Birmingham Southern 2-8-0 "Consolidation" Locomotives in the USA


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 29 (Locobase 12970)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Volume 29, p. 82. Works number was 28219 in May 1906.

Serving steel mills in the Birmingham, Ala area, this road was chartered in 1878 . Tennessee Coal & Iron was organized in 1886 to operate the line and did so until the Southern and Louisville & Nashville bought the line in 1899. TCI & R, the TCI's successor, bought the road from the Southern and L & N in 1906 and US Steel acquired the TCI&R in 1907. by 1916, the railroad owned 40.7 miles of main line, 78.8 miles of yard tracks and sidings.

The BS operated independently as a terminal and switching road through all these corporate changes. The locomotives were lettered for the Birmingham Southern and included this robust Consolidation. It's a bit surprising that a 1906 standard-gauge 2-8-0 would use a firebox that was only 42" wide.


Class 36/386 (Locobase 9195)

Data from TCI&RR 1949 locomotive diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 7 September 2018 email noting some inconsistencies between a WRA entry--since deleted--and the superheated version shown in this entry.)

The first three of this class came to the TCI&RR from Brooks in 1910 (works number 46953 and Richmond (53278-53279) as saturated-steam engines. Locobase

They were joined nine years later by a Richmond quintet, which were superheated from the start. The latter were delivered in pairs and a single (works #62606-62607 in 1920, 63354-63355 in 1922, and 64379 in 1923).

The 1910 and 1913 engines were soon superheated and the class was treated essentially as one from that point on except for a three-ton disparity in weights.

One of the Richmond engines -- #37, later 387 in 1918 was sold to the Western Railway of Alabama. Renumbered 120, it was the lone occupant of class C 53 23/28 45.1 and the only 2-8-0 to operate on the WRA.

388 took a different road, being sold to locomotive rebuilder/reseller Birmingham Rail & Locomotive. In February 1941, the South Shore Railway in Louisiana bought the 388 and soon put it to work in its gravel-pit run.

The newest engine, which bore road number 35, was sold to the Chattahoochee Valley in August 1939, retaining that number. After World War II, the CV sold the 35 to the Oneida & Western (a short line connecting Oneida, Tenn-- near the Kentucky border--with Jamestown, Tenn). renumbered it 29. When the Alabama Central bought it from the O&W, the railroad kept #29.

393 went to the ferro-knacker in 1946, followed by the 390, 392 and 394 in 1950, and 391.


Class 39/389 (Locobase 9196)

Data from TCI&RR 1949 locomotive diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. Works number was 55687 in June 1916.

This was a loner from Pittsburgh that was quite similar to the Brooks engines delivered to the TCI & RR's Birmingham Southern in 1910 & 1912 (Locobase 9195), but with superheat built in.


Class 9 (Locobase 6868)

Data from NC&StL 9 - 1921 Locomotive Diagrams-CLR CHTS supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. See also DeGolyer, Volume 12, p. 114. Works number was 7493 in November 1884.

One-of-a-kind Consolidation from Baldwin with low drivers that was delivered to the road when it still operated on the five-foot gauge. Its specification called for 180 tubes in front of a relatively wide and shallow firebox. Later in its career, the railroad probably replaced the boiler with a slightly larger one hold 196 tubes that yielded 1,501 sq ft (139.45 sq m) of tube heating surface area and 1,644 sq ft (152.75 sq m). Weight increased considerably to 106,600 lb (48,353 kg) on the drivers, which the factor of adhesion to 4.35, and 120,200 lb (54,522 kg) for the engine.

(The Birmingham Southern was set up in 1878 as a connection between Birmingham and Pratt City. Owned jointly at first by the L & N and the Southern Railway, the BS came under the control of the Tennessee Coal Iron & RR company In 1887, the TCI & R was absorbed by the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis and #9 was renumbered 92. US Steel bought the TCI&R in 1906.)

Now on the standard gauge, the #92 continued in service, being renumbered #305 in 1915.

After more than 40 years in service, the locomotive was scrapped in September 1928.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Class2936/38639/3899
Locobase ID12970 9195 9196 6868
RailroadBirmingham Southern (TCI&R)Birmingham Southern (TCI&R)Birmingham Southern (TCI&R)Birmingham Southern (TCI&R)
CountryUSAUSAUSAUSA
Whyte2-8-02-8-02-8-02-8-0
Number in Class1811
Road Numbers2936 (1st)-38, 40-41, 35-37/386-388, 390-3943899/305
GaugeStdStdStd5'
Number Built15511
BuilderBurnham, Williams & CoTCI&RRAlco-PittsburghBurnham, Parry, Williams & Co
Year1906192019161884
Valve GearStephensonStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)14.25 / 4.3415 / 4.5715 / 4.5714 / 4.27
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)22.33 / 6.8123.68 / 7.2223.68 / 7.2221.50 / 6.55
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.64 0.63 0.63 0.65
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)53.08 / 16.1855.06 / 16.7848.17 / 14.68
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)49,600 / 22,49847,000 / 21,319
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)145,000 / 65,771186,500 / 84,595183,500 / 83,23488,000 / 39,916
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)162,000 / 73,482208,500 / 94,574205,000 / 92,987102,000 / 46,266
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)110,000 / 49,895117,400 / 53,252119,900 / 54,38673,000 / 33,112
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)272,000 / 123,377325,900 / 147,826324,900 / 147,373175,000 / 79,378
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)5500 / 20.836000 / 22.735000 / 18.943200 / 12.12
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)6 / 66 / 6 7.50 / 7
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)60 / 3078 / 3976 / 3837 / 18.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)50 / 127053 / 134653 / 134650 / 1270
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)200 / 13.80185 / 12.80185 / 12.80150 / 10.30
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)21" x 26" / 533x66023" x 28" / 584x71123" x 28" / 584x71120" x 24" / 508x610
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)38,984 / 17682.8743,947 / 19934.0543,947 / 19934.0524,480 / 11103.95
Booster (lbs)11
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.72 4.24 4.18 3.59
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)322 - 2.25" / 57195 - 2" / 51205 - 2" / 51180 - 2.25" / 57
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)32 - 5.375" / 13730 - 5.375" / 137
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)13.37 / 4.0815 / 4.5715 / 4.5713.08 / 3.99
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)195 / 18.12155 / 14.41165 / 15.33143.12 / 13.30
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)32.60 / 3.0351 / 4.7451 / 4.7430.04 / 2.79
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2719 / 252.702372 / 220.452409 / 223.881530 / 142.14
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)566 / 52.60530 / 49.26
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2719 / 252.702938 / 273.052939 / 273.141530 / 142.14
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume260.94176.23178.97175.26
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation6520943594354506
Same as above plus superheater percentage652011,22811,1334506
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area39,00034,12336,02021,468
Power L1590910,00597183215
Power MT359.37473.08467.02322.18

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