US Army Transportation Corps 2-8-0 "Consolidation" Locomotives in the USA


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class Lima 21"" x 26"" 1942 (Locobase 6426)

Data from http://www.alaskarails.org/pix/former-loco/eng-drwgs/501-506.html (visited 22 December 2004) and from the US Military Railway Service's Locomotive Diagram book supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley and Alaska RR Steam Locomotive Diagrams supplied in August 2013 from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. See also the history of the engines sent to the FC de Langreo by Guillermo Bas Ord=ªez at http://www.alaskarails.org/glance/Langreo.html, last accessed 22 November 2013.

Additional information in a report prepared by Stephen Low and attached to his 3 January 2018 email. He cites as his sources: "Much of the above information was provided through John Combs & Dick Morris (Alaskarails.org) from original Alaska Railroad business file archives from the U.S. National Archives, the Southern Forest Heritage Museum in Long Leaf, LA (Everett Lueck), and also from Don Ross, Allen Stanley, and Jonathan Smith (Steam Locomotive Rosters)." See also Colonel Howard G. Hill, US Army, "Built for Battle", Trains Magazine (December 1964). Works numbers were7875-7878 in February 1942 and 7879-7882 in March.

According to Steve Low's report, the US Army ordered this octet of Consolidations from Lima in August 1941. A standard class number appears not to have been assigned and source have suggested S159 (to mark its precedence over the more numerous S160 [for which, see Locobase 433], or S180 (the Lima engine's tractive effort in thousands of pounds) or S179 (same, but minus the feed water heater).

Works numbers are consecutive as were the USATC numbers. Six went to the Alaska Railroad.

Lima USTC ARR

7875 6994 505

7876 6995 506

7877 6996 504

7879 6998 501

7880 6999 502

7881 10 503.

This Consolidation design preceded the Standard 160 (Locobase 433) and was built in response to a request for a 2-8-0 updated from the World War I Pershing. Its cylinders are larger by 2" in diameter, the grate had 2 sq ft greater area, and the boiler was slightly larger as well.

The MRS diagram for the TC 10 shows that the class had 10" (254 mm) diameter piston valves. This diagram states that the tractive effort at 77% was 37,100 lb, which is true only if the driver diameter is 50" - the sketch shows 57". In addition the driving wheelbase measures 15' 6" (4.72 m) . Could Lima have built the last two locomotives as a variant with taller drivers?

Apparently the last locomotive came later, in 1946-1947, possibly as a replacement for 6997? In any case, the 503 was destroyed in a fire in 1951.

Spain's Ferrocarril de Langreo bought several cast-off ARR steam locomotives. Except for ARR 503, this entire class was sold to the FC de L and arrived at Gijon on 25 February 1958 and renumbered 401-406. 401 was kept as a spare, but the other four were quickly found to be too big for the Langreo's loading gauge, wrote , and the railway had to rework the locomotives: "Modifications included cut tender tops, cabs with lowered roofs and slope sides and front pilot substituted by Langreo hook couplings and buffers."

So converted, the locomotives went into service one by one with 404 starting in April 1960 and finishing with 402 ending its mods in March 1963. All ran up service "mileage" (kilometrage?) exceeding 36,700 km each (22,791 miles) with 405 accumulating 38,089 km (23,653 miles). All were withdrawn in 1968 when steam operations ended and were soon scrapped.


Class Lima 21"" x 26"" 1942 (Locobase 16331)

Data from report prepared by Stephen Low and attached to his 3 January 2018 email. He cites as his sources: "Much of the above information was provided through John Combs & Dick Morris (Alaskarails.org) from original Alaska Railroad business file archives from the U.S. National Archives, the Southern Forest Heritage Museum in Long Leaf, LA (Everett Lueck), and also from Don Ross, Allen Stanley, and Jonathan Smith (Steam Locomotive Rosters)." See also Colonel Howard G. Hill, US Army, "Built for Battle", Trains Magazine (December 1964). Works numbers were7875-7878 in February 1942 and 7879-7882 in March.

According to Steve Low's report, the US Army ordered this octet of Consolidations from Lima in August 1941. A standard class number appears not to have been assigned and source have suggested S159 (to mark its precedence over the more numerous S160 [for which, see Locobase 433], or S180 (the Lima engine's tractive effort in thousands of pounds) or S179 (same, but minus the feed water heater).


Class S160 / Liberty (Locobase 433)

Data from US Military Railway Service diagram book supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. See also the listing at http://www.railalbum.co.uk/steam-locomotives/usatc-s160-1.htm, which shows many illustrations of the basic design as it appeared in England and Tomas Galka's Polish Steam Locomotives website (http://www.locomotives.com.pl/Freight%20Steam%20Locomotives/Tr201.htm, last accessed 21 December 2011). See also Colonel Howard G. Hill, US Army, "Built for Battle", Trains Magazine (December 1964).

Standard Consolidation built by Alco, Baldwin , and Lima for the US Army's Transportation Corps in World War II. Baldwin's works numbers were 64641-64665 in September 1942; 67561-67685

Credited to a committee headed by Major JW Marsh of the US Army and composed of design engineers from all three US locomotive builders, the S160's design was limited only by loading gauge limitations in Britain and Europe.

Compared to the World War I era Alco, this engine had a little higher superheat ratio, 10" piston valves, three arch tubes in the firebox, Hulson rocking grate, but otherwise was a relatively austere, straightforward design. When used for oil, the tender's capacity was 1,800 gallons (6,813 litres).

http://www.gregoriou.itgo.com/custom4.html (site owner:Alexandros C. Gregoriou ), last accessed 4 March 2006, says that 2,120 were produced overall, most of the S160 (Standard gauge) subclass, although some S161s went to Jamaica and S162 and S166 went to the Soviet Union. (See also Tomasz Galka, Standard-Gauge Locomotives in Poland, http://hobby.ien.com.pl/kolej/, last accessed 4 March 2006)

The result, says the SPS Limited's account of the type (www.spslimited.co.uk/locomotives/2253-steam-engine.htm), was a big success. "Everywhere they went the S160s were well received and proved to be rugged, reliable workhorses, strong and easy to maintain, with the bonus that they were not fussy about how or with what they were fired."

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway museum website (http://www.gwsr.com/news/features/steam-locomotive-features/american-invasion.aspx) gives the Great Western Railway drivers' perspective:

"The locomotives must have been a shock to GWR crews as they were quite unlike anything that had ever run on the system before. But while GWR sensibilities may not have led them to be liked, in practice they proved to be extremely powerful, surprisingly economical and entirely suitable for heavy freight traffic. They also enjoyed rapid acceleration and were also often used for troop trains and, occasionally, ordinary passenger traffic."

Technical reasons for the class's satisfactory performance include the generous heating surface to cylinder volume ratio and the relatively high superheat percentage.

But according to John D. Blyth (www.pattayamail.com/350/columns.htm/#hd11), the first batches suffered from a design fault that led to a series of boiler explosions that wrecked several locomotives and killed some crew members as well. Blyth adds that they had an intended working lifetime of about 90 days after which they were expected to be damaged one way or another.

As GWR notes: "[T]hey did suffer a high failure rate - they tended to develop hot driving axle boxes while those fitted with thermic siphons tended to suffer leaks and tubeplate cracks. The locomotive steam brake was very poor - particularly when working unfitted trains. In the boilers, a major weakness was excessive corrosion and fatigue of the firebox crown bolts, especially if the boiler water level was allowed to fall too low or there was an accumulation of scale on the firebox crown. As a result, there were five incidents of the crown collapsing while in UK use ..."

Tomasz Galka provides additional insights on these locomotives: "In Poland S160s were considered modern and efficient engines with good steaming capacity, but their shortcomings, resulting from simplified design, were obvious; in general, British wartime Liberation locomotives, designated Tr202, were viewed superior, particularly due to higher manufacturing quality and high-grade materials used. Running qualities left something to be desired and engines were prone to derailing. In PKP service, boiler pressure was reduced to 13 bar and maximum speed was set at 65 km/h."

Data from another website (www.railroad.net/forums/load/baldwin/msg0815001311938.html) gives details of the Alco spec for Peruvian S160s built in 1943. These had 15 sq ft of arch tubes.

S160s went all over the world. 800 alone went to the United Kingdom where 400 were placed in storage in anticipation of the European invasion and the other 400 did very good work in Britain itself. These were distributed mostly to two of the grouped railways: GWR (174) and the LNER (168). The LMS operated 50. The Southern Railway made almost no use of the design, rostering only 6.

The others eventually went to France, where they acquired the nickname of Front Francaise. Some of the S160s originally shipped to North Africa spread throughout the Mediterranean as result of US landings in Italy and France and postwar distributions.

Only 260 of the 2,100 built ran on other than standard gauge -- 200 on the Soviet Union's 5' gauge (1,524 mm) and 60 on the 5'6" gauge.

After World War II, S160 war survivors as well as the hundreds supplied by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) and the Marshall Plan of 1947 ran on railways in several continents. Gregoriou and Tomasz Galka are the sources for the following:

Algeria (10 140U),

Austria (30 956.0 class),

Belgium,

China ( KD6 461-KD6 500),

Czechoslovakia (80 as the 456.1 class - 456.101-180 - "UNRRAs"),

France (121 140U),

Greece (27 THg - THg 521-537, 551-560 and 25 ex-FS 736 from Italy),

Hungary (510 411 class of which 26 supplied spare parts and the others received road numbers 411.001-484),

Italy (243 FS 736.001-243),

Jamaica (S161 as Class 60)

Korea (SORI-2),

Mexico (10 GR-28 delivered directly from Baldwin in 1946),

Morocco (5 or 6 140B),

the Netherlands,

Peru (2 Class 80 delivered directly from Baldwin in 1943),

Poland (575 - 75 Tr201from UNRRA and 500 Tr203 shipped directly from the US Army TC),

Soviet Union (90 ShA from Baldwin, 110 from Alco - 7 were lost or retained in the US)

Tunisia (6 140-250), and

Turkey (50 TCDD 45.171-231),

Yugoslavia (65 Class 37)

Some of these saw steam out in several countries in the 1970s and 1980s.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
ClassLima 21"" x 26"" 1942Lima 21"" x 26"" 1942S160 / Liberty
Locobase ID6426 16,331 433
RailroadUS Army Transportation CorpsUS Army Transportation CorpsUS Army Transportation Corps
CountryUSAUSAUSA
Whyte2-8-02-8-02-8-0
Number in Class882100
Road Numbers6994-6999, TC 10-TC116994-6999, TC 10-TC 11
GaugeStdStdStd
Number Built882100
BuilderLimaLimaseveral
Year194219421942
Valve GearWalschaertWalschaertWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)14.50 / 4.4214.50 / 4.4215.50 / 4.72
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)23.08 / 7.0323.08 / 7.0323.25 / 7.09
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.63 0.63 0.67
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)56.74 / 17.2956.74 / 17.2951.67 / 15.75
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)35,280 / 16,003
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)161,300 / 73,165160,500 / 72,802140,000 / 63,503
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)180,000 / 81,647180,000 / 81,647161,000 / 73,028
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)124,700 / 56,563124,700 / 56,563115,000 / 52,163
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)304,700 / 138,210304,700 / 138,210276,000 / 125,191
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)6500 / 24.626500 / 24.626500 / 24.62
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)10 / 9.1010 / 9.109 / 8.20
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)67 / 33.5067 / 33.5058 / 29
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)50 / 127050 / 127057 / 1448
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)210 / 14.50210 / 14.50225 / 15.50
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)21" x 26" / 533x66021" x 26" / 533x66019" x 26" / 483x660
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)40,934 / 18567.3740,934 / 18567.3731,493 / 14285.00
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.94 3.92 4.45
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)156 / 14.50156 / 14.49128 / 11.90
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)43 / 443 / 3.9941 / 3.81
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1937 / 180.021937 / 179.951765 / 164.03
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)467 / 43.40467 / 43.39471 / 43.77
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2404 / 223.422404 / 223.342236 / 207.80
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume185.84185.84206.87
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation903090309225
Same as above plus superheater percentage10,74610,74611,162
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area38,98438,98434,848
Power L111,61911,61916,645
Power MT635.23638.391048.45