Birmingham Southern 2-10-2 "Santafe" Locomotives in the USA

The Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company, was a major American steel manufacturer with interests in coal and iron ore mining and railroad operations. Originally based entirely within Tennessee, it relocated most of its business to Alabama in the late nineteenth century. With a sizable real estate portfolio, the company owned several Birmingham satellite towns, including Ensley, Fairfield, Docena, Edgewater and Bayview.

At one time the second largest steel producer in the USA, TCI was listed on the first Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1896. However, in 1907, the company was merged with its principal rival, the United States Steel Corporation. The Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company operated as a subsidiary of U. S. Steel for 45 years until it became a division of its parent company in 1952.

The Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company bought four "Santa Fe" type locomotives from the American Locomotive Company which, were delivered in 1917. They were designated as Class 400 and carried road numbers 400 through 403. These locomotives had 57" diameter drivers, 28" x 32" cylinders, a 190 psi boiler pressure, they exerted 71,083 pounds of tractive effort and each weighed 353,400 pounds.

There are no surviving TCI&R 2-10-2 "Santa Fe" type locomotives.


ClassQty.Road NumbersYear BuiltBuilderNotes
4004400-4031917ALCONumbers 400-403 were scrapped by the end of steam.

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 400 (Locobase 9197)

Data from TCI&RR 1949 Locomotive Diagram book supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange.

Locobase 5391 shows the New York, Ontario & Western X class Santa Fes, which seem to have been the direct ancestors of this set of TCI&RR engines. The Xs were produced in 1915, the 400s in 1917 (Alco works #57520, 57517-571519 - in order of road number) and 1923 (64980) So close is most of the data that Locobase has "borrowed" the superheater area from the X class as an estimate.

Yet there is a bit of mystery in the specifications, comparison of which show the firebox's length and width are identical in the two classes, firebox areas are comparable, the tube and flue lengths are identical, and the tube and flue counts very nearly so. But throughout their years on the NYW&O, the Xs were credited with 100 sq ft of grate area and better than 800 sq ft more evaporative heating surface than were the 1917 TCI&RR locomotives.

At time of writing, the compiler can only guess at the reason for the difference. Perhaps the Tennessee road used a "Gaines Wall" to reduce grate area that was after all too big for the boiler efficiently to use. Perhaps for the same reason some of the firetubes were actually sealed off.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID9197
RailroadBirmingham Southern (TCI&R)
Number in Class4
Road Numbers400-403
Number Built4
Valve GearBaker
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)20 / 6.10
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)37.67 / 11.48
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.53
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)67.92 / 20.70
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)61,400 / 27,851
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)295,400 / 133,991
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)353,400 / 160,300
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)170,000 / 77,111
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)523,400 / 237,411
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)9000 / 34.09
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)7 / 6.40
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)98 / 49
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)57 / 1448
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)190 / 13.10
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)28" x 32" / 711x813
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)71,083 / 32242.74
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.16
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)325 / 30.20
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)80.20 / 7.45
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)3327 / 309.20
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)1007 / 93.59
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)4334 / 402.79
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume145.88
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation15,238
Same as above plus superheater percentage18,743
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area75,953
Power L111,092
Power MT413.91

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Wes Barris