Ostrander Railway & Timber Company 2-6-2 "Prairie" Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 4 (Locobase 13471)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University, Volume 32, p. 249. See also the Collins Company site ("The first name in FSC-Certified Forest Products) history page at [], last accessed on 20 November 2011. Works number was 32843 in July 1908.

The specs for this logging Prairie tank include some details that shed some light on the requirements of a small, special-purpose railroad. The ORT was based in Cowlitz County, Washington State, and formed in 1896 by E S Collins; at the time, it was the third logging railroad in the Northwest. It started with 12 miles of standard-gauge roads and all kinds of geared locomotives including Climaxes, Heislers, and Shays. Rail weights fell in the 40-56 lb/yard (20-28 kg/metre) range.

The 4 was a rod-driven engine for which flexibility and readiness were key attributes on a road that had ruling grades of 3.7% and compensated curves arcing as tightly as 30 degrees (radii of 193 ft/58.8 metres). The engine was to be delivered with coal-burning grates in place: "The finger bars are to have 4" [102 mm] space between fingers." But wood-burning had to be catered to as well: "B.L.W. will furnish cast iron plates as sketch [sic] These to be laid on the bars when engine leaves here to enable it to go into service as a wood burner." There's no estimate on how much firebox volume would be reduced, but it was likely a small amount.

Concessions to crew convenience and operating safety appear a little later. The cab and fuel box were each to have handles "of such length that a man can reach the same from a point say [sic] 3' 0" below top of rail and have steps of sufficient length." The fuel box had a wood rack around its top. And a concern about inadvertently bumping the logs with the rear of the engine when rounding curves was addressed by reducing the overhang from the rear drivers to the back bumper "to be as short as possible ...the fuel box not to extend back of the bumper to avoid striking logs."

Withal, this first 4 only operated about 17 years before being relegated to service as a "plant facility" in 1925. It was replaced by 2-6-6-2T #7 (Locobase 4058).

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID13,471
RailroadOstrander Railway & Timber Company
Number in Class1
Road Numbers4
Number Built1
BuilderBurnham, Williams & Co
Valve GearStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m) 9.50 / 2.90
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)21.92 / 6.68
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.43
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)21.92 / 6.68
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)53,000 / 24,040
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)73,000 / 33,112
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)73,000
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)900 / 3.41
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)29 / 14.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)37 / 940
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)160 / 11
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)13.5" x 18" / 343x457
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)12,058 / 5469.42
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.40
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)81.70 / 7.59
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)12.50 / 1.16
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)665 / 61.78
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)665 / 61.78
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume223.00
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation2000
Same as above plus superheater percentage2000
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area13,072
Power L13552
Power MT443.25

All material Copyright © SteamLocomotive.com
Wes Barris