Lowell Machine Shop 4-4-0 "American" Locomotives in the USA

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Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 14"" cylinders (Locobase 8810)

Data from Zerah Colburn, The Locomotive Engine (1851). Boiler pressure is an estimate.

See Locobase 8809 for a brief discussion of Zerah Colburn and the origins of the data.

In addition to boiler details, Colburn also gave the following data:

Water room (cu ft) 56.6

Steam room (cu ft) 33.2

Size of steam ports 10 x 1 1/4"

Size of exhaust ports 10 x 2 1/4". Compared to the other Lowell machine, these ports were a bit bigger, although they served a smaller boiler and cylinders.


Class 15 1/2"" cylinders (Locobase 8809)

Data from Zerah Colburn, The Locomotive Engine (1851). Boiler pressure is an estimate.

White (1972) notes that Colburn was a leading authority on locomotive design and that his pathfinding book was one of the first American texts to discuss locomotive design in a thorough and coherent way.

By way of illustration, Colburn published a table of "Five Different Patterns of Locomotive Engines", which included this engine and a slightly smaller one shown in Locobase 8810.

In addition to boiler details, Colburn also gave the following data:

Water room (cu ft) 69

Steam room (cu ft) 41.5

Size of steam ports 10 x 1"

Size of exhaust ports 10 x 2 1/8".

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Class14"" cylinders15 1/2"" cylinders
Locobase ID8810 8809
RailroadLowell Machine ShopLowell Machine Shop
CountryUSAUSA
Whyte4-4-04-4-0
Number in Class
Road Numbers
GaugeStdStd
Number Built
BuilderLowell Machine ShopLowell Machine Shop
Year18501850
Valve Gear
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)60 / 152466 / 1676
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)80 / 5.5080 / 5.50
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)14" x 18" / 356x45715.5" x 18" / 394x457
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)3998 / 1813.464456 / 2021.21
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort)
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)52.67 / 4.8956.40 / 5.24
Grate Area (sq ft / m2) 8.25 / 0.778 / 0.74
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)676 / 62.83863 / 80.20
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)676 / 62.83863 / 80.20
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume210.79219.53
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation660640
Same as above plus superheater percentage660640
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area42144512
Power L123432563
Power MT