Chicago & Alton 2-8-0 "Consolidation" Locomotives in the USA


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class H Odd (Locobase 9099)

Data from C&A 6 - 1918, 12 - 1920 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange.

Who knows for what reason the Alton retained this "odd" Consolidation? It was quite small, more than a decade older than any of the other 2-8-0s, and did indeed have the odd cylinder dimensions of 17" diameter by 26" bore. But there it was in 1924, slide valves and tall skinny stack, high dome over the second coupled axle, no superheat.

After combing through rosters and builder's files compiled by many dedicated researchers and supplied to Locobase in August 2013 by Allen Stanley, Locobase resorts to comparing data attributed to the Alton engine to other entries describing Consolidations with 17 x 26 cylinders. Locobase 8262 describes a Santa Fe class built by Hinkley and delivered in 1881-1882. The cylinder volume and driver diameters are identical and several of the roster compilers offered Santa Fe numbers in that range.

Only the "Unattributed" list supplies the information that the engine came to the Alton from the Toluca, Marquette & Northern, which had run it as road # 2. Its provenance before that service is a bit murky, but doesn't eliminate the Santa Fe class. The firebox heating surface area of the Santa Fes was bigger than than the Alton, which simply could reflect a later boiler and firebox replacement by the Santa Fe.

The jury renders a verdict of "not proven" but "perhaps".


Class H1 (Locobase 9055)

Data from C&A 12 - 1920 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. Works numbers were 3444-3447, 3449-3454 in February 1900.

The specifications show these big Consolidations as delivered in their full, saturated-boiler state. A smallish grate saw some compensation in the relatively generous firebox heating surface. Steam admission came through 12" (305 mm) piston valves.

A later diagram (from 1930) shows that 15 tubes were removed (or simply blanked out) and the firebox heating surface was reduced by a small amount and the grate had narrowed by an inch and a quarter. By this time, several had been superheated; see Locobase 9056.


Class H1 - superheated / E46 (Locobase 9056)

Data from C&A 12 - 1920 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange.

Superheated in the usual way by the Alton in the 1920s, the H1 lost 160 tubes, but gained a useful amount of superheat in the flues. The 12"piston valves still served the long-stroke cylinders and the small grate had not grown dramatically (it had in fact shrunk a bit), but the overall heating surface loss was low and the railroad pressed the boiler to its original pressure.

The result was a relatively light drag freighter with a short boiler that extracted quite a bit of added power from the original design.


Class H3 - superheated/E-48 (Locobase 9093)

Data from C&A 12 - 1920 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. Works numbers 25966, 25982, 25991-25992, 25995, 26001, 26012-26013, 26042, 26051 (July 1907) and. 28176, 28225, 28249, 28250, 28266-28269, 28275, 28338 (May 1906).

Steam admission came through 12" piston valves.

The medium-sized Consolidations that came to the C & A in 1905-1906 lost very little heating surface area when they were superheated. Thus the superheat added more than the usual power to the basic design. These drag freighters served the Alton, then the Baltimore & Ohio through the end of the 1940s.


Class H3/E-48 (Locobase 9092)

Data from C&A 12 - 1920 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. See also DeGolyer, Volume 28, p. 22; and Volume 29, p. 24. Works numbers 25966, 25982, 25991-25992, 25995, 26001, 26012-26013, 26042, 26051 in July 1905 and. 28176, 28225, 28249, 28250, 28266-28269, 28275, 28338 in May 1906.

Steam admission came through 12" (305 mm) piston valves in these Consolidations. Smaller than the 1902 H2 class, they had the same power dimensions.

Most engines in this class were superheated; see Locobase 9093.


Class H7 (Locobase 9094)

Data from C&A 12 - 1920 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange.

These were substantial Consolidations with drivers tall enough to serve main-line freight trains. Steam admission came through relatively capacious 14" piston valves. At the time it entered service, the American Engineer & Railroad Journal for July 1909 noted that this design had the highest ratio of boiler to grate "...of any consolidation locomotive on our records."

All of this class were superheated; see Locobase 9095.


Class H7 - superheater/E-49 (Locobase 9095)

Data from C&A 12 - 1920 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. Works numbers were 45934-45943.

Originally supplied as saturated-steam engines in 1909-1910 (Locobase 9094), this class was superheated in the 1920s. Unusually for such conversions, the exchange of tubes for flues resulted in a net gain in total evaporative heating surface. Possessing such healthy steam production and relatively capacious 14" (356 mm) piston valves, this locomotive proved serviceable in a variety of roles to the end of the steam era.


Class H8 / E-50 (Locobase 9096)

Data from C&A 6 - 1918, 12 - 1920 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. Works numbers were 47768, 47770-47771 in 1909.

Compared to the Consolidations supplied by the same builder in the previous year (Locobase 9094), these engines had smaller boilers and drivers. That's because they comprised part of the ten-engine order by the Buffalo & Susquehanna in 1910 that was annulled by the B&S's financial collapse. Their B&S numbers were to have been 173, 175, and 176.

Also, they were never superheated. Even so, they were taken into the Baltimore & Ohio's roster when that railroad took over the Alton in 1931.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
ClassH OddH1H1 - superheated / E46H3 - superheated/E-48H3/E-48
Locobase ID9099 9055 9056 9093 9092
RailroadChicago & Alton (C&A)Chicago & Alton (C&A)Chicago & Alton (C&A)Chicago & Alton (C&A)Chicago & Alton (C&A)
CountryUSAUSAUSAUSAUSA
Whyte2-8-02-8-02-8-02-8-02-8-0
Number in Class11052010
Road Numbers499400-409400-409/2612-15, 2960-65410/2967-2986410-419
GaugeStdStdStdStdStd
Number Built11010
BuilderHinkleyBrooksC & AC & ABurnham, Williams & Co
Year18931900192219221905
Valve GearStephensonStephensonStephensonStephensonStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)14.42 / 4.4015.75 / 4.8015.75 / 4.8015.67 / 4.7815.67 / 4.78
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)22.58 / 6.8824.25 / 7.3924.25 / 7.3924.33 / 7.4224.33 / 7.42
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.64 0.65 0.65 0.64 0.64
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)44.15 / 13.4654.85 / 16.7254.06 / 16.4855.42 / 16.8955.42 / 16.89
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)44,500 / 20,18549,000 / 22,226
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)80,000 / 36,287170,000 / 77,111170,000 / 77,111184,860 / 83,851184,860 / 83,851
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)95,000 / 43,091189,000 / 85,729189,000 / 85,729207,360 / 94,057207,360 / 94,057
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)75,000 / 34,019130,680 / 59,276136,800 / 62,052136,680 / 61,997136,680 / 61,997
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)170,000 / 77,110319,680 / 145,005325,800 / 147,781344,040 / 156,054344,040 / 156,054
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)3000 / 11.366000 / 22.736000 / 22.736000 / 22.736000 / 22.73
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)6 / 5.5015 / 13.6016 / 14.5015 / 13.6015 / 13.60
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)33 / 16.5071 / 35.5071 / 35.5077 / 38.5077 / 38.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)48 / 121957 / 144857 / 144857 / 144857 / 1448
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)160 / 11200 / 13.80200 / 13.80200 / 13.80200 / 13.80
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)17" x 26" / 432x66021" x 32" / 533x81321" x 32" / 533x81322" x 30" / 559x76222" x 30" / 559x762
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)21,290 / 9656.9942,088 / 19090.8242,088 / 19090.8243,305 / 19642.8443,305 / 19642.84
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.76 4.04 4.04 4.27 4.27
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)99.80 / 9.28241 / 22.40238 / 22.12237.50 / 22.07214.30 / 19.96
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)22.75 / 2.1135.30 / 3.2833.60 / 3.1233.60 / 3.1233.60 / 3.12
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)997 / 92.662848 / 264.682226 / 206.882672 / 248.333254 / 302.23
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)489 / 45.45576 / 53.53
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)997 / 92.662848 / 264.682715 / 252.333248 / 301.863254 / 302.23
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume145.96222.01173.52202.44246.53
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation36407060672067206720
Same as above plus superheater percentage36407060793079306720
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area15,96848,20056,16856,05042,860
Power L12803600311,57813,0186227
Power MT308.98311.40600.59621.00297.05

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
ClassH7H7 - superheater/E-49H8 / E-50
Locobase ID9094 9095 9096
RailroadChicago & Alton (C&A)Chicago & Alton (C&A)Chicago & Alton (C&A)
CountryUSAUSAUSA
Whyte2-8-02-8-02-8-0
Number in Class10103
Road Numbers430-439430-439/2987-2986440-442 / 2997-2999
GaugeStdStdStd
Number Built103
BuilderAlco-BrooksC & AAlco-Brooks
Year190919241910
Valve GearBakerBakerWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)17.79 / 5.4217.79 / 5.4214.33 / 4.37
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)26.79 / 8.1726.79 / 8.1722.08 / 6.73
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.66 0.66 0.65
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)58.17 / 17.7358.17 / 17.7354.24 / 16.53
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)53,000 / 24,040
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)203,500 / 92,306203,500 / 92,306172,000 / 78,018
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)228,000 / 103,419228,000 / 103,419192,000 / 87,090
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)166,600 / 75,569166,600 / 75,569126,500 / 57,380
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)394,600 / 178,988394,600 / 178,988318,500 / 144,470
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)8250 / 31.258250 / 31.256000 / 22.73
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)16 / 14.5016 / 14.5012 / 10.90
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)85 / 42.5085 / 42.5072 / 36
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)62 / 157562 / 157551 / 1295
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)200 / 13.80200 / 13.80185 / 12.80
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)23" x 30" / 584x76222.5" x 30" / 572x76221" x 28" / 533x711
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)43,515 / 19738.1041,643 / 18888.9738,073 / 17269.64
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.68 4.89 4.52
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)197 / 18.31219.70 / 20.42173 / 16.08
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)33.60 / 3.1233.60 / 3.1254.40 / 5.06
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)3372 / 313.382883 / 267.942670 / 248.14
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)582 / 54.09
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)3372 / 313.383465 / 322.032670 / 248.14
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume233.74208.82237.87
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation6720672010,064
Same as above plus superheater percentage6720786210,064
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area39,40051,41032,005
Power L1624213,8014952
Power MT270.49598.05253.89

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