Denver & Rio Grande Western 2-8-8-2 "Chesapeake" Locomotives of the USA


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class L-107 (Locobase 315)

Data from D & RGW 1 - 1952 Folio L locomotive diagram book supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection.

Mallet compound with 39-in LP cylinders. Later variant of the L-95 and basically a copy of the USRA heavy articulated. Note the good boiler proportions in which the firebox heating surface included 49 sq ft (4.55 sq m) of arch tubes and 82 sq ft (7.6 sq m) of combustion chamber for a total of 435 sq ft. Before long, direct heating surface expanded in one of two ways. In one, 115 sq ft (10.7 sq m) of syphons replaced the arch tubes; that version is shown in the specification. In the other, firebox circulators added 76 sq ft (7.05 sq m) to the surface for a total of 462 sq ft (42.9 sq m).

They saw out steam, being retired in 1947-1951.


Class L-131 (Locobase 316)

Data from tables in 1930 Locomotive Cyclopedia and D&RGW 1 - 1952 Locomotive Diagram supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection. See also Dave Straight and John Hill, "D&RGW 3600 Locomotives", 24 July 2015 post in their Colorado Steam blog at http://www.corailroads.com/2015/07/d-3600-locomotives.html, last accessed 11 December 2016. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for supplying the valve gear ID and toJohn Hill for his 8 December 2016 email question about tractive effort.) Works numbers were 67320-67329 in August 1927.

Firebox heating surface includes the combustion chamber (170 sq ft/15.8 sq m) and thermic syphons in both the combustion chamber and in the firebox (137 sq ft/12.7 sq m). It's likely that, as delivered, the class had an additional 32 sq ft (2.97 sq m) in arch tubes, but Locobase hasn't yet confirmed this. By 1946, no arch tubes showed in the diagrams.

The boiler was fitted with Elesco feedwater heater, valve motion had limited cutoff of the 14" (356 mm) piston valves, and a Simplex stoker fed coal to the firebox. 3606 was the only engine fitted with circulators (143 sq ft/13.3 sq m),

John Hill correctly noted that the 131 in the D&RGW's designation for this class represents the tractive effort and wondered why Locobase showed 140,000+. The higher figure is a direct calculation of tractive effort from the variables, which include boiler pressure minus 15%. Locobase's editor queried the data entry program to see what lower boiler pressure would result in 131,000 lb and hit that figure with 225 psi.

Ten engines that were simple-expansion improvements on the earlier Mallet compounds. Rated at 3,300 tons on the east side of the Continental Divide (maximum grade 1.42%) and 1,400 tons on the west slope (max grade 3%). Straight and Hill comment on the class's profligate consumption of fuel: " I remember being told that for every four scoops of coal into the firebox, one went straight up the smokestack."

A further quote underscores the volcanic pall this locomotive could cast: " Dave's friend, retired D&RGW employee Gerry Decker, relates in a letter to Dave about his father Dean who was a D&RGW conductor. Gerry says,

'...Dean was on the first one [of the 3600s] west with tonnage. He said the road foreman got off after a few tunnels and rode the caboose to Bond. He told Dean at Bond that he wouldn't have ridden through another tunnel if they gave him what it cost new at the factory! He referred to it as `a miserable S.O.B!'...Dean always remarked how bad they smoked. The company issued the crews some old WW1 gas masks and he said they were useless! The best they could do was keep a box of packing waste and a bucket of water in the cab. They would grab a wad of waste, dip it in the water, and cover their faces in it while going thru the tunnel. Dean also carried a small mirror with him to help pick cinders out of his eyes. He said he could get a cinder in his eye by just looking at a picture of a 3600. ... Dean said that there was a practice in helper service for other engines to be ahead of a 3600 because they put out too much smoke and heat that would about kill the crews on the smaller engine. He said they tried that at first but that didn't last too long.'"

All of the class served the Rio Grande until diesels took over in the mid-1950s and all were scrapped between October 1955 and October 1956.

A later class of 10 (3610-3619) from Alco was designated L-132; see Locobase 16242.


Class L-132 (Locobase 16242)

Data from D&RGW 1 - 1952 Locomotive Diagram supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for supplying the valve gear ID and toJohn Hill for his 8 December 2016 email question about tractive effort.) Works numbers were 68328-68337 in June 1930.

When the D&RGW bought ten more of these massive articulateds (see Locobase 316 for the earlier batch), the new engines reflected two substantial changes: Alco's Brooks works had been shut down and Schenectady introduced the superpower-type tube and flue layout that eliminated most of the small tubes in favor of many more, smaller diameter superheater flues.

Firebox heating surface includes the combustion chamber (170 sq ft/15.8 sq m). By 1946, most of the class had the two firebox thermic syphons in the firebox (137 sq ft/12.7 sq m). Three--3612, 3615, and 3617--had three thermic syphons offering 153 sq ft (14.21 sq m). See Locobase 316 for comments on these smoky locomotives.

John Hill correctly noted that the 131 in the D&RGW's designation for this class represents the tractive effort and wondered why Locobase showed 140,000+. The higher figure is a direct calculation of tractive effort from the variables, which include boiler pressure minus 15%. Locobase's editor queried the data entry program to see what lower boiler pressure would result in 131,000 lb and hit that figure with 225 psi.

Ten engines that were simple-expansion improvements on the earlier Mallet compounds. Rated at 3,300 tons on the east side of the Continental Divide (maximum grade 1.42%) and 1,400 tons on the west slope (max grade 3%). A later class of 10 (3610-3619) from Alco was designated L-132.


Class L-95 (Locobase 16243)

Data from "Mallet Compound Locomotives for D & R G Ry", Railway Journal, Volume 19, No 4 (April 1913), p. 15. Works numbers were 52038-52053 in December 1912.

These ten-axle Mallets were designed for helper service in the Salt Lake Division and were the first really big articulateds on the road. According to the Rio Grande's specifications, the plan was for one of these Mallets to take the place of two Consolidations in helper service: " Not only will the number of locomotives per train be reduced," the 1913 report explained, "but a greater total tractive effort per train will be obtained, which can be used to meet increased tonnage or adverse conditions."

The report said that astbound from Springfield, Utah (just south of Provo) to Thistle, "a distance of fifteen miles, the maximum resistance is due to a 1.0 per cent grade in combination with 7 1/2 degree curves. From Thistle to Tucker, a distance of 17 miles, the maximum resistance is a 2.3 per cent grade in combination with 8 degree curves. From Tucker to Summit, a distance of 7.9 miles, the maximum resistance is due to a 3.97 per cent grade in combination with 11 degree curves. This is the crucial part of the division.


Class L-95 - updated (Locobase 435)

Data from 1937 D & RGW locomotive diagram book supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection. Works numbers were 52038-52053 in December 1912.

These Mallets preceded the 2-10-2s described in a Railway Age Gazette article of 3 August 1917. Used in Minturn-Malta (Tennessee Pass), Colorado helper service. Rio Grande's calculation of compound tractive effort yielded 96,000 lb.

The specifications refer to the later boiler (new in 1941) whose firebox heating surface included 114 sq ft in the combustion chamber and 88 sq ft in thermic syphons in both the firebox and the combustion chamber.

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
ClassL-107L-131L-132L-95L-95 - updated
Locobase ID315 316 16,242 16,243 435
RailroadDenver & Rio Grande Western (D&RGW)Denver & Rio Grande Western (D&RGW)Denver & Rio Grande Western (D&RGW)Denver & Rio Grande Western (D&RGW)Denver & Rio Grande Western (D&RGW)
CountryUSAUSAUSAUSAUSA
Whyte2-8-8-22-8-8-22-8-8-22-8-8-22-8-8-2
Number in Class1010101616
Road Numbers3500-35093600-36093610-36193400-34153400-3415
GaugeStdStdStdStdStd
Number Built10101016
BuilderAlcoAlco-BrooksAlco-SchenectadyAlco-SchenectadyD&RGW
Year19231927193019131941
Valve GearWalschaertWalschaertWalschaertWalschaertWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft)42.3216.7516.751515
Engine Wheelbase (ft)58.0162.8362.8356.6755.67
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.73 0.27 0.27 0.26 0.27
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft)94.4910889.54
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs)61,40171,00073,80050,00054,125
Weight on Drivers (lbs)481,000559,500572,000394,000414,700
Engine Weight (lbs)534,001649,000665,000458,000482,500
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs)210,001343,000343,500291,400
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs)744,002992,0001,008,500458,000773,900
Tender Water Capacity (gals)12,01218,00018,000900013,000
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons)1630301520
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd)1001171198286
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in)5763635757
Boiler Pressure (psi)240240240200200
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in)25" x 32"26" x 32" (4)26" x 32" (4)26" x 32"26" x 32"
Low Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in)39" x 32"40" x 32"40" x 32"
Tractive Effort (lbs)101,465140,093140,09390,70990,709
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.74 3.99 4.08 4.34 4.57
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft)506.98715683339.60385
Grate Area (sq ft)96.55136.50136.5080.3080.29
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft)61477265801451704944
Superheating Surface (sq ft)1582229535049981331
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft)7729956011,51861686275
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume338.11184.73203.77262.92251.42
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation23,17232,76032,76016,06016,058
Same as above plus superheater percentage27,80640,62242,58818,63019,430
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area146,010212,784213,09678,78793,170
Power L111,81120,18127,53064707694
Power MT433.08636.16848.86289.62327.22

Photos

Reference


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