Chicago & South Side Rapid Transit 0-4-4 "Forney" Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 1 (Locobase 6459)

Data from Locomotive Engineers' Monthly Journal, Vol XXVI, #12 (December 1892), pp. 1100-1102. [] (visited 31 Jan 2005). See also DeGolyer, Volume 17, p. 226 and Volume 18, p. 96. Works numbers were 12555-12556, 12558-12559, 12562-12569, 12571-12575 in March 1892; 12579, 12599, 12606 in April; 12982-12984, 12989-12991, 13001-13005, 13010 in October; and 13013-13015, 13026-13027, 13031, 13042-13043, 13047-13048, 13062, 13065, 13067 in November.

Bruce G Moffet's account of "Steam on the Alley 'L'" describes these unusual elevated locomotives. Like all such designs, the class had to be able to accelerate rapidly while pulling a 5-car train and averaging 15 mph (an average 3 mph higher than the more famous New York Elevateds). Although Baldwin used the basic layout pioneered by Matthias Forney, this class gained its power from a 4-cylinder Vauclain compound layout. (Locobase supposes that the rationale was a smoother cycle and, with an interception valve letting in live steam to all four cylinders, getaway power of much greater authority.)

Presumably to reduce smoke in the urban center, these engines had a fuel space suitable for anthracite egg coal" and enough for 20 miles run.

Upon delivery in June 1892, Moffet notes, the locomotives saw heavy use: "Service was provided on an around-the-clock basis with intervals ranging from as close as every 2+ minutes during rush hours to every 20 minutes during the (owl&#Ouml; period (Midnight to 5:00am)."

Electrification of the system followed relatively soon afterward, with the last of the steamers being retired on 27 July 1898. Ten were sold to New York in 1899 to pull elevated trains over the Brooklyn Bridge.

(Ten had been sold by Baldwin to the Long Island Railroad in 1892 as 150-159.)

Many continued in use in a variety of industrial settings as well as on small railroads. And at least one country club (Midlothian Country Club). The railroads included the Chicago Union Transfer, Coronado Railway, Roaring Creek & Charleston, Sheffield & Tionesta, Topeka & Vinewood Park, Trinity Valley Railroad, Vernon Tram Co, and the Wisconsin Ruby & Southern.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID6459
RailroadChicago & South Side Rapid Transit
Number in Class45
Road Numbers1-45
Number Built45
BuilderBurnham, Williams & Co
Valve GearStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)5 / 1.52
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)16.33 / 4.98
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.31
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)16.33 / 4.98
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)40,000 / 18,144
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)58,000 / 26,308
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)58,000
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)750 / 2.84
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)33 / 16.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)42 / 1067
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)150 / 10.30
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)9" x 16" / 229x406
Low Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)15" x 16" / 381x406
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)5786 / 2624.49
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 6.91
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)70 / 6.51
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)19 / 1.77
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)555 / 51.58
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)555 / 51.58
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume471.10
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation2850
Same as above plus superheater percentage2850
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area10,500
Power L12904
Power MT320.11

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Wes Barris