Erie 4-4-2 "Atlantic" Locomotives of the USA


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 87 (Locobase 12546)

Data from Angus Sinclair, Development of the Locomotive Engine (New York: Angus Sinclair Publishing, 1907), p.266. (Sinclair attributes the 1853 American Railway Journal article from which he derived the information to Zerah Colburn.) See also Edward Harold Mott, Between the Ocean and the Lakes (New York: John S Collins, 1899), p. 396.

In contrast to Norris's oddball design described in Locobase 12545, E H Mott says thesee were actually well-liked by their crews. He notes that the two were "...totally different in action. The former was a mass of machinery; hook-motion, and independent variable cut-off. The latter was a full crank, direct-acting, without rocker arm: a link-motion."

Yet, "With a train suitable to their capacity, they were very quick, not costly to maintain, and easy on the track. The engineers took great pride in these machines, which were put in use upon the Susquehanna Division. Luther Pitcher had charge of No. 112, and John Donohue of No. 87."

NB: Boiler pressure is a Locobase estimate.


Class E-1 (Locobase 426)

Data from Erie 1907 locomotive diagram book supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection.

All 29 Atlantics in this class were delivered as Camelback Vauclain compounds delivered with two 13" HP and two 22" LP cylinders; see Locobase 12441.

They were shortly (1904-1906) converted to single-expansion engines. The 1917 diagram shows that the tubesheets were moved 6" further apart, creating more evaporative heating surface. After 20 more years of passenger service, they were retired in 1927-1928.


Class E-1 (Locobase 12441)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Volume 23, p 120. Works numbers were 16488-16491 in February 1899; 17110-17111, 17179-17183 in October; 17232-17234 in November; 17278-17281 in December; 18254-18255 in September 1900; 18280-18281, 18338-18340, 18360 in October; and 18819-18821 in March 1901.

Twenty-nine Camelback Vauclain compounds were delivered with two 13" HP and two 22" LP cylinders; one of each was served by a single 13" diameter (330 mm) piston valves. The photo series in Edwin Alexander's American Locomotives 1900-1950 (NY: Bonanza Books, 1950), pp 24-25 show an almost Austrian look to the class with slim domes topped by rounded caps. But the "Mother Hubbard" double-cab layout confirms this as an Anthracite coal burner.

Like most Vauclain compounds, however, the entire class was converted to single-expansion engines in 1904-1906; see Locobase 426.


Class E-2 (Locobase 387)

Data from Erie's 1928 Locomotive Diagram book supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection. Works numbers were 21248, 21273-21274, 21280-21283, 21325 in November 1902 and 21376-21377

Originally built as Vauclain compounds with 15-in high-pressure and 25-in low pressure cylinders; they were soon rebuilt as the simple-expansion locomotives shown in the specifications. Biggest differences from later E3 were much larger grate and slightly higher boiler pressure.


Class E-3 - compound (Locobase 9481)

Data from Angus Sinclair (ed), Railway and Locomotive Engineering, May 1903, p. 217. Works numbers were 21544, 21550 in January 1903; 21602, 21633, 21650, 21671, 21693, 21697, 21719 in February; and 21779, 21800, 21812, 21838, 21866-21867 in March.

These engines were originally built as Vauclain compounds with 15-in high-pressure and 25-in low pressure pistons. They were later rebuilt as simple-expansion engines; they're shown in that configuration in Locobase 386.


Class E-3 - simple (Locobase 386)

Data from Erie's 1928 Locomotive Diagram book supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 24 October 2015 email identifying the valve gear.)

These engines were originally built as compounds with 15-in high-pressure and 25-in low pressure pistons; see Locobase 9481. When rebuilt as simple-expansion engines, they seem to have disposed of some of their 2" tubes and, of course, the two LP cylinders, but were otherwise unchanged.


Class E-4 (Locobase 388)

Data validated and expanded by table in June 1906 AERJ. Works numbers were 25181 in February 1905 and 25306 in March.

Firebox heating surface included 26 sq ft of arch tubes.

Large Atlantics of which only these 2 Baldwins and a similar Alco were built (Locobase 839), probably because interest was turning to a 4-6-2 arrangement for passenger power. Later converted to simple expansion with 2 22 1/2" -diameter cylinders and 74 1/2" drivers, which matched the lone Alco.


Class E-4 - superheated (Locobase 9239)

Data from Westing's Erie Power (1970) and Erie 7-1949-1 locomotive diagram book supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection. Firebox heating surface area included four arch tubes that contributed 25 sq ft.

This set of relatively long Vauclain balanced compound Atlantics (Locobase 388) was simpled, then superheated at the Hornell Shops with what may have been standard kit. As with the later E-5 makeover (Locobase 9238), the E-4s didn't sacrifice much in the way of heating surface area. The 12" (305 mm) piston valves, Baker valve gear, and superheat enlivened the design and the two locomotives lasted into the 1940s.

536 was scrapped in January 1942 while 535 was the last of the Erie Atlantic when it was cut up in February 1947.


Class E-5 (Locobase 389)

Data from a table in the June 1907 AERJ. See also "Cole Balanced Compound - Erie Railroad", American Engineer and Railroad Journal, Volume 79, No 8 (August 1905), p. 287. Works number was 30711 in April 1905.

Similar in concept and performance to Baldwin-built E4 pair shown in Locobase 388.

Although a significant increase in Atlantic engine power, this engine and the Baldwins were the last of this wheel arrangement to be built for the Erie. The Cole system divided the drive between two inside, HP cylinders set under the firebox and ahead of the two LP cylinders located outside between the bogie axles. 14" (356 mm) piston valves supplied both the LP and HP cylinders on each side. The HP cylinders drove a crank axle that turned the leading pair of drivers while the LP cylinders drove the second.

It was converted in 1919 to two-cylinder simples -- 22 1/2" x 26" turning 74 1/2" drivers.


Class E-5 - superheated (Locobase 9238)

Data from Westing's Erie Power (1970) and Erie 7-1949-1 locomotive diagram book supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 24 October 2015 email correcting the valve gear ID.

For not a lot of increase in weight, the Erie's newest Atlantic was rebuilt at the Hornell Shops. At first it was simpled (although Locobase can't say for sure when) then superheated. Unlike many upgrades, the loss in overall heating surface area was not substantial and its boiler pressure remained set at 200 PSI. 25 sq ft of the firebox heating surface came in the form of four arch tubes.

It was the next to last Atlantic to be scrapped, heading to the ferro-knacker in November 1942.

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Class87E-1E-1E-2E-3 - compound
Locobase ID12546 426 12441 387 9481
RailroadErie (ERR)Erie (ERR)Erie (ERR)Erie (ERR)Erie (ERR)
CountryUSAUSAUSAUSAUSA
Whyte4-4-24-4-24-4-24-4-24-4-2
Number in Class229291015
Road Numbers87, 112502-527, 532-534502-527, 532-534535-544 / 934-943545-559
Gauge6'StdStdStdStd
Number Built2291015
BuilderBoston Locomotive WorksErieBurnham, Williams & CoBurnham, Williams & CoBurnham, Williams & Co
Year18511904189919021903
Valve GearStephensonStephensonStephensonStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase 6.58' 6.58' 6.58' 6.58'
Engine Wheelbase24.75'24.75'26.25'26.25'
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.27 0.27 0.25 0.25
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)52.79'52.79'53.92'52.17'
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)41800 lbs42000 lbs49400 lbs
Weight on Drivers75800 lbs82000 lbs80800 lbs88000 lbs
Engine Weight155100 lbs142000 lbs169500 lbs180000 lbs
Tender Light Weight116800 lbs116800 lbs137000 lbs130000 lbs
Total Engine and Tender Weight271900 lbs258800 lbs306500 lbs310000 lbs
Tender Water Capacity6000 gals6000 gals6800 gals6800 gals
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)12 tons12 tons14 tons14 tons
Minimum weight of rail (calculated)063 lb/yard68 lb/yard67 lb/yard73 lb/yard
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter66"76"76"76"76"
Boiler Pressure100 psi200 psi200 psi210 psi200 psi
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke)15" x 20"18" x 26"13" x 26"19" x 28"15" x 28"
Low Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke)22" x 26" (2)25" x 28" (2)
Tractive Effort5795 lbs18843 lbs14570 lbs23741 lbs20724 lbs
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.02 5.63 3.40 4.25
Heating Ability
Firebox Area66 sq. ft160 sq. ft160 sq. ft201 sq. ft172 sq. ft
Grate Area11.67 sq. ft64 sq. ft64 sq. ft76 sq. ft46.90 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface682 sq. ft2331 sq. ft2270 sq. ft2637 sq. ft2811 sq. ft
Superheating Surface
Combined Heating Surface682 sq. ft2331 sq. ft2270 sq. ft2637 sq. ft2811 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume166.72304.40568.32286.99490.84
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation11671280012800159609380
Same as above plus superheater percentage11671280012800159609380
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area660032000320004221034400
Power L12721103586799105435846
Power MT602.52365.59575.33292.91

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
ClassE-3 - simpleE-4E-4 - superheatedE-5E-5 - superheated
Locobase ID386 388 9239 389 9238
RailroadErie (ERR)Erie (ERR)Erie (ERR)Erie (ERR)Erie (ERR)
CountryUSAUSAUSAUSAUSA
Whyte4-4-24-4-24-4-24-4-24-4-2
Number in Class152212
Road Numbers545-559535-536535-536537537
GaugeStdStdStdStdStd
Number Built21
BuilderErieBurnham, Williams & CoErieAlco-SchenectadyErie
Year19031905191719051919
Valve GearStephensonWalschaertBakerStephensonBaker
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase 6.58'7'7'7'7'
Engine Wheelbase26.25'30.08'30.17'28.75'28.67'
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.25 0.23 0.23 0.24 0.24
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)55.17'59.87'57.62'60.75'57.08'
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)49400 lbs61400 lbs53955 lbs57550 lbs56500 lbs
Weight on Drivers92300 lbs115500 lbs105280 lbs115000 lbs110050 lbs
Engine Weight178800 lbs204200 lbs201000 lbs206000 lbs204200 lbs
Tender Light Weight137000 lbs155000 lbs137000 lbs162800 lbs137000 lbs
Total Engine and Tender Weight315800 lbs359200 lbs338000 lbs368800 lbs341200 lbs
Tender Water Capacity6800 gals8500 gals6800 gals8500 gals6800 gals
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)14 tons12 tons14 tons16 tons14 tons
Minimum weight of rail (calculated)77 lb/yard96 lb/yard88 lb/yard96 lb/yard92 lb/yard
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter76"72"68"78"68"
Boiler Pressure200 psi225 psi200 psi220 psi200 psi
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke)19" x 28"16" x 26"22.5" x 26"15.5" x 26"22.5" x 25"
Low Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke)27" x 26" (2)26" x 26" (2)
Tractive Effort22610 lbs26170 lbs32906 lbs22098 lbs31641 lbs
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.08 4.41 3.20 5.20 3.48
Heating Ability
Firebox Area177 sq. ft207 sq. ft206 sq. ft181.10 sq. ft206 sq. ft
Grate Area46.90 sq. ft54 sq. ft54 sq. ft56.50 sq. ft56.40 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface2536 sq. ft3639 sq. ft2759 sq. ft3632 sq. ft2709 sq. ft
Superheating Surface599 sq. ft564 sq. ft
Combined Heating Surface2536 sq. ft3639 sq. ft3358 sq. ft3632 sq. ft3273 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume276.00601.44230.59639.64235.47
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation938012150108001243011280
Same as above plus superheater percentage938012150127441243013198
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area3540046575486163984248204
Power L19432732417391812217367
Power MT450.57279.60728.35311.41695.82

Reference


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