Cotton Belt / St Louis, Arkansas & Texas 4-4-0 "American" Locomotives in the USA


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class A1 (Locobase 8200)

Data from St Louis-Southwestern diagram from p 55 of Joseph A Strapac, Cotton Belt Locomotives (Huntington, Calif: Shade Tree Books, 1977, reprinted in 1999 by Indiana University Press), supplemented by data from StL&SW 1 - 1932 Folio 725 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. Works numbers were 551-553 in October 1886, 554-557 in November, 558-560 in December, 561 in January 1887, 562-563 in February, and 564-565 in March.

As Strapac notes, these Eight-wheelers fell on the small side of contemporary 4-4-0 designs. As traffic demands grew on the StL, A & T (as on all other railroads in the late 1890s), these little engines were outmatched by the trains now required. Retirements began at that time with a big reduction in 1911. By 1914, only 9 of both the A1 and B1 classes combined remained. Two went to Jonesboro, Lake City & Eastern.


Class B2 (Locobase 8431)

Data from St Louis-Southwestern diagram from p 50 of Joseph A Strapac, Cotton Belt Locomotives (Huntington, Calif: Shade Tree Books, 1977, reprinted in 1999 by Indiana University Press)

Strapac explains that these locomotives were originally delivered to operate on the 6-foot gauge of the Erie system. Some were built by the New Jersey-based Atlantic & Great Western itself, others by Rogers. In 1879, the New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio reduced the gauge to standard and modified the locomotives accordingly. When the Saint Louis-Southwestern converted from 3' gauge to standard in 1886, the Erie made 25 of these locomotives available for a pittance.

As it turned out, the clapped-out Eries weren't worth much more than that and the StL-SW undertook a rebuild:"...the bell was jacked up and a new locomotive slid underneath; virtually nothing was left that could be called original. In fact, three were converted to cross-compounds."

The dozen locomotives rebuilt in 1894-1899 proved useful branchline engines for another 3 decades. Two were scrapped in 1909, while the rest left in the late 1920s. Five were scrapped in 1927, 1 in 1928, 1 in 1929, and the last in 1933.


Class C2 (Locobase 8462)

(Note: Official name for the Cotton Belt was St. Louis-Southwestern.)

Data from StL&SW 1 - 1932 Folio 725 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange.

The first seven of these Eight-wheelers came from Rogers' Paterson, NY works in 1900; works numbers were 5575-5576 in June; 5582, 5585, 5589, 5592 in July; 5596 in August. Pittsburgh added four more in May 1901 (works number 2253-2257), and Rogers supplied the remainder (works numbers 5924-5929) in April 1903. Most used Stephenson link motion for the slide valves, but at least three were retrofitted with Walschaert gear.

One of the class -- #40 -- later substituted one thermic syphon for the 15 sq ft (1.39 sq m) of arch tubes in the original firebox. The subtraction and addition netted 18 sq ft (1.67 sq m) in the firebox, but only 7 sq ft (0.65 sq m) overall, so the tradeoff may have been seen as not worth the effort.

The class was retired over a long period, 17 years being required to withdraw all 18 engines.


Class D1 (Locobase 8463)

(Note: Official name for the Cotton Belt was St. Louis-Southwestern.) Data from StL&SW 1 - 1932 Folio 725 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. See also DeGolyer, Volume 30, p. 14. Works numbers were 29505, 29517, 29545, 29557, 29566 in November 1906.

Entering service three years after the Alco bunch (Locobase 8462), this set of Baldwins were larger and had longer boilers (although fewer tubes). They also were coal-fired and, according to Joe Strapac, cost $12,855 each.

They were all retired in 1933 (58-59, 61 in March, 62 in April, and 60 in May).

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
ClassA1B2C2D1
Locobase ID8200 8431 8462 8463
RailroadSt Louis, Arkansas & Texas (StLSW)Cotton Belt (StLSW)Cotton Belt (StLSW)Cotton Belt (StLSW)
CountryUSAUSAUSAUSA
Whyte4-4-04-4-04-4-04-4-0
Number in Class1512185
Road Numbers100-114148-16840-5758-62
GaugeStdStdStdStd
Number Built15185
BuilderDicksonPine BluffAlcoBurnham, Williams & Co
Year1886189419001906
Valve GearStephensonStephensonStephensonStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)8 / 2.448 / 2.44 7.50 / 2.29 8.50 / 2.59
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)22 / 6.7122 / 6.7122 / 6.7123.75 / 7.24
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.36 0.36 0.34 0.36
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)53.54 / 16.3252.73 / 16.0753.17 / 16.21
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)46,500 / 21,09250,500 / 22,906
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)57,400 / 26,03669,000 / 31,29893,000 / 42,184101,000 / 45,813
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)91,000 / 41,277108,000 / 48,988138,000 / 62,596156,000 / 70,760
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)83,700 / 37,96694,800 / 43,001140,000 / 63,503142,000 / 64,410
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)174,700 / 79,243202,800 / 91,989278,000 / 126,099298,000 / 135,170
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)3200 / 12.124000 / 15.156000 / 22.736000 / 22.73
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)10 / 9.1010 / 9.102900 / 1114 / 12.70
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)48 / 2458 / 2978 / 3984 / 42
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)63 / 160067 / 170269 / 175369 / 1753
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)115 / 7.90160 / 11200 / 13.80200 / 13.80
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)16" x 24" / 406x61017" x 24" / 432x61018" x 26" / 457x66019" x 26" / 483x660
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)9533 / 4324.1014,079 / 6386.1320,755 / 9414.3223,125 / 10489.34
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 6.02 4.90 4.48 4.37
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)107.50 / 9.99120 / 11.15184 / 17.10184 / 17.10
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)15.60 / 1.4515.10 / 1.4024.90 / 2.3128.90 / 2.69
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1050 / 97.581264 / 117.471778 / 165.241881 / 174.81
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1050 / 97.581264 / 117.471778 / 165.241881 / 174.81
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume188.00200.48232.19220.46
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation1794241649805780
Same as above plus superheater percentage1794241649805780
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area12,36319,20036,80036,800
Power L13432528281047551
Power MT263.63337.53384.22329.65