Nevada Copper Belt Company 2-8-0 "Consolidation" Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 3 (Locobase 13902)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University, Volume 41, p. 77. See also the Nevada Observer's History of Nevada, esp. pp. 600-602 at [], last accessed 28 February 2012. Works number was 37577 in March 1912.

As the specs suggest, the 12 was an oil burner. Its entire firebox was lined with firebrick and an extra set of fire pan brick was ordered through the "Extra Work Department" to be delivered with the locomotive. The Von Boden-Ingles No. 3 burner had inlets on the top and bottom "so that either side may be used as wanted."

The Nevada Douglas Copper Company was formed in 1904 to exploit some copper lodes in the Yerington and Mason mining district. The railroad itself was begun in 1909 to handle the growing tonnage of ore coming out of the mines. As the history notes, "The line is well equipped and standard gauge, fully prepared to handle 2,000 tons of ore or more and other products daily, has forty-five steel ore cars, of fifty-ton capacity, battleship type, which have been provided exclusively for ore hauling from the various mines to the smelting plant, at Thompson."

The 42 miles of line served more than copper-ore trains. The Walker river supplied both the Mason Valley and the Walker River Valley in quantities that made the two sections some of the richest agricultural land in Nevada.

As the 1912 history put it: "The possibilities of the line, as constructed, being very instrumental in helping to make of Mason and Smith Valleys a new inland empire, within the State of Nevada, determined the route through the valleys instead of the shortest line from the smelter to the mines."

Such high hopes dimmed as the copper mines played out. By 1929, the NCBR had closed its Mason-to-mine spur.

The 12 was long since gone to other pastures over the Sierras. The Sierra Railway bought the engine in 1921, doubled its road number to 24. Such inflation suited the 24's position on the motive-power roster as the heaviest 2-8-0 on the railway by more than 40,000 lb.

Purdy bought the 24 in 1955 to scrap it.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID13,902
RailroadNevada Copper Belt Company
Number in Class1
Road Numbers3
Number Built1
Valve GearWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)14 / 4.27
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)22.58 / 6.88
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.62
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)52.28 / 15.93
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)146,000 / 66,225
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)163,000 / 73,936
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)100,000 / 45,359
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)263,000 / 119,295
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)5000 / 18.94
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)2400 / 9.10
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)61 / 30.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)50 / 1270
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)200 / 13.80
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)20" x 26" / 508x660
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)35,360 / 16039.05
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.13
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)170 / 15.79
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)32.70 / 3.04
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2558 / 237.64
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2558 / 237.64
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume270.58
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation6540
Same as above plus superheater percentage6540
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area34,000
Power L16008
Power MT362.89

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Wes Barris