New Haven 2-8-2 "Mikado" Locomotives in the USA

The New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad operated only 33 Mikados that were delivered from ALCO Schenectady in 1916 as Class J, which consisted of twenty-five J-1 2-8-2's and eight heavier, more powerful J-2 engines. Subsequent orders for freight locomotives specified 4-8-2s and 2-10-2s.

The Class J-1 locomotives had 25"x32" cylinders, a 180 psi boiler pressure and they exerted 46,800 lbs tractive effort. During the 1930s, boiler pressure was increased to 200psi resulting in a tractive effort of 50,595 lbs. They initially had W-10-E tenders (12 tons coal) but later changed to W - A tenders (14 tons coal) from Class I-4 locomotives. However, at least the #3022 was fitted with a clear view tender.

Two J-1s (3023 and 3024) were built with McClellan boilers resulting in a heavier weight of 189,000lbs weight on drivers and 442,000lbs total weight. They received conventional boilers in 1942.

Otherwise they received few modifications before scrapping in the 1940s and 1950s.

The Class J-2 locomotives had 63" diameter drivers, 26" x 32" cylinders, a 200 psi boiler pressure, they exerted 58,372 pounds of tractive effort and each weighed 309,600 pounds. The firebox was 321 square feet, the evaporative heating surface was 3,864 square feet and with the superheater the combined heating surface was 4,734 square feet. One unusual feature was the location of the twin air pumps under the fireman's side of the cab.

Some were fitted with road pilots while most had shunters steps?

The J-2s were ordered by the New Haven to order # S1142, with the last three intended for the Central New England Railroad, of which the New Haven had acquired control in 1904. All had the same specifications and the CNE locomotives were the last 3 locos of the order with CN# 55725-7.

According to Standing Data NHRTIA 3.3100A: "The J-2s were intended for Cedar Hill - Maybrook services. They were found to be almost impossible to keep hot with proper tonnage. They were soon assigned to services on lines with easy grades but were still found wanting. Shortly after WWI they were assigned to helper service in the Bayridge - Hellgate area where most ended their days."

"Beside Cedar Hill - Maybrook, the J-2s operated to Springfield to Boston by both the Shoreline and the Airline, through Readville to Worcester on the N&W North of Putnam, on the Housatonic Line to Pittsfield and New Bedford to Mansfield."

According to Drury (1993), these locomotives were relegated to yard and pusher service, leaving the 25 J-1s as the only mainline freight power in 1918, leading to the order of 50 Santafes.

Although the CNE is reported to have been operated separately from the New Haven until 1927, the 1924 List of Engine Assignments (Alphabet Route website) shows the three J2s #180 -182 assigned to the New Haven's New York Division for Bay Ridge Service along with J2s 3100-3104. No Mikados were included in the CNE list of locomotives at that time.

In 1958, NH #3016 was taken from storage in Readville and used in movie "It Happened to Jane". The engine was repainted "Eastern & Portland" #97 for the movie. This was the very last use of New Haven steam power, as J-1 2-8-2 no. 3016 was the last steam engine on the property at the time of the movie and went to scrap almost immediately after the filming of the movie was finished.

There are no surviving New Haven Mikados.

Introduction by Stephen Low.


Qty.Road NumbersYear BuiltBuilderNotes
  1. Numbers 180-182 were conveyed to the NYNH&H after the CNE was acquired in 1927. They became NYNH&H numbers 3105-3107 and then scrapped in 1946.

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class J-1 (Locobase 9718)

Data from table in May 1916 issue of RME and from NH 1962 Steam Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange.

The diagrams tell us that the firebox heating surface iincluded 59 sq ft in the combustion chamber and 69 sq ft in 3 thermic syphons (2 in the firebox, 1 in the combustion chamber). Maximum water evaporation was calculated to be 41,175 lb/hour of which about 40% came from the direct heating surfaces. Theoretical steam consumption could exceed boiler capacity, reaching 42,160 lb/hour and generating a boiler factor of 97.7%

According to Drury (1993), these locomotives had a low maximum height in order to serve the Dorchester branch to the Readville Yard in eastern Massachusetts. He offers an amusing comment about the tenders: "A freshly coaled J-1 was likely to have a coal pile towering over the cab, at least as far as the first bridge on the Dorchester Branch."

Class J-2 (Locobase 1386)

Data from table in May 1916 issue of RME and from NH 1962 Steam Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange.

The diagrams tell us that the firebox heating surface iincluded 28 sq ft in 4 arch tubes and 71 sq ft in the combustion chamber. Each of this octet had a total boiler capacity about 25% greater than the J-1s described in Locobase 9781. A J-2's maximum evaporation capacity was calculated at 51,740 lb/hour, of which 17,660 lb/hour (34.1%) came from direct heating surfaces. As theoretical steam consumption reached 50,630 lb/hour, the boiler factor worked to 102.3%

These engines weren't fitted with a mechanical stoker (although they did have a horizontal coal pusher in the tender), which meant that they soon fell into yard or hill-pushing service.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID9718 1386
RailroadNew Haven (NYNH&H)New Haven (NYNH&H)
Number in Class258
Road Numbers3000-30243100-3107
Number Built258
Valve GearBakerBaker
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)17 / 5.1817 / 5.18
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)35.33 / 10.7735.33 / 10.77
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.48 0.48
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)64.12 / 19.5472 / 21.95
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)47,100 / 21,36460,700 / 27,533
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)185,850 / 84,300241,000 / 109,316
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)251,750 / 114,192309,600 / 140,432
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)156,000 / 70,760180,500 / 81,874
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)407,750 / 184,952490,100 / 222,306
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)7500 / 28.418000 / 30.30
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)13 / 11.8012.50 / 11.40
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)77 / 38.50100 / 50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)63 / 160063 / 1600
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)200 / 13.80200 / 13.80
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)25" x 30" / 635x76226" x 32" / 660x813
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)50,595 / 22949.5358,372 / 26477.13
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.67 4.13
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)298 / 27.70321 / 29.83
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)53.20 / 4.9459.20 / 5.50
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2871 / 266.823864 / 359.11
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)656 / 60.97870 / 80.86
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)3527 / 327.794734 / 439.97
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume168.44196.50
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation10,64011,840
Same as above plus superheater percentage12,66213,971
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area70,92475,756
Power L112,64714,203
Power MT600.09519.70

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Wes Barris