-677) said that a double decapod pulled a 15,725-ton train from Princeton, Va. to Roanoke burning 26.9 lb of coal per 1,000 ton-miles. Another 2-10-10-2 managed 17,250 tons (110 cars) over a ruling adverse grade of 0.2%. It is Partington's data that appears in the specifications.

They performed well for 30 years, first as pushers for the 2.11% grade at Elmore until replaced by electric engines, later as helpers on other grades. EW King, Jr (in Drury, 1993) notes that except for the addition of Worthington BL feedwater heaters, these engines were never modified.

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID417
RailroadVirginian (VGN)
Number in Class10
Road Numbers800-809
Number Built10
Valve GearWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft)19.83
Engine Wheelbase (ft)64.25
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.31
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft)97
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs)61,712
Weight on Drivers (lbs)617,000
Engine Weight (lbs)684,000
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs)231,000
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs)915,000
Tender Water Capacity (gals)13,000
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons)20
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd)103
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in)56
Boiler Pressure (psi)215
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in)30" x 32"
Low Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in)48" x 32"
Tractive Effort (lbs)135,170
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.56
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft)516
Grate Area (sq ft)108.80
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft)8605
Superheating Surface (sq ft)2120
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft)10,725
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume328.69
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation23,392
Same as above plus superheater percentage28,070
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area133,128
Power L19062
Power MT323.80


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