Maine Central 2-8-2 "Mikado" Locomotives in the USA

The first "Mikados" on the Maine Central Railroad arrived in 1914 from the Schenectady Works of the American Locomotive Company. These four locomotives were classified as Class S and were assigned road numbers 601-603. They had 63" drivers, 26 1/2" x 30" cylinders and each weighed 298,000 pounds.

Another six 2-8-2s of the same design came from ALCO in 1915, and were followed by six more from ALCO in 1916 and four more in 1918. These 16 Class S "Mikados" were assigned road numbers 604-620.

The USRA assigned the MEC six USRA "Mikado-Light" locomotives in 1919. They were of a slightly different design from the MEC designed 2-8-2s, but were designated as Class S and given road numbers 621-626.

In 1924, the MEC bought six more 2-8-2s of the same design as the 1914-1918 "Mikados". This last group was designated as Class S and was assigned road numbers 627-632.

There are no surviving Maine Central 2-8-2 "Mikado" type locomotives.

Roster by Richard Duley

ClassQty.Road NumbersYear BuiltBuilderNotes
S 4601-6031914ALCO
S 6604-6101915ALCO
S 6611-6161916ALCO
S 4617-6201918ALCO
S 6621-6261919ALCOUSRA allocated "Mikado-Light" locomotives
S 6627-6321924ALCO

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class S (Locobase 5446)

Data from table in May 1916 issue of Railway Mechanical Engineer (RME), confirmed by the MEC 2 - 1923 Locomotive Diagram book supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange.. Arch tubes contributed 25.3 sq ft to the firebox heating surface.

These were built in batches over a few years. Drury (1993) notes that Mikes were rare in New England. This was the largest single class of 2-8-2s east of the New York Central. Retirements began in 1936 and continued over the next 16 years.

Dolores E. Ham, in her Northeastern Vermont Railroads (2004), says the Mikes that worked near St Johnsbury, Vermont were known as "Big Mickeys".

Class S - USRA (Locobase 7061)

Data from MEC 2 - 1923 and MEC & PTC 7- 1947 Maine Central locomotive diagrams supplied by Allen Stanley in May 2005 from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. Works numbers were 60933-60938 in 1919.

Part of the sizable clutch of Mikados built to the USRA's design, this sextet was delivered in 1919. Arch tubes contributed 27 sq ft to the firebox's 280 sq ft of direct heating surface at the time of their first MEC service. Later the firebox was altered to eliminate 2 of the arch tubes (leaving 14 sq ft of arch tubes) and add 74 sq ft of Nicholson thermic syphons, which increased the direct heating surface to 341 sq ft and gave a similar boost to total evaporative heating surface.

Withdrawals began in the early 1950s, with 626 being scrapped in January 1951, 624 in August 1952, and 623 & 625 in January 1956.

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
ClassSS - USRA
Locobase ID5446 7061
RailroadMaine Central (MEC)Maine Central (MEC)
Number in Class206
Road Numbers600-620621-626
Number Built206
Valve GearWalschaertWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)16.50 / 5.0316.50 / 5.03
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)34.75 / 10.5934.75 / 10.59
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.47 0.47
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)69.12 / 21.0769.12 / 21.07
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)213,500 / 96,842213,500 / 96,842
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)275,000 / 124,738275,000 / 124,738
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)156,000 / 70,760156,000 / 70,760
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)431,000 / 195,498431,000 / 195,498
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)8000 / 30.308000 / 30.30
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)14 / 12.7014 / 12.70
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd)8989
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)63 / 160063 / 1600
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)180 / 12.40180 / 12.40
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)26.5" x 30" / 673x76226" x 30" / 660x762
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)51,164 / 23207.6349,251 / 22339.90
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.17 4.33
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)273.30 / 25.40341 / 31.69
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)56.50 / 5.2566.70 / 6.20
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)3106 / 288.663838 / 356.69
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)636 / 59.11882 / 81.97
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)3742 / 347.774720 / 438.66
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume162.19208.19
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation10,17012,006
Same as above plus superheater percentage11,89914,287
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area57,55773,042
Power L110,06313,821
Power MT415.65570.87