Western Pacific 2-8-0 "Consolidation" Locomotives in the USA


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class C-43 (Locobase 5379)

Data from "Consolidation Locomotive for Western Pacific Railway", Railway Age, Volume 43 (17 May 1907), pp. 778-779. See also DeGolyer, Volume 30, p. 123. Works numbers were 29160 in September; 29173-29174, 29197, 29240-29241, 29273-29274, 29342-29343, 29348-29349 in October; 29442-29445, 29490-29492, 29509 in November.

Most had a unit price of $16,598 with four costing $18,996 for some reason.

Railway Age offered a restrained assessment, saying that there was nothing unusual in the design, but it embodied "features which have proved satisfactory in service." The journal criticized the narrow firebox, noting the high 93:1 ratio of grate area to heating surface area.

Although delivered with slide valves, all but one of these first-for-the-railroad Consolidations were soon refitted with piston valves. Still later they were superheated. (See Locobase 3100 for the superheated version.)

Along with the 45 Alcos delivered in 1909, which were similar except for using Walschaert valve gear, these 2-8-0s carried on until the end of steam in some cases. (Some were retired as early as 1937.)


Class C-43 (Locobase 16310)

Data from WP ALL TIME Steam Locomotive diagrams supplied in August 2013 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange collection. Unlike the Baldwins shown in Locobase 5379, Schenectady produced the entire class as a single batch - works numbers were 46451-46495.

Alco assessed $15,331 per engine for the first 13; the latter 32 each cost $15,609.

Despite the Railway Age's 1907 critique of the Baldwin Consolidations (Locobase 5379), the WP ordered 45 more from Schenectady. In addition to a minor reduction in boiler tube count, the big difference from the earlier Eddystones was the adoption of an outside radial valve gear setup.

All received superheaters; see Locobase 3100.


Class C-43 - superheated (Locobase 3100)

Data from WP 2 - 1946 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange collection.

Consolidations originally built as saturated, slide-valve locomotives (Locobases 7234 and 16310) that were later superheated and given 11" (279 mm) piston valves; it is this later modification that is shown in the specifications. Nineteen of the earlier batch from Baldwin (1906) had Stephenson gear, 211 small tubes, 15 sq ft (1.39 sq m), which raised its saturated evaporative heating surface area to 2,306 sq ft (214.

Superheating the locomotive didn't change the high ratio between the very large boiler and the relatively small grate. On the other hand, both subtypes achieved unusually high superheat ratios at a relatively low cost in deleted small tubes. Five of the 20 Baldwins remained coal burners; the other 15 were converted to oil burners and trailed tenders holding 3,556 US gallons (13,460 litres) of oil. All of the converted Alcos were oil burners hauling the 3,000 gallons shown in the specs..

With few exceptions, the superheated Consolidations served the WP through World War Two and retired in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
ClassC-43C-43C-43 - superheated
Locobase ID5379 16,310 3100
RailroadWestern Pacific (WP)Western Pacific (WP)Western Pacific (WP)
CountryUSAUSAUSA
Whyte2-8-02-8-02-8-0
Number in Class204545
Road Numbers1-2021-651-65
GaugeStdStdStd
Number Built204545
BuilderBurnham, Williams & CoAlco-SchenectadyWP
Year190619101909
Valve GearStephensonWalschaertWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)15.67 / 4.7815.67 / 4.7815.67 / 4.78
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)24.33 / 7.4224.33 / 7.4224.33 / 7.42
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.64 0.64 0.64
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)57.96 / 17.6757.96 / 17.6760 / 18.29
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)46,280 / 20,992
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)186,330 / 84,518184,000 / 83,461185,000 / 83,915
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)201,330 / 91,322203,000 / 92,079207,000 / 93,894
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)183,000155,000 / 70,307157,000 / 71,214
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)384,330358,000 / 162,386364,000 / 165,108
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)8000 / 30.308000 / 30.308000 / 30.30
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)14 / 12.7014 / 12.703000 / 11.40
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)78 / 3977 / 38.5077 / 38.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)57 / 144857 / 144857 / 1448
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)200 / 13.80200 / 13.80190 / 13.10
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)22" x 30" / 559x76222" x 30" / 559x76222" x 30" / 559x762
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)43,305 / 19642.8443,305 / 19642.8441,140 / 18660.81
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.30 4.25 4.50
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)214 / 19.89218 / 20.25218 / 20.26
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)33.60 / 3.1233.60 / 3.1233.60 / 3.12
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)3141 / 291.913070 / 285.212292 / 213.01
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)733 / 68.12
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)3141 / 291.913070 / 285.213025 / 281.13
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume237.97232.59173.65
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation672067206384
Same as above plus superheater percentage672067207916
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area42,80043,60051,361
Power L16062598813,647
Power MT286.90286.98650.52

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