Canadian Pacific 4-8-4 Locomotives in Canada

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class K1a (Locobase 244)

Data from 1930 Locomotive Cyclopedia tables and "Canadian Pacific class K-1-a, 3100-3101, Angus Shops, 1928" from Canadian Rail, No 487 (March-April 2002), pp. 78-79. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for sending a PDF of the Rail Canada articles.) See also Jim Shaughnessy, "History of the 3101", private publication of the Interprovincial Steel and Pipe Corporation Ltd, September 1966 archived at [], last accessed 17 January 2019.

Boiler had an Elesco feedwater heater and hence the typical bedroll cylinder mounted on top of the smokebox. Pistons received steam through 14" (356 mm) piston valves, and the axles had roller bearings. The two engines were the first built in Canada with one-piece cast-steel beds; the General Steel Castings product weighed 23 tons.. F H Howard, in "Selkirk to Connaught Or, from 2-10-4 to 4-10-2," The Old-Time Trains website ([], last accessed 25 October 2008) says that the K1s shared the same boiler with the T1 Selkirks. Its smokebox was flanked by tall smoke-lifters

These engines proved too heavy for all but the Montreal-Toronto line, where they pulled the night trains #21 Chicago Express and #22 Overseas Express for 25 years. Don Scott gives their later history in "Former Canadian Pacific Railway Passenger Services to Montreal Via State of Maine-Saint John-Halifax" of the ROCA Archives site -- [], last accessed 25 October 2008.

Jim Shaughnessy quoted from David P Morgan ("Steam Safari", Trains Magazine (April 1954), who wrote about a trip behind the 3101 one evening in 1954. Morgan devoted several sentences to an atmospheric description of this home-grown exemplar of CP grace as she stood in Toronto's station:"She was spotless. The wine red panel down her flank and across the tank was gloosy, boiler jacket and cylinders had recently been repainted in gray; and driver tires were, in the grand manner, white. The heat surging off her grates, the whine of the turbogenerator, the thump of the air pumps -- she was the good life."

Morgan reported on the fireman's "factual" assessment. "[S]he rode better than a Hudson and was good for an extra sleeper or two, yet couldn't turn as fast a wheel and was a tempermental one to fire."

Scott reports they were supplanted on Montreal-Toronto runs by diesels in the mid-1950s. Hopes to run them on Montreal-St John service clear through to Saint John in New Brunswick reportedly ran afoul of the US ICC's reluctance to allow them to operate in Maine. So their portion of the run ended in Megantic, Quebec. Scott adds: "CPR later sent them to Western Canada and were converted to oil burners with 3101 on passenger trains Winnipeg-Moose Jaw, Sask. and other runs and 3100 shown as freight service"

In late 2007, a Canadian Pacific survey team was to visit IPSCO's 3101, on display outside in Regina, Saskatchewan, to see if it could be restored to service. Hope sprang from this trip, but no concrete action was taken.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID244
RailroadCanadian Pacific (CPR)
Number in Class2
Road Numbers3100-3101
Number Built2
BuilderCanadian Pacific
Valve GearWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)19.75 / 6.02
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)45.80 / 13.96
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.43
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)87.02 / 26.52
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)250,000 / 113,398
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)423,000 / 191,870
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)293,000 / 132,903
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)716,000 / 324,773
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)14,400 / 54.55
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)18.50 / 17
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)104 / 52
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)75 / 1905
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)275 / 19
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)25.5" x 30" / 648x762
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)60,798 / 27577.54
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.11
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)59 - 2.25" / 57
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)203 - 3.5" / 89
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)20.50 / 6.25
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)422 / 39.20
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)93.50 / 8.69
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)4931 / 458.10
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)2112 / 196.21
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)7043 / 654.31
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume278.12
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation25,713
Same as above plus superheater percentage33,426
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area150,865
Power L150,504
Power MT1781.47

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