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 ID12,546 426 12,441 387 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 (ft) 6.58 6.58 6.58 6.58
Engine Wheelbase (ft)24.7524.7526.2526.25
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.27 0.27 0.25 0.25
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft)52.7952.7953.9252.17
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs)41,80042,00049,400
Weight on Drivers (lbs)75,80082,00080,80088,000
Engine Weight (lbs)155,100142,000169,500180,000
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs)116,800116,800137,000130,000
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs)271,900258,800306,500310,000
Tender Water Capacity (gals)6000600068006800
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons)12121414
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd)63686773
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in)6676767676
Boiler Pressure (psi)100200200210200
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in)15" x 20"18" x 26"13" x 26"19" x 28"15" x 28"
Low Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in)22" x 26"25" x 28"
Tractive Effort (lbs)579518,84314,57023,74120,724
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.02 5.63 3.40 4.25
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft)66160160201172
Grate Area (sq ft)11.6764647646.90
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft)6822331227026372811
Superheating Surface (sq ft)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft)6822331227026372811
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume166.72304.40568.32286.99490.84
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation116712,80012,80015,9609380
Same as above plus superheater percentage116712,80012,80015,9609380
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area660032,00032,00042,21034,400
Power L1272110,358679910,5435846
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 (ft) 6.587777
Engine Wheelbase (ft)26.2530.0830.1728.7528.67
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.25 0.23 0.23 0.24 0.24
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft)55.1759.8757.6260.7557.08
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs)49,40061,40053,95557,55056,500
Weight on Drivers (lbs)92,300115,500105,280115,000110,050
Engine Weight (lbs)178,800204,200201,000206,000204,200
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs)137,000155,000137,000162,800137,000
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs)315,800359,200338,000368,800341,200
Tender Water Capacity (gals)68008500680085006800
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons)1412141614
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd)7796889692
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in)7672687868
Boiler Pressure (psi)200225200220200
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in)19" x 28"16" x 26"22.5" x 26"15.5" x 26"22.5" x 25"
Low Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in)27" x 26"26" x 26"
Tractive Effort (lbs)22,61026,17032,90622,09831,641
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.08 4.41 3.20 5.20 3.48
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft)177207206181.10206
Grate Area (sq ft)46.90545456.5056.40
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft)25363639275936322709
Superheating Surface (sq ft)599564
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft)25363639335836323273
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume276.00601.44230.59639.64235.47
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation938012,15010,80012,43011,280
Same as above plus superheater percentage938012,15012,74412,43013,198
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area35,40046,57548,61639,84248,204
Power L19432732417,391812217,367
Power MT450.57279.60728.35311.41695.82

Reference


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.