At the same time that Brooks delivered 2 of its Consolidations to the PB & E (Locobase 2629), Baldwin produced this trio, to which it later added 2 more examples. A comparison of the two shows that Baldwin used a few more boiler tubes with a consequent increase in total heating surface. Also, the Baldwin engines had shorter wheelbases.
Other than those details, the designs were essentially identical. All of the Baldwins were scrapped in 1926.
These Consolidations look more like gimmick than a genuine leap forward in power. The RG saluted their delivery: "The world's pennant for heavy locomotive building has again changed hands." The first pair--150-151--were "the largest and heaviest locomotives in the world." As usual, the editors couldn't resist adding "Inspection of the illustration and the figures showing weights and dimensions gives the impression that they may hold this prestige for a long time."
Indeed, only a couple of 2-8-0s would match the combination of such high weights, boiler heating surface area, and tube counts. Within a year or two, however, other Consolidations would have more tubes (of 2" diameter) and several would offer more heating surface area; the Bessmer's weights would remain unchallenged for quite some time.
According to Roy Beaver, the PB&LE needed "a special type of Consolidation road freight locomotive. Known as the "drag", the C3 operated on the heavy grade on the Conneaut Branch from Conneaut to Albion."
Although the high cylinder volume, high boiler pressure, and small drivers yielded an impressive tractive effort figure, other dimensions show an unbalanced design. The grate is very small for all of the heating surface and the adhesive weight insufficient to gain full value from the steam admitted to the cylinders. In fact, so small is the grate that the engine was very likely short -winded once the relatively capacious boiler's initial supply of steam had been exhausted. So the railroad's goal of pulling "great train loads at moderate but regular speeds" was almost certainly frustrated.
The Pittsburghs retired more than 30 years later in 1936-1943. They and the Baldwin pair bought in 1909 (Locobase 9031) had seen revisions to their boilers (tube count reduced to 388 tubes) that lowered their evaporative heating surface area to 3,665 sq ft (340.5 sq m).
Weight on the drivers rose to 232,375 lb (105,404 kg).
It's interesting to compare this engine with the 2-6-0 built for the same railroad two years earlier and shown in the same catalogue. They resemble each other strongly with the obvious difference of the Consolidation riding on one more driving axle. Boiler diameter is identical at an even 6' (72"). The drivers are more closely spaced on the 2-8-0 and are 2" smaller.
Dimensionallly, going from 2-6-0 to a 2-8-0 meant:
increasing cylinder bore and stroke by 2" each,
realizing a very small 3.2% increase in firebox heating surface even as it grew longer and wider,
using 58 fewer flues that were 1/4" greater in diameter and 2' 9" longer for an overall 11% gain in heating surface, and, most important,
putting an additional 7 3/4 tons on the drivers to take advantage of the additional tractive effort.
|Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media|
|Railroad||Pittsburgh, Bessemer, & Lake Erie||Pittsburgh, Bessemer & Lake Erie||Pittsburgh, Bessemer, & Lake Erie|
|Number in Class||5||4||4|
|Road Numbers||82-84, 91-92||150-153||80-81, 93-94|
|Builder||Burnham, Williams & Co||Pittsburgh||Brooks|
|Locomotive Length and Weight|
|Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)||15 / 4.57||15.59 / 4.75||15.33 / 4.67|
|Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)||23.17 / 7.06||24.33 / 7.42||23.75 / 7.24|
|Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase||0.65||0.64||0.65|
|Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)||57.98 / 17.67||54 / 16.46|
|Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)|
|Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)||152,000 / 68,946||225,200 / 102,149||159,000 / 72,121|
|Engine Weight (lbs / kg)||167,000 / 75,750||250,300 / 113,534||179,000 / 81,193|
|Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)||100,000 / 45,359||141,100 / 64,002||107,000 / 48,534|
|Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)||267,000 / 121,109||391,400 / 177,536||286,000 / 129,727|
|Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)||5000 / 18.94||7500 / 28.41||5000 / 18.94|
|Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)||12.50 / 11.40||14 / 12.70||12.50 / 11.40|
|Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)||63 / 31.50||94 / 47||66 / 33|
|Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort|
|Driver Diameter (in / mm)||54 / 1372||54 / 1372||54 / 1372|
|Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)||180 / 12.40||220 / 15.20||180 / 12.40|
|High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)||22" x 28" / 559x711||24" x 32" / 610x813||22" x 28" / 559x711|
|Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)||38,397 / 17416.61||63,829 / 28952.38||38,397 / 17416.61|
|Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort)||3.96||3.53||4.14|
|Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)||192.50 / 17.89||241 / 22.40||192 / 17.84|
|Grate Area (sq ft / m2)||32.92 / 3.06||36.80 / 3.42||32.40 / 3.01|
|Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)||2445 / 227.23||3805 / 353.62||2283 / 212.17|
|Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)|
|Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)||2445 / 227.23||3805 / 353.62||2283 / 212.17|
|Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume||198.47||227.09||185.32|
|Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)|
|Robert LeMassena's Power Computation||5926||8096||5832|
|Same as above plus superheater percentage||5926||8096||5832|
|Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area||34,650||53,020||34,560|