Isthmian Canal Commission/Panama 2-6-0 "Mogul" Locomotives in the USA

ES&NA #201 (ex-MC&SA) at Eureka Springs AR, D&R #10 at Ford Park, Shreveport LA, and PRR #299 at Paterson NJ are all sisters of the same ICC 201 class of 1906. ICC (Isthmian Canal Commission) was the US Government agency that built the Panama Canal. It purchased 100 of this 201 class from Alco-Cooke. All were originally 5-foot gauge as was the entire Panama Railroad (PRR) up to its demise in 1979, when it was turned over to the Republic of Panama. All 201's were oil-fired and all had sloped tenders. After the Canal was completed in 1914, the ICC was dissolved and the Panama RR (US Govt owned) acquired the 299 for work in the US Government's Dredging Division at Gamboa, mid-point on the Canal. It work there working during the 1950s. The 299 remains as built (except for environmental removal of the asbestos insulation jacket), including its 5-foot gauge. The ES&NA 201 is the most radically changed, with an entirely different tender.

Photos of the Panama Canal during construction (1904-1914) will show the 201 class Moguls as being the workhorses of that huge project (along with 40 of the ICC 301 class Moguls built by Baldwin).

Text by Lance Terrell


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 201 (Locobase 6424)

Data from diagram published on [external link] . See also "Mogul (2-6-0) Locomotives for the Isthmian Canal Commission", The Railway Age, Vol 41 (29 June 1906), p. 1259.

These Moguls were the principal motive power for the Canal Zone during the construction of the Panama Canal. They were ordered in a block for $11,307 each. (Alco's construction numbers are not a single series, however, probably because they were assigned regardless of actual builder. It's likely that this order filled Cooke's books for at least the remainder of 1906. These small Moguls had sloping tenders for greater ease in reverse-running.

One site -- [external link] (visited 22 Dec 2004) -- notes that in 1913, the Panama Railroad hauled 2,916,657 passengers and transported 2,026,852 tons of freight across the Isthmus. At that time it was reported to have had the heaviest per-mile traffic of any railroad in the entire world!"

Once the Canal was done, most of the stud was sold off to various other railroads. The Alaska Railroad bought several -- most were scrapped in the mid-1930s but a couple survived to serve in World War II.

NB: The direct heating surface (including the firebox heating surface) is an estimate calculated by subtracting the calculated tube heating surface from the reported total evaporative heating surface.


Class 301 (Locobase 12183)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Vol 29,. p. 265. Works numbers were 30051-30056, 30121-30124, 30141-30147, 30187-30190, 30213-30220, 30259-30263, 30273-30277, 30313-30314 in February 1907.

As the Isthmian Canal Commission's construction of the Panama Canal shifted into high gear, it placed large orders with several builders for Moguls of very similar dimensions. For Alco-Cooke's 1906 order, see Locobase 6424.

After the canal was completed, most of the class was handed over to the United States Army Quartermaster Corps. 315, 322, and 340 were bought by AB Shaw and sold to Carnegie Steel. 325 went to the Duluth & Northern Minnesota as their #20.


Class 601 (Locobase 6425)

Data from diagram published on http://www.alaskarails.org/pix/former-loco/eng-drwgs/601-5-6-10-14-18-20.html(visited 22 Dec 2004). See also "Mogul (2-6-0) Locomotives for the Isthmian Canal Commission", The Railway Age, Vol 41 (29 June 1906), p. 1259.

Compared to the 201 class ordered in the same year from Cooke (Locobase 6424), this Mogul design was bigger in all respects. The design's taller driver fitted it for mixed-traffic operation and its larger boiler meant more endurance.

The Panama railroad received 20 and operated them for 15-20 years.

See also "Moguls for the Isthmian Canal Commission," Railway Master Mechanic (August 1906), p. 266, which introduces the class with the wistful observation that"It is a refreshing reminder of 'days agone to read at this time of an order for 120 mogul engines, and to see their familiar lines worked out in their simplest proportions, as in the days when holding sway as the ideal freight power on lines handling the heaviest freight traffic, but this difference, that while the type is preserved, modern proportions obtain in all details."

All were rebuilt to roll on standard gauge track in 1917. Twelve of the 20 went in that year to the Grand Trunk Western as ther E14 class; these were 602-604, 607-609, 611-613, 615-616, and 619. They traded the sloped-back tenders of the ICC years for conventional tenders that carried 4,500 US gallons of water and 12 short tons of coal. The GTW gave them road numbers 1100-1111, later renumbering them to 890-901. The GTW sold 890-893 in 1934 to the Detroit, Caro & Sandusky as their 1-2, 7, and 9.

In 1922, the AlaskaRailroad bought seven of the eight remaining locomotives: 601, 605-606, 610, 614, 618, and 620.


Class 801 (Locobase 943)

Date is edition of Locomotive Cyclopedia. Works numbers were 7323 in November 1941, 7324-7325 in December, 7326 in January 1942, 7327 in February, 7328 in April.

These World War II locomotives fleshed out the Panama Railroad's stud with superheated Moguls that delivered a healthy increase in power.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Class201301601801
Locobase ID6424 12,183 6425 943
RailroadIsthmian Canal Commission/PanamaIsthmian Canal Commission/PanamaIsthmian Canal Commission/PanamaIsthmian Canal Commission/Panama
CountryUSAUSAUSAUSA
Whyte2-6-02-6-02-6-02-6-0
Number in Class10040206
Road Numbers201-300301-340601-619801-806
Gauge5'5'5'5'
Number Built10040206
BuilderAlco-CookeBurnham, Williams & CoAlco-BrooksPorter
Year1906190719061941
Valve GearStephensonStephensonStephensonWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)13.33 / 4.0613 / 3.9614.50 / 4.4213.33 / 4.06
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)21.25 / 6.4820.50 / 6.2522.67 / 6.9121.25 / 6.48
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.63 0.63 0.64 0.63
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)52.71 / 16.0757.29 / 17.4654.75 / 16.69
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)41,100 / 18,643
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)120,500 / 54,658108,000 / 48,988136,040 / 61,707133,000 / 60,328
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)138,400 / 62,777126,000 / 57,153158,200 / 71,758155,000 / 70,307
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)95,500 / 43,31870,000101,100 / 45,858
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)233,900 / 106,095196,000259,300 / 117,616
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)4000 / 15.154000 / 15.154000 / 15.15
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)11 / 106 / 5.50
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)67 / 33.5060 / 3076 / 3874 / 37
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)54 / 137254 / 137263 / 160054 / 1372
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)180 / 12.40180 / 12.40180 / 12.40220 / 15.20
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)19" x 24" / 483x61019" x 24" / 483x61020" x 26" / 508x66019" x 24" / 483x610
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)24,548 / 11134.8024,548 / 11134.8025,257 / 11456.4030,003 / 13609.15
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.91 4.40 5.39 4.43
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)125 / 12.45151 / 14.03174 / 16.17156 / 14.50
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)27.60 / 2.5623.20 / 2.1631 / 2.8831 / 2.88
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1560 / 145.391590 / 147.772203 / 204.741603 / 148.98
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)367 / 34.11
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1560 / 145.391590 / 147.772203 / 204.741970 / 183.09
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume198.08201.88233.03203.53
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation4968417655806820
Same as above plus superheater percentage4968417655808116
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area22,50027,18031,32040,841
Power L144944824614314,295
Power MT246.66295.42298.65710.87

Photos