In 1941, another six "Challengers" came from ALCO. These were designated Class Z-7 and they carried road numbers 5121 through 5126. They had four 23 x 32 cylinders, 70" drivers, a 260 psi boiler pressure, exerted 107,000 lbs of tractive effort and weighed 644,000 pounds.
The last steam locomotives bought by the Northern Pacific were the 20 "Challengers" it purchased from ALCO during 1943 and 1944. This group designated Class Z-8 was assigned road numbers 5130 through 5149. The Class Z-8 locomotives were virtually identical those of Class Z-7. Two oil-burning Z-8s were also delivered to the SP&S.
There are no surviving Northern Pacific "Challengers".
|Class||Qty.||Road Number||Year Built||Builder||Notes|
|Z-6||12||5100-5111||1936||ALCO||Numbers 5100-5111 scrapped in the early 1950s|
|Z-6||9||5112-5120||1937||ALCO||Numbers 5112-5120 scrapped in the early 1950s|
|Z-7||6||5121-5126||1941||ALCO||Numbers 5121-5126 scrapped in the early 1950s|
|Z-8||10||5130-5139||1943||ALCO||Numbers 5130-5139 scrapped in the early 1950s|
|Z-8||10||5140-5149||1944||ALCO||Numbers 5140-5149 scrapped in the early 1950s|
Firebox heating surface included three thermic syphons. All four cylinders received their steam through 12" (305 mm) piston valves. The front pair of valves had 7 1/2" (191 mm) travel, the rear set 7" (178 mm).
The NP diagram gives the dimensions of this engine's cavernous firebox: 246 1/8" (6.25 m) long, 114 1/4" (2.9 m) wide at the bottom. Height at the front was 89 5/8"(2.28 m), at the back, 78 1/2" (2.0 m); only quite tall basketball players would have to duck their heads. At the front top edge, the firebox spanned 87"(2.21 m), tapering only slightly to 85 1/2" (2.17 m) at the back.
The Mainstreeter of Winter 1999 had a long interview with long-time engineer Warren McGee-- (preserved online at http://pw2.netcom.com/~whstlpnk/wrmcgee.html, accessed most recently on 30 Jan 2006) -- in which he commented on the hunger and thirst of such a large locomotive. Speaking of the low-calorie Rosebud coal the railroad used, he said: " It was a coal that on the ...Z-6s, you had about an hour and 50 minutes wide open, or two hours and 20, it depended on the firing capabilities of the fireman, and the steaming qualities of the engine."
Note that the first four Z-6s were delivered with friction bearings on the drivers; they weighed 4,500 lb less (430,500 lb) than the later engines, which used roller bearings. The latter weight is the figure given in the specifications.
The class remained in service well into the 1950s. 5105, 5110 went first, being scrapped in October 1954. 5108 followed in December 1955. 5103 went in April 1957; 5100, 5109, and 5111 in September; and 5102, 5104, 5106-5107 completed the process in April 1958 (5101 was scrapped sometime in 1958.)
Firebox had eight circulators, a grate length of 192 in. Notice that even with a combustion chamber extending 7 feet 5 inches into the boiler, the tubes flues still measured 23 feet in length. Fitted with Timken roller bearings on all axles on both engine and tender.
Used for heavy freights over steep grades. Note the size of the grate that burned low-calorie "Rosebud coal."
The Z-8 class delivered in 1943 has its own entry at Locobase 928.
This class was essentially identical to the 1941 Z-7s described in Locobase 340, but were produced under a wartime mandate to replace certain high-strength steel components with similar items produced with more common and heavier steel. Even so, the NP's diagrams show no difference in the adhesion weight and just a 1,000 lb (454 kg) difference on engine weight.
The firebox heating surface included 136 sq ft (12.63 m) in eight circulators. See Locobase 338 for a description of the revised bearing design that permitted smooth riding at higher speeds.
The Mainstreeter of Winter 1999 had a long interview with long-time engineer Warren McGee, (preserved online at http://pw2.netcom.com/~whstlpnk/wrmcgee.html, accessed most recently on 30 Jan 2006), in which he noted that on the run between Bozeman and Townsend, "I've swept the tank with the broom to get every last drop of coal out of that tender ...Townsend to Bozeman was 27 tons of coal every time, run through that engine."
McGee explained that the grades had something to do with it: "It's all climbing. You'd never shut off, Logan to Bozeman. Townsend to Logan [the other direction], why you had to shut off and avoid going around those curves too fast, so you didn't work full throttle all the way through there. You had to conserve all the coal you could if you didn't want to stop at Logan."
5140 and 5148 were converted to oil burners.
|Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media|
|Railroad||Northern Pacific (NP)||Northern Pacific (NP)||Northern Pacific (NP)|
|Number in Class||21||6||20|
|Locomotive Length and Weight|
|Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase||0.20||0.20||0.20|
|Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)||110.04'|
|Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)||72850 lbs||74000 lbs||74000 lbs|
|Weight on Drivers||435000 lbs||444000 lbs||444000 lbs|
|Engine Weight||624500 lbs||643000 lbs||644000 lbs|
|Tender Light Weight||398400 lbs||438000 lbs||437000 lbs|
|Total Engine and Tender Weight||1022900 lbs||1081000 lbs||1081000 lbs|
|Tender Water Capacity||22000 gals||25000 gals||25000 gals|
|Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)||27 tons||27 tons||27 tons|
|Minimum weight of rail (calculated)||121 lb/yard||123 lb/yard||123 lb/yard|
|Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort|
|Boiler Pressure||250 psi||260 psi||260 psi|
|Cylinders (dia x stroke)||23" x 32"||23" x 32"||23" x 32"|
|Tractive Effort||104267 lbs||106888 lbs||106888 lbs|
|Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort)||4.17||4.15||4.15|
|Firebox Area||756 sq. ft||756 sq. ft||756 sq. ft|
|Grate Area||152 sq. ft||152.30 sq. ft||152 sq. ft|
|Evaporative Heating Surface||5832 sq. ft||5749 sq. ft||5749 sq. ft|
|Superheating Surface||2114 sq. ft||2105 sq. ft||2105 sq. ft|
|Combined Heating Surface||7946 sq. ft||7854 sq. ft||7854 sq. ft|
|Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume||189.50||186.80||186.80|
|Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)|
|Robert LeMassena's Power Computation||38000||39598||39520|
|Same as above plus superheater percentage||48260||50289||50190|
|Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area||240030||249631||249631|