Fairfield Traction 0-4-0 "Switcher" Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 999 (Locobase 12269)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Volume 21, p. 170. See also John H White, The American Railroad Passenger Car, Volume 2 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978), pp. 585-587; "Steam Motor Cars by the Baldwin Locomotive Works," American Engineer, Car Builder and Railroad Journal, Volume 72, No 4 (April 1898), p. 135; and "Steam Motor Cars for Minor Railway Lines," Railway World [London], Volume 7 (5 May 1898), pp. 138-140. Works number was 15887 in April 1898.

See Locobase 12237 to see an outline of Baldwin's steam coach design. White archly notes that the company managed to sign two Midwestern companies to contracts for a larger design with a much larger coach before the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Traction

Woodsdale's "disgrace" became apparent.

Detroit & Lima Northern was one buyer, but suffered cold feet even before the vehicle was ready. Thus the car went to Fairfield Traction, which operated it briefly. Each of the pair of cylinders (1 HP, 1 LP) was served by an 8" (203 mm) piston valve. The D&LN had planned to run the on a 1 hour 50 minute trip between Detroit and Toledo at max speeds of 35 mph (56 kph).Its tank capacity was to be "sufficient for a run of 61 miles [98 km]."

Baldwin's specs show considerable changes to the original D&LN order. Instead of 553 1 1/4" (32 mm) boiler tubes, the order called for the 380 1 1/2" tubes shown in the specs. They stood around a circular firebox of 54 1/8" (1.375 m) diameter, which was fed anthracite coal or coke from the top. Sixteen 2" (50.8 mm) tubes extended downward 10" (254 mm) as a cage to guide the cascading coal. The firebox's heat would, the designers supposed, encourage the water to travel up the outer tube, then down the inside tube. In addition, the condenser itself must have presented its own challenges.

Whatever the reasons, the FT soon removed the engine and dedicated it to powering a small switcher while converting the body into a combine coach.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID12,269
RailroadFairfield Traction
Number in Class1
Road Numbers999
Number Built1
BuilderBurnham, Williams & Co
Valve GearStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m) 7.50 / 2.29
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m) 7.50 / 2.29
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase1
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)51.92 / 15.83
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)55,000 / 24,948
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)95,000 / 43,091
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)1500 / 5.68
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)42 / 1067
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)180 / 12.40
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)9.5" x 18" / 241x457
Low Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)16" x 18" / 406x457
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)8751 / 3969.39
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 6.28
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)43.90 / 4.08
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)15 / 1.39
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)531 / 49.33
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)531 / 49.33
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume359.58
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation2700
Same as above plus superheater percentage2700
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area7902
Power L12258
Power MT

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