At its peak it was only a little over 2,000 miles in length but its bridge line status, markets it served, and high speed freight service made it a quite successful railroad, especially during its latter years. Eventually the Wabash was swept up in the merger mania beginning in the late 1950s and after a long stint of PRR ownership it eventually became part of the sprawling N&W system in the 1960s.
The Wabash bought sixty-three "Mikado" type locomotives in 1912 and designated them as Class K-1. The railroad split the order between the Baldwin Locomotive Works, which delivered twenty-eight (road numbers 2416 through 2443) and the American Locomotive Company, which delivered fifteen (road numbers 2401 through 2415) from its Richmond Locomotive Works and twenty (road numbers 2444 through 2463) from its Pittsburgh Locomotive & Car Works. The K-1, locomotives had 64" diameter drivers, 25 ½" x 30" cylinders, a boiler pressure of 210 psi, they exerted 54,408 pounds of tractive effort and each weighed 266,840 pounds. The fire box was 207 square feet, the evaporative heating surface was 3,310 square feet and with the superheater the combined heating surface was 4,050 square feet.
A group of twenty ALCO-built USRA "Mikado-Light" 2-8-2's allocated to the Wabash arrived in 1918. Designated as Class K-2 they were assigned road numbers 2201 through 2220. In 1919, five of these locomotives were transferred to the Pere Marquette and five Baldwin-built 2-8-2 locomotives were moved from the Western Pacific to take their place. USRA 2-8-2's were specified to have 63" diameter drivers. The Wabash listed these locomotives as having 64" diameter drivers because they were refitted with thicker tires. The Class K-2's had 26" x 30" cylinders, a 200 psi boiler pressure, they exerted 54,600 pounds of tractive effort and the locomotive, without a tender, weighed 290,800 pounds. The fire box was 280 square feet, the evaporative heating surface was 3,783 square feet and with the superheater the combined heating surface was 4,665 square feet.
In 1923, ALCO delivered thirty "Mikado" type locomotives to the Wabash. Five of them were equipped with boosters, which increased the locomotive weight by 10,000 pounds and the tractive effort by 11,836 pounds. The twenty-five without boosters were designated as Class K-3 and assigned road numbers 2250 through 2274 and the five with the boosters were designated Class K-3b and were given road numbers 2275 through 2279. These locomotives had 64" diameter drivers, 27" x 32" cylinders, a boiler pressure of 210 psi, and a tractive effort, without the booster, of 65,063 pounds. The locomotive without a tender weighed 325,000 pounds for numbers 2250 through 2269 and 331,000 pounds for numbers 2270 through 2279. The fire box was 305 square feet, the evaporative heating surface was 4,189 square feet and with the superheater the combined heating surface was 5,240 square feet.
The Wabash received another forty-five ALCO-built "Mikado" locomotives in 1925, with twenty of them equipped with boosters, which were very similar to the boosters furnished on the class K-3b locomotives. The group with the boosters was designated as Class K-4b and assigned road numbers 2700 through 2719. The locomotives without the booster was designated as Class K-4 and assigned numbers 2720 through 2744. These locomotives had 64" diameter drivers, 27" x 32" cylinders, a boiler pressure of 210 psi and a tractive effort of 65,063 lbs without the booster. The fire box was 341 square feet, the evaporative heating surface was 4,225 square feet and with the superheater the combined heating surface was 5,276 square feet. The weight of numbers 2730 through 2744 was 333,730 pounds and numbers 2700 through 2729 weighed 338,580 pounds without a tender or the booster. Number 2743 and 2744 were used to build a pair of Class P-1, 2-4-6 locomotives in 1947 and 1948. These "Hudson" type locomotives were built in the Decatur Shops of the Wabash.
The last 2-8-2s to be added to the Wabash roster were five ALCO-built 3 cylinder "Mikado" type locomotives, which were delivered in 1925, designated as Class K-5 and assigned road numbers 2600 through 2604. They had two 23" x 32" cylinders and one 23" x 28" cylinder, 64" diameter drivers, a 210 psi boiler pressure, a tractive effort of 67,869 pounds and the locomotive without a tender weighed 342,000 pounds. The fire box was 340 square feet, the evaporative heating surface was 4,224 square feet and with the superheater the combined heating surface was 5,303 square feet. These five locomotives did not perform as well as expected and were put into storage shortly after their arrival. In 1943 and 1944 the boiler from these locomotives were used in five Class P-1 "Hudson" locomotives which were built in Decatur Shops and assigned road numbers 700 through 704.
There are no surviving Wabash 2-8-2 "Mikado" type locomotives.
|Class||Qty.||Road Numbers||Year Built||Builder||Notes|
Mentioned briefly in 7 December 1917 Railway Age Gazette article that described its 2-10-2 successor. Said at the time to pull an average train load of 3,500 tons. The design featured a good amount of cylinder volume served by 14" piston valves. The firebox included 26 sq ft of arch tubes.
Retired over a 15 year period from 1939 to 1954.
These Mikados were based on the USRA lights, but were substantially bigger and heavier. The specs give weights for locomotives fitted with a feedwater heater. They also had taller drivers. Firebox heating surface included 32 sq ft in 4 arch tubes. Schenectady delivered 12 in 1923, 18 in 1924.
Over time the class acquired a Worthington feedwater heater and Duplex D1 stoker. The last 5 sported a Franklin C1 booster that added 11,836 lb to starting tractive effort; these were originally designated K-3b and 5 tons heavier overall.
Locobase 8319 describes the first set of post-USRA Mikados to come to the Wabash. The current entry shows the second wave. While the boiler didn't change much, the firebox grew, although it still had 4 arch tubes of 32 sq ft total contributing to the firebox heating surface. The weights shown reflect the installation of a Worthington feedwater heater.
Twenty additional locomotives came equipped with trailing-truck bosters and these would received Nicholson thermic syphons; see Locobase 8489.
More than half of the Wabash's 45-locomotive order from Schenectady in 1925 consisted of locomotives without a trailing-truck booster; these are shown in Locobase 8488.
In this entry, we see heavier locomotives from the same order delivered with Franklin C1 boosters and later fitted with 4 Nicholson thermic syphons. Although fitting the latter meant eliminating 2 arch tubes of 16 sq ft total area, the 4 syphons more than made up for the loss in quality heating surface measuring 79 sq ft in all. It's also noteworthy to notice the increase in weight on the latter three axles of the locomotive.
L&N 1999 (Locobase 21) and MP 1699 (Locobase 22) were very similar three-cylinder engines. Stroke on two outside cylinders was 32 inches, inside cylinder had 28-inch stroke; all cylinders were served by 12" (305 mm) piston valves. Arch tubes contributed 32 sq ft (3 sq m) to the firebox heating surface area.
Pawnall's March 1926 account of the design's early days on the Wabash is worth reading because of his position as mechanical engineer on that railway. From an original order of 50 Mikados, the railway carved out these five to test the three-engineer layout. The other 45 (described in Locobases 8488-8489) could be converted if testing proved the concept.
Pawnall's initial impression, based on nine months' work on the Chicago-Decatur and Decatur,-St Louis runs, placed the three-cylinder performance in a very favorable light. He quoted "a few" reviews from road foremen and fuel supervisors:
"At high or low speed the three-cylinder engine get[s] the train going quicker and rides better than the two-cylinder engine"; It is easier ...to start a train without taking slack and therefore cause less damage to draft gears."; "Any train that can be started can be run at a more uniform rate of speed and handled better over the hills; "...a saving in fuel and water over the two-cylinder engine"; "Train can be handled at 33 to 35 percent cut-off where a two-cylinder would have to be worked at or near 50 per cent cut-off to handle same train."
See Locobase 288 for Albert Bruce's assessment of the Southern Pacific's three-cylinder 4-10-2s that includes similar claims, apparently with justification. Locobase suggests two caveats: 1) Bruce's locomotives traveled over a very different profile, and 2) the other 45 Mikados might have been relative dogs compared to other 2-8-2s (although Brooks's high reputation would seem to foreclose that possibility.)
Mechanical issues soon tarnished the image as the front driver's crank axle and the inaccessiblity of the center cylinder proved more problematic than seemed worth the effort to maintain. Pawnall himself conceded that the engines' main rods had presented problems soon after delivery.
Put into storage soon after delivery, where the quintet languished until their boilers were used to make successful 4-6-4s; see Locobase 189.
|Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media|
|Number in Class||63||30||25||20||5|
|Valve Gear||Walschaert||Walschaert||Walschaert||Walschaert||Walschaert & Gresley|
|Locomotive Length and Weight|
|Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)||16.75 / 5.11||16.75 / 5.11||16.75 / 5.11||16.75 / 5.11||17.80 / 5.43|
|Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)||34.50 / 10.52||37.17 / 11.33||39.08 / 11.91||39.08 / 11.91||37.40 / 11.40|
|Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase||0.49||0.45||0.43||0.43||0.48|
|Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)||66.67 / 20.32||71.87 / 21.91||73.79 / 22.49||73.79 / 22.49||73.78 / 22.49|
|Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)||54,260 / 24,612||61,400 / 27,851||65,840 / 29,865||68,500 / 31,071||65,220 / 29,583|
|Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)||207,140 / 93,957||242,000 / 109,769||251,870 / 114,246||257,660 / 116,873||252,000 / 114,305|
|Engine Weight (lbs / kg)||266,840 / 121,037||331,000 / 150,139||338,580 / 153,577||346,480 / 157,161||342,000 / 155,129|
|Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)||158,300 / 71,804||196,200 / 88,995||194,500 / 88,224||194,500 / 88,224||194,500 / 88,224|
|Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)||425,140 / 192,841||527,200 / 239,134||533,080 / 241,801||540,980 / 245,385||536,500 / 243,353|
|Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)||8900 / 33.71||10,000 / 37.88||10,000 / 37.88||10,000 / 37.88||10,000 / 37.88|
|Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)||11.50 / 10.50||22 / 20||18 / 16.40||18 / 16.40||18 / 16.40|
|Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)||86 / 43||101 / 50.50||105 / 52.50||107 / 53.50||105 / 52.50|
|Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort|
|Driver Diameter (in / mm)||64 / 1626||64 / 1626||64 / 1626||64 / 1626||64 / 1626|
|Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)||190 / 13.10||210 / 14.50||210 / 14.50||210 / 14.50||200 / 13.80|
|High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)||26" x 30" / 660x762||27" x 32" / 686x813||27" x 32" / 686x813||27" x 32" / 686x813||23" x 32" / 584x813|
|Low Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)||23" x 28" / 584x711 (1)|
|Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)||51,175 / 23212.62||65,063 / 29512.12||65,063 / 29512.12||65,063 / 29512.12||64,637 / 29318.88|
|Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort)||4.05||3.72||3.87||3.96||3.90|
|Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)||207 / 19.24||305 / 28.35||341 / 31.69||404 / 37.55||340 / 31.59|
|Grate Area (sq ft / m2)||63 / 5.86||66.70 / 6.20||70.90 / 6.59||70.90 / 6.59||70.30 / 6.53|
|Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)||3310 / 307.62||4189 / 389.31||4225 / 392.66||4288 / 398.51||4224 / 392.57|
|Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)||740 / 68.77||1051 / 97.68||1051 / 97.68||1051 / 97.68||1079 / 100.28|
|Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)||4050 / 376.39||5240 / 486.99||5276 / 490.34||5339 / 496.19||5303 / 492.85|
|Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume||179.55||197.54||199.24||202.21||274.50|
|Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)|
|Robert LeMassena's Power Computation||11,970||14,007||14,889||14,889||14,060|
|Same as above plus superheater percentage||14,125||16,808||17,867||17,867||16,872|
|Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area||46,409||76,860||85,932||101,808||81,600|