Santa Fe 2-8-4 "Berkshire" Locomotives in the USA

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The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad bought fifteen "Berkshires" type locomotives from the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1927. These locomotives were designated as Class 4101 and assigned road numbers 4101 through 4115. The AT&SF was the only western railroad to have purchased new 2-8-4s.

These Class 4101 "Berkshires" had 63" diameter drivers, 27" x 32" cylinders, a boiler pressure of 220 psi with a resultant tractive effort of 69,200 pounds (number 4115 had a 250 psi boiler pressure, which raised its tractive effort to 78,685 lbs). Each of the fifteen locomotives weighed 393,000 pounds.

The AT&SF also bought seven used "Berkshire" type locomotives from the Boston & Maine during the closing months of World War II.

There are no surviving AT&SF 2-8-4 "Berkshire" type locomotives

Roster by Richard Duley

ClassQty.Road NumbersYear BuiltBuilderNotes
4193 74193-41991928Lima2
  1. Numbers 4101-4115 scrapped in 1954-1955.
  2. Numbers 4193-4199 bought from the Boston & Maine in 1945. Ex B&M numbers 40 01, 4003, 4004, 4008, 4011, 4015 & 4018. Numbers 4193-4199 scrapped between 194 9 and 1955.

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 4101 (Locobase 469)

Data from table in 1930 Locomotive Cyclopedia and diagram presented at /c4193-1.gif and the Kansas Memory digital collection of Santa Fe diagrams at . See also DeGolyer, Vol 77, pp. 2+ and 41+. Works numbers were 59952-59955, 59977-59978, 59988-59992 in April 1927 and 60029-60032 in May.

Described by Drury (1993) as "basically good 1922 engines with a 1927 wheel arrangement." An assessment borne out by the tube-to-flue ratio and relatively meager supplementary heating surface areas. Boiler had Elesco H-5 feedwater heater and 44 sq ft (4.1 sq m) of arch tubes contributing to the direct heating surface. Steam was admitted through 15" (381 mm) piston valves.

4115 was delivered with a boiler designed to be pressed to 250 psi (17.25 bar) with a cutoff set to 68%. This combination of stroke length and boiler pressure yielded the same tractive effort as the others, but the piston load was calculated to increase by 15%. Other slight differences included a valve travel of 9 1/2" (241 mm), 1/2" (12.7 mm) longer than the valves in the others.

15 engines delivered in 1927, retired in 1954.

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID469
RailroadSanta Fe (ATSF)
Number in Class15
Road Numbers4101-4115
Number Built15
Valve GearWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)16.50 / 5.03
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)37.20 / 11.34
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.44
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)81.60 / 24.87
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)70,480
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)268,200 / 121,654
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)396,500 / 179,850
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)285,100
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)681,600
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)15,000 / 56.82
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)20 / 18.20
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)112 / 56
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)63 / 1600
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)220 / 15.20
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)27" x 32" / 686x813
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)69,243 / 31408.13
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.87
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)338 / 31.41
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)99 / 9.20
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)4577 / 425.37
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)1246 / 115.80
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)5823 / 541.17
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume215.84
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation21,780
Same as above plus superheater percentage26,354
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area89,976
Power L119,043
Power MT626.14