Bloedel Donovan Lumber 2-6-6-2 Locomotives of the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 8 (Locobase 4043)

Data from and DeGolyer, Vol 73, pp. 225+. See also Robert E Ficken, The Forested Land: A History of Lumbering in Western Washington (University of Washington Press, 1987), p. 102. Works numbers were 58064-58065 in November 1924.

North of Bellingham Bay, three investors--Peter Larson, John Joseph Donovan, and Julius H Bloedel--came together in 1898 to form Whatcom Logging Company. (The name came from a nearby lake which is still (2013) the home of Bloedel Park.) By that time, Donovan had lived in the northwest for ten years, having arrived as chief engineer of the Fairhaven & Southern Railroad. Larson Lumber Company formed three years later to harvest the timber, but upon Larson's death in 1913, the two were merged to form Bloedel-Donovan. Four years later, BD acquired Skykomish Lumber Company, adding several mills and 133 million board feet of standing timber.

Ficken wrote that Donovan was known as "one of the most honorable men in the Northwest" and a man devoted to Catholic charities. As for his partner: "Resembling a gay-nineties barber in his well-groomed sleekness, Bloedel carried a contrasting reputation," Ficken continued. "'You can not always put your finger on him,'" said Will Talbot, a competitor.

Two of several Prairie Mallet tanks built by Baldwin for Northwest logging roads. The design's four cylinders were all served by piston valves, the HP cylinders using 8" (203 mm) valves, the LP cylinders 12" (306 mm) diameter.

The pair came together to the BD. Jon Davis notes that #8 served Bloedel Donovan for 40 years, the last 19 as Rayonier, Inc #8 when the latter bought out BD. As of 2000, #8 remained in storage for eventual restoration. #9 did not fare so well -- after a career paralleling that of her sister, she was scrapped in 1959.

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID4043
RailroadBloedel Donovan Lumber
Number in Class2
Road Numbers8-9
Number Built2
Valve GearWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft)8
Engine Wheelbase (ft)23.67
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.34
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft)37.75
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs)
Weight on Drivers (lbs)178,000
Engine Weight (lbs)212,500
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs)212,500
Tender Water Capacity (gals)2500
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons)1500
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd)49
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in)44
Boiler Pressure (psi)200
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in)17" x 24"
Low Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in)26" x 24"
Tractive Effort (lbs)37,545
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.74
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft)128
Grate Area (sq ft)26.20
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft)1654
Superheating Surface (sq ft)358
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft)2012
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume262.33
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation5240
Same as above plus superheater percentage6183
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area30,208
Power L15486
Power MT407.68


If you have any railroad data such as diagram books, rail station plans or anything else that you would be willing to share, please contact us.