Savannah & Atlanta 2-8-2 "Mikado" Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 500 (Locobase 12874)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Volume 59, p. 411, Volume 68, pp.70 and 74+. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his email pointing out 504 was delivered as a coal burner.) Works numbers were 52299-52301 in September 1919, 57329 in October 1923, and

58683 in September 1925.

Unusually for eastern US locomotives, these small Mikados burned oil ("Mexican crude"). Firebox heating surface areas included 29 sq ft (2.7 sq m) of arch tubes. Piston valves measured 11" (279 mm). The low drivers and long wheelbase conferred a racy look to this freighter. According to a 25 May 2012 email to Wes Barris's from Bill Root, the last two were essentially identical except for rolling on 56" drivers. (The specifications show 57", but these two may have used thinner tires for more tractive effort once in service.)

Chris Hohl pointed out that the last engine (504) was delivered as a coal burner and trailed a tender holding the same amount of water but 16 tons (32,000 lb/15,515 kg) of coal.

The S & A continued to be independently owned (after 1929, by Robert M Nelson) until 1951, when it was bought by the Central of Georgia.

All five were sold in 1955 to West Virginia's Elk River Coal & Lumber to operate as their #15-17. After seven more years of service, 15 was scrapped in June 1962. 16 was retired in 1959, but not scrapped until 1974.

17 had a longer second career after her Elk City retirement in August 1959. She was sold in April 1963 to the Livonia, Avon & Lakeville tourist road in New York. According to a forum email from EHBLABEY (Tue May 25, 2004 11:44 pm), then president of the LA&L, the 17 saw only a couple of years of service before being retired with a firebox problem. "In retrospect," Blabey wrote, "this locomotive was an unfortunate purchase. It had seen hard service in West Virginia, moving slack coal from the mine tipple to a gob pile. We doubt it received much attention, and in particular, it didn't appear to have received regular boiler washes."

Blabey added that after they bought the ex-Huntington & Broad Top Mountain #38 (Locobase 14688) from the Rail City Museum, the LA&L sold the 17 to a Rochester businessman who cut it up for scrap.

Class 606 (Locobase 9157)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Volume 54, p. 213. Works numbers were 45357 in March 1917 and 45838 in June.

According to a 25 May 2012 email to Wes Barris's from Bill Root, these two saturated-boiler Mikes were ordered by the Spanish American Iron Company of Cuba as their 71-72, but diverted to the S & A. Although numbered in a higher series than the quintet shown in Locobase 12874, the pair were the first Mikados on this brand-new road.

The S & A originally began construction in 1916 as a link between the Savannah & Northwestern (formerly the Brinson Railway) at Waynesboro and the Central of Georgia farther west at Camak. Initially, the S & NW operated the traffic, but the S & A merged the road into its structure on 16 July 1917. When complete, the line measured 142 miles and owned the shortest distance between Atlanta and Savannah (over the C of Ga west of Camak, then the S & A) by 28 miles.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID12,874 9157
RailroadSavannah & AtlantaSavannah & Atlanta
Number in Class52
Road Numbers500-504606-607
Number Built52
Valve GearWalschaertWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)15 / 4.5714 / 4.27
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)32 / 9.7531.25 / 9.52
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.47 0.45
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)64.96 / 19.8062.67 / 19.10
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)160,000 / 72,575175,000 / 79,379
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)210,000 / 95,255228,000 / 103,419
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)160,000 / 72,575144,000 / 65,317
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)370,000 / 167,830372,000 / 168,736
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)7500 / 28.418000 / 30.30
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)3000 / 11.4010 / 9.10
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)67 / 33.5073 / 36.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)57 / 144851 / 1295
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)200 / 13.80190 / 13.10
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)22" x 28" / 559x71122" x 28" / 559x711
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)40,418 / 18333.3242,915 / 19465.94
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.96 4.08
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)193 / 17.94197 / 18.30
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)46.80 / 4.3563 / 5.85
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2593 / 240.994323 / 401.62
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)575 / 53.44
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)3168 / 294.434323 / 401.62
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume210.49350.92
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation936011,970
Same as above plus superheater percentage11,04511,970
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area45,54837,430
Power L113,4696959
Power MT742.35350.67

All material Copyright ©
Wes Barris