Chesapeake & Ohio / Hocking Valley / Kanawha, Glen Jean & Eastern 2-8-2 "Mikado" Locomotives in the USA

Chesapeake & Ohio

By 1911, the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway had developed a new locomotive to pull passenger trains over Allegheny Mountains, the 4-8-2 "Mountain" type and it had a new design, the 2-6-6-2 "Mallet", for its coal drag operations. Now it needed a new freight locomotive for the lower grade portions of its railroad to replace the 2-8-0 in order to increase speed on the system. The C&O turned to the American Locomotive Company to build it some 2-8-2 "Mikado" type locomotives and between 1911 and 1914, fifty-six were delivered. This group was designated as Class K-1 and it was assigned road numbers 800 through 855 and later they were renumbered 1100 through 1155. These locomotives had 57" diameter drivers, 29" x 28" cylinders, a 185 psi boiler pressure and they exerted 64,964 pounds of tractive effort and each weighed 315,000 pounds. The firebox area was 313 square feet. The evaporative heating surface was 4,050 and with the superheater the combined heating surface was 4,882 square feet and the piston valve had a 16" diameter.

Over the next few years many railroads were buying the "Mikado" type locomotives and many improvements were made to the design. By the mid 1920s the C&O decided that its motive power was becoming outdated and started acquiring new 2-8-2s. Between 1924 and 1926 it bought 150 new "Mikados" from ALCO. There were three separate classes; fifty Class K-2, delivered in 1924 and carried road numbers 1160 through1209, fifty, Class K-3, also delivered in 1924, assigned road numbers 1210 through1259 and fifty of the third class, delivered in 1926, designated as Class K-3a and given road numbers 2300 through 2349. All had 63" diameter drivers, Class K-2 had 28" x 30" cylinders, while K-3 and K-3a had 28" x 32" cylinders, all had a 200 psi boiler pressure and the K-2s exerted 63,467 pounds and the K-3 and K-3a locomotives exerted 67,698 pounds. There were some differences between each of these classes including a different specification for tenders in each class. The Class K-2 firebox was 287 square feet. The evaporative heating surface was 4,160 square feet and with the superheater the combined heating surface was 5,333 square feet. The Class 3 and Class 3a firebox was 338 square feet. The evaporative heating surface was 4,160 square feet and with the superheater the combined heating surface was 5,663 square feet.

Through acquisition and merger of motive power there were several other classes of 2-8-2s on the C&O. Eleven ALCO-built Class K road numbers 1089 through 1099 came from Hocking Valley in 1930. These locomotives were similar to the C&O Class K-1. When the Pere Marquette became part of the C&O three new classes of "Mikados" were added to the roster. These new 2-8-2s were; the ten Class K-5, assigned road numbers 1060 through 1069, five Class K-6 which given numbers 1070 through 1074 and the thirty Class K-8 which were assigned road numbers 2350 through 2379.

There are no surviving C&O 2-8-2 "Mikado" type locomotives.

Hocking Valey

The Hocking Valley Railway extending from the Lake Erie port of Toledo through Columbus, and on to the Ohio River port of Pomeroy. Hauling coal was its main business. A connection to Chicago was available via the Erie Railroad at Marion. .In March 1910, the control of the Hocking Valley was acquired by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway to give it an outlet to the Great Lakes, via Toledo.

When it became necessary to buy new locomotives the C&O would modify its designs for use by the HV.

In 1912, the Hocking Valley ordered five "Mikado", 2-8-2 locomotives from the Richmond Works of the American Locomotive Company. These locomotives arrived in 1912 and were designated as Class M-1 and given road numbers 180 through184. The following year six more Class M-1 "Mikados" were delivered from ALCO's Richmond Works and they were assigned road numbers 185 through 190. The M-1s had 56" diameter drivers, 29" x 28" cylinders, 170 psi boiler pressure, they exerted 60,762 pounds of tractive effort and each weighed 322,500 pounds. The firebox was 283 square feet, the evaporative heating surface was 4,051 square feet and with the superheater the combined heating surface was 4,896 square feet. The piston valve had a 16" diameter.

In April 1930, the Hocking Valley was merged with the C&O and the M-1s were reclassified as Class K and assigned C&O road numbers 1089 through 1099.

There are no surviving Hocking Valley 2-8-2 "Mikado" type locomotives.


ClassQty.Road NumbersLater NumbersFrom Other RRYear AcquiredYear BuiltBuilderNotes
K-1 180011001911ALCONumber 1100 scrapped by 1953
K-149801-8491101-11491912ALCONumber 1137 was the last Class K-1 to run on the C&O. Number 1107 scrapped in 1937. All the others scrapped in 1952-1953.
K-1 6850-8551150-11551914ALCONumbers 1150-1155 scrapped between 1950 and 1953.
K-2501160-12091160-12091924ALCONumbers 1160-1209 scrapped in the early 1950s.
K-3501210-12591210-12591924ALCONumbers 1210-1259 scrapped in the early 1950s.
K-3a502300-23492300-23491926ALCONumbers 2300-2349 scrapped in the early 1950s.
K11HV 180-1841089-1093HV19301912ALCONumbers 1089-1099 came from the Hocking Valley in 1930. Ex HV numbers 180-190. Numbers 1093 and 1099 scrapped in 1935. All the others scrapped in 1951-1952.
K 6HV 185-1901094-1099HV19301913ALCONumbers 1089-1099 came from the Hocking Valley in 1930. Ex HV numbers 180-190. Numbers 1093 and 1099 scrapped in 1935. All the others scrapped in 1951-1952.
K-510PM 1041-10501060-1069PM19471927ALCONumbers 1060-1069 came to the C&O from the Pere Marquette in 1947. Ex PM numbers 1041-1050. All scrapped in 1952.
K-6 1PM 10951070PM19471929Baldwin Number 1070 came to the C&O from the PM in 1947. Ex PM numbers 10 Scrapped in 1949.
K-6 1PM 10961071PM19471929ALCONumber 1071 came to the C&O from the PM in 1947. Ex PM numbers 1096. Scrapped in 1949.
K-6 3PM 1097-10991072-1074PM19471929BaldwinNumbers 1072-1074 came to the C&O from the PM in 1947. Ex PM numbers 1097-1099. All scrapped in 1949.
K-814PM 1011-10242350-2363PM10471919LimaNumbers 2350-2363 came to the C&O from the PM in 1947. Ex PM numbers 1011-1024. All scrapped between 1949 and 1951.
K-816PM 1025-10402364-2379PM19471918ALCONumbers 2364-2379 came to the C&O from the PM in 1947. Ex PM numbers 1025-1040. Number 2376 was sold to the Sydney & Louisburg Railway (Nova Scotia, Canada) in 1951 and became number S&L number 102. All the others scrapped between 1949 and 1951.
M-15180-1841912ALCONumbers 180-184 transferred to the C&O and reclassified as Class K and became C&O numbers 1089-1093. C&O number 1093 scrapped in 1935 and the others scrapped in 1951-1952.
M-16185-1901913ALCONumbers 185-190 transferred to the C&O and reclassified as Class K and became C&O numbers 1094-1099. C&O number 1099 scrapped in 1935 and the others scrapped in 1951-1952.

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 300 / M-4 (Locobase 13920)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University, Volume 41, p. 164 and Vol 62, pp. 61+. See Locobase 10016 for more on this West Virginia short line. Works numbers were 35262 in September 1910, 37530 in February 1912, and 47487 in December 1917.

Glen Jean residents may have remembered the 2-6-2s that pulled their trains, but it was this trio of Mikados that hauled most of the freight. The 302's firebox had 10 sq ft (0.9 sq m) more heating surface area.

Months after the KGJ&E was absorbed by the Chesapeake & Ohio in October 1940, the new owners retired the 300 in July 1941. Five months earlier, they had found a more appropriate home for the 301 on the Kelleys Creek & North Western of Ward, W Va. Connelly is not certain that the 301 later went to the Buffalo Creek & Gauley. Cut loose from the C & O in June 1941, 302 passed through the rosters of two locomotive rebuilders/resellers in a row (first Georgia Car & Locomotive, then Birmingham Rail & Locomotive) before winding up on Aberdeen & Rockfish as their 50. Its sale on 7 December 1941 was overshadowed by the Japanese Navy's attack on Pearl Harbor.

Class K-1 (Locobase 480)

Data from C&O Locomotive Diagram book from 1936 (supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. See also "Mikado Locomotives of Great Power," American Engineer, Volume 86, No 3 (March 1912), pp. 128-131. Philip Shuster, Eugene Huddleston, and Alvin Staufer; C&O Power (Alvin Staufer, 1965), p 59. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 28 February 2018 email correcting the valve gear ID, pointing out the tender capacities and weights, and providing a link to the American Engineer article.) Works numbers were 50471 in November 1911, 51269-51276 in May 1912; 51277-51292 in June, 52000-52012 in November, 52013-52024 in December, 54665-54670 in July 1914.

Cylinder horsepower was 2,727 and steam was admitted through capacious 16" (406 mm) diameter piston valves feeding oversquare (bore greater than stroke) cylinders. The first 25 were delivered with the Security brick arch and Street automatic stoker. Eugene L Huddleston, writing in the November 2000 issue of the Chesapeake & Ohio Historical Magazine ("C&O's J-1 & K-1") agrees with Phil Shuster that the K-1 was essentially the J-1 4-8-2 (Locobase 198) with 56" [later 57"] drivers. The March 1912 AE described these K-1s as "outside some boiler changes ...essentially the Mountain type, with a two-wheel truck substituted for the four wheel one." The boiler changes included a reduction in the combustion chamber's length

The original requirement demanded that these engines be able to handle 4,000 tons up a 0.3% grade at 15 mph. Instead, say the C&O Power authors, The March 1912 AE report summarized the goal: "To deliver a drawbar pull of over 27,000 lb at 33 mile per hour ...requires a locomotive built on a thoroughly balanced design. It must not only have a large boiler, but one of large capacity--terms which are not always synonomous--and must carry a well adjusted balance between boiler output and engine demand, and must also included capacity increasing devices capable of doing their full duty."

K-1s easily moved almost 6,000 tons over a "rolling profile"at 20-30 mph. The authors deride the K-1 appearance, remarking that they "reflected the ungainly, awkward look typical of C&O locomotives in the pre-World War I era." The cab was too big ("hotel sized") and was later replaced by a smaller one that balanced the profile. The original tender later was replaced by a much larger tender weighing 193,700 lb (87,861 kg) that held 10,000 US gallons (37,850 litres) of water and 19 tons (17.3 metric tonnes) of coal

Although later supplanted in mainline freight service by the 1920s K-2 and K-3 designs (Locobases 481-482), these first-generation engines were kept in service into the early 1950s and were retired in 1952.

Class K-2 (Locobase 481)

Data from Philip Shuster, Eugene Huddleston, and Alvin Staufer; C&O Power (Alvin Staufer, 1965), pp. 59-60 and 1936 C&O Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. Works numbers were 65880-65929 in October-December 1924.

The C&O Power authors tell us that the K-2s and K-3s (Locobase 482) were, "for nearly 20 years" the "mainstay of C&O gradient power." Their design stemmed from a realization that the 1911 K-1 Mikes (Locobase 480) were "technologically outdated" in their cylinder volume, boiler pressure, and driver diameter. The K-2s shown here were delivered with trailing truck boosters, shorter strokes; the authors note that these "light" Mikados actually outweighed the K-3 Heavies by several thousand pounds. Both classes used the same superheater layouts and both used 14" (356 mm) piston valves versus the 16" valve installed in the K-1s.

Cylinder horsepower calculated to be 2,824. Elesco or Worthington feedwater heaters and starting boosters.

All remained in service until dieselization in 1952.

Class K-3, K-3a (Locobase 482)

Data from C&O 9 - 1936 supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange, See also S Kip Farrington, Jr, Railroading Coast to Coast (New York: Bonanza Books, 1976), p. 124. Works numbers were 65830-65878 in August (probably) 1924.

66468-66491 in January 1926, 66492-66505 in February, and 66506-66517 in March.

As noted in Locobase 481, the K-2s (481) and K-3s (this entry) were very successful in updating the Mikado design to reflect the widespread adoption of 6" (152 mm) taller drivers, larger grates, higher boiler pressure, and larger boilers. K-2s were "light" and had trailing truck boosters. These K-3s were "heavies" (although actually weighing less than the K-2s), had longer strokes that raised cylinder volume, and larger boilers. Both classes used the same superheater layouts and 14" (356 mm) piston valves.

Boiler had feedwater heater (Elesco K-40 in K-3, Elesco or Worthington in K-3a). The firebox featured only 36 sq ft (3.44 sq m) arch tubes to supplement the heating surface area. 14" (356 mm) piston valves supplied steam to the cylinders.

Little difference between the two classes. K-3 (1210-1259, 1924) put a little less weight on the drivers (271,500 vs 274,500), but had a larger tender (376,340 vs 300,000 lb); K-3a (2300-2349, 1925-1926) tender capacity was 16,000 gal water, 20 tons of coal.

S Kip Farrington regarded these as "the finest 2-8-2 type he has ever ridden." All remained in service until dieselization in 1952.

Class M1 (Locobase 8394)

Data from Hocking Valley 9 - 1924 supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. Works numbers were 51734-51738 in November 1911; 54298-54303 in October 1913.

Similar to the Chesapeake & Ohio K-1s (see Locobase 480), this 11-locomotive set was delivered in two batches. The first five came in 1912, the rest in 1913. Like the K-1s, the HV Mikes had large-bore, 16" (406 mm) piston valves. The M-1s operated at 170 psi (vs the K-1 setting of 185 psi). Otherwise, the two classes shared many attributes including identical tube/flue layouts and "oversquare" cylinders in which the diameter was greater than a relatively short stroke.

When the Hocking Valley was taken over by the C & O, these became K-class engines.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Class300 / M-4K-1K-2K-3, K-3aM1
Locobase ID13,920 480 481 482 8394
RailroadKanawha, Glen Jean & Eastern (C&O)Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O)Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O)Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O)Hocking Valley (C&O)
Number in Class2565010011
Road Numbers300-302800-855/900-955/ 1100-11551160-12091210-1259, 2300-2349180-190
Number Built2565010011
Valve GearWalschaertWalschaertBakerBakerWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)14 / 4.2716.80 / 5.1216.75 / 5.1116.80 / 5.1216.50 / 5.03
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)31.08 / 9.4734.83 / 10.6249.33 / 15.0437.30 / 11.3734.83 / 10.62
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.45 0.48 0.34 0.45 0.47
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)58.04 / 17.6976.33 / 23.2788.29 / 26.9185.35 / 26.0175.13 / 22.90
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)69,000 / 31,29868,700 / 31,162
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)174,400 / 79,107243,000 / 110,223268,000 / 121,563270,000 / 122,470244,500 / 110,903
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)217,300 / 98,566315,000 / 142,882358,000 / 162,386353,000 / 160,118322,500 / 146,284
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)100,000 / 45,359169,700 / 76,975219,100 / 99,382376,340 / 170,705168,900 / 76,612
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)317,300 / 143,925484,700 / 219,857577,100 / 261,768729,340 / 330,823491,400 / 222,896
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)5000 / 18.949000 / 34.0916,000 / 60.6121,000 / 79.559000 / 34.09
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)8 / 7.3015 / 13.6020 / 18.2025 / 22.7015 / 13.60
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)73 / 36.50101 / 50.50112 / 56113 / 56.50102 / 51
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)50 / 127057 / 144863 / 160063 / 160056 / 1422
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)200 / 13.80170 / 11.70200 / 13.80200 / 13.80170 / 11.70
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)22" x 28" / 559x71129" x 28" / 737x71128" x 30" / 711x76228" x 32" / 711x81329" x 28" / 737x711
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)46,077 / 20900.2059,696 / 27077.6863,467 / 28788.1867,698 / 30707.3360,762 / 27561.21
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.78 4.07 4.22 3.99 4.02
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)160 / 14.86311.20 / 28.91287 / 26.66338 / 31.40283 / 26.30
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)51 / 4.7467.10 / 6.2376.80 / 7.1380.30 / 7.4666 / 6.13
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)3414 / 317.174051 / 376.354160 / 386.474461 / 414.444051 / 376.49
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)832 / 77.291173 / 108.971173 / 108.97845 / 78.53
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)3414 / 317.174883 / 453.645333 / 495.445634 / 523.414896 / 455.02
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume277.13189.25194.57195.61189.25
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation10,20011,40715,36016,06011,220
Same as above plus superheater percentage10,20013,34618,73919,43313,127
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area32,00061,89870,02881,79656,289
Power L15701988015,86515,3859689
Power MT288.27358.55522.03502.49349.46

  • C&O 1178 (Unknown photographer)
  • C&O 2338 (Class K3, Alco 1924, is a fine example of the big Mikados put in service after the USRA period. It is photographed at Toledo, Ohio in 1940. Photo courtesy Edward Weinstein)
  • HV 183 (unknown photographer)
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Wes Barris