Michigan Central / Mississippi Central 4-4-0 "American" Locomotives of the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 100 (Locobase 12807)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Volume 28, p. 55. See also the Mississippi Rails website's entry on the MC at http://www.msrailroads.com/MSC.htm, last accessed 2 July 2011. Baldwin works numbers were 25665 in May 1905; 26733, 26740 in October; 30353 in March 1907; and 31022-31023, 31037 in July.

See Locobase 12806 for a description of the Mississippi Central. This pair of Eight-wheelers had small grates for their size, but were serviceable enough to serve the MC until the early 1940s. 100 was scrapped in December 1942 and 102 followed in January 1943.

Class 98 (Locobase 1314)

Data from builder's card archived at the Wilmington & Western, physically located in Marshallton, DE and on the web at http://wwrr.com/museum/98/gallery.asp#t. Works number was 45921 in January 1909.

According to the Wilmington & Western, the 98 was one of five Americans to operate on the MC; 2 of the others (Baldwins) are shown in Locobase 12807. By this time, the major railroads had adopted larger locomotives for their main-line service, so most of the 4-4-0s still being purchased operated on local passenger or mixed-train service. Among these the 98 was a relatively big engine.

After providing passenger service for 35 years, the 98 was retired in 1944 and later sold to the Comite Southern Railroad, a 1,000-ft industrial spur in Tangipahoa, Louisiana. Paulsen Spence later famously assembled a collection of second-hand engines including the 98.

In 1960, Thomas Marshall bought the 98 to run on a retired branch line of the Baltimore & Ohio; he later donated the locomotive to the Wilmington & Western in 1977. The 98 has twice undergone major overhauls, the last in 1997-2004. The tourist line celebrated the engine's 100th birthday in 2009. As of 2011, according to the W & W, the 98 was "...the only standard-gauge 4-4-0 American in regular operation east of the Mississippi."

Class Persian (Locobase 9506)

Data from "An Old Detroit Locomotive" Railway and Locomotive Engineering, May 1899, page 199.

Wood-burner profiled many years after its service and more than 20 years after it had been scrapped. Sinclair speculated the locomotive was broken up in 1876 probably because of its crank axles. Among the construction details were of the "Sweet" truck, a closely spaced bogie made of boiler plate and suspended below the truck boxes. He quotes an engineer who ran one of the class about its virtues: "They were smart as a steel trap; were built upon honor, could run like lightning, pull a full train up a hill, and they rarely ever broke down on the road." And wrestle grizzly bears, too, most likely.

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID12,807 1314 9506
RailroadMississippi CentralMississippi CentralMichigan Central
Number in Class211
Road Numbers100, 10298
Number Built211
BuilderBurnham, Williams & CoAlco-SchenectadyDetroit Locomotive Works
Valve GearStephensonStephensonStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft)14.25 8.50
Engine Wheelbase (ft)24.2523.83
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.59 0.36
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft)56.29
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs)
Weight on Drivers (lbs)70,00091,000
Engine Weight (lbs)113,000135,00062,630
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs)100,000117,000
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs)213,000252,000
Tender Water Capacity (gals)500050002200
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons)1212 3.50
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd)5876
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in)686969
Boiler Pressure (psi)200180130
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in)18" x 24"19" x 26"16" x 20"
Tractive Effort (lbs)19,44020,8128199
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.60 4.37
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft)152.70162
Grate Area (sq ft)18.6030.2013.10
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft)17781845
Superheating Surface (sq ft)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft)17781845
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume251.54216.24
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation372054361703
Same as above plus superheater percentage372054361703
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area30,54029,160
Power L181506441
Power MT513.36312.09