Wabash 4-4-2 "Atlantic" Locomotives in the USA


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class E2 (Locobase 6920)

Data from WAB 1907 and WAB 1 - 1917 Locomotive Diagram books supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 26 July 2015 email locating and stating the tender's capacity.)

The Wabash turned to Richmond for its second batch of Atlantics three years after it received its first 5 from Baldwin (Locobase 6919). The result was a smaller boiler, slightly larger grate and firebox heating surface, and much taller drivers. At 79", the latter put the Wabash in the express passenger big time.

At some later point, the Wabash added 15 sq ft of arch tubes to the direct heating surface, increasing it to 195 sq ft. Hohl points out that some of the class later had tenders with an 11-ton coal capacity.


Class E3 (Locobase 5350)

Data from table in American Engineering and Railroad Journal (AERJ) July 1904 and confirmed by data from WAB 1907 and WAB 1 - 1917 Locomotive Diagram books supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange.

Note the relatively high drivers even for an Atlantic. Large grate, relatively small boiler compared to other US 4-4-2s of the period. The Wabash later amended the direct heating surface by adding 4 arch tubes comprising 25 sq ft, raising the total to 202 sq ft.

When he can, Locobase likes to include the "special equipment" manufactured by component suppliers to add some detail to the general picture of locomotive production. According to Railroad Gazette, Volume XXXVIII, No 8 (24 February 1905), p. 62, the components were:

Westinghouse high-speed air-brakes

steel axles

Wabash standard bell ringer

Franklin sectional boiler lagging

Damascus brakebeams and iron brake-shoes

Tower couplers

Pyle electric headlights

Nathan injectors and sight-feed lubricators

Ajax plastic bronze journal bearings

Jerome piston rod packings

American Loco Co valve rod packings

Ashton safety valves, Leach and gravity sanding devices

Scott springs

Ashcroft steam gages

Latrobe driving wheel, truck wheel and tender wheel tires

Barnes drifting valve

Elvin driving box lubricator

McCord journal boxes

Anaconda water hose


Class E3s (Locobase 6923)

Data from WAB 1 - 1929 Locomotive Diagram book supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. Date for conversion is the first diagram modification date.

As with other superheating conversions, this modification to the E-3 (see Locobase 5350) took advantage of the greater power in dry steam to drop the boiler pressure by 25 psi. At the same time, driver diameter grew by an inch. Both factors combined to lower the calculated tractive effort. Power at speed, however, increased considerably because the Wabash update resulted in almost the same amount of heating surface as was found in the saturated


Class E4 (Locobase 6921)

Data from WAB 1907 and WAB 1 - 1917 Locomotive Diagram books supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. See also DeGolyer, Volume 27, pp. 130+. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his December 2014 comments concerning the tender capacities.) Works numbers were 24480, 24489, 24499-24500, 24507-24509 in July 1904 and 24519, 24521-24522 in August.

It's interesting to compare this set of Atlantics to the E-1 class (Locobase 6918), which Baldwin delivered to the Wabash in 1898. Perhaps these two classes illustrate the essential limitations of the 4-4-2 design as clearly as any comparison could. The boiler was bigger as was the grate, but the direct heating surface barely grew at all. Adhesion weight grew by more than 13 tons, only just keeping pace with the increased tractive effort. Another key difference was the substitution of 12" (305 mm) piston valves for the slide valves used in the E-1s.

Baldwin's estimates of adhesion weight (100,000 lb/4,536 kg) and engine weight (185,000 lb /83,915 kg) ran several tons light.

The Wabash later amended the direct heating surface by adding 4 arch tubes comprising 25 sq ft, raising the total to 202 sq ft. These engines were superheated in the 1920s; see Locobase 6922.


Class E4s (Locobase 6922)

Data from WAB 1907 and WAB 1 - 1929 Locomotive Diagram books supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. Date given is the first modification date on the diagram. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 28 July 2015 email noting some differences among the engines in this class.)

Superheating the E-4 added quite a bit of power to the basic Atlantic design, perhaps 30% greater power at speed. Although tractive effort dropped as boiler pressure was slightly reduced and driver diameter slightly increased, the decrease in apparent power was more than offset by adding 24 sq ft (2.25 sq m) of arch tubes to the direct heating surface and superheating the steam.

Superheated engines had 12" diameter (305 mm) piston valves. Hohl notes that most of the class retained their Stephenson link motion and maximum valve travel of 6" (152 mm). The 602 and 606, which received Walchaert gear, saw their valve travel increase to 7" (177 mm).

A few of the engines (604, 607, e.g.) were given tenders with cast-steel trucks. Water capacity increased to 7,800 gallons (29,523 litres) and coal bunkerage increased to 13 tons. Engine and tender wheelbase grew by almost five feet to 60 ft 5 1/4" (18.42 metres) and the tender's loaded weight came up to 159,400 lb (72,303 kg).

The class's life certainly was extended with only the 611 being scrapped in the 1930s (June 1936). 604-605, 607 met the torch in 1940 and 609 in 1941. But World War Two demands mean that 603 wouldn't go until December 1942 and 610 worked until April 1944. 606 wasn't scrapped until February 1947 and 608 a month later. 602, first on the production line, was also last to the ferro-knacker in March 1949.


Class G/E1 (Locobase 6919)

Data from WAB 1907, WAB 1 - 1917, and WAB 1 - 1929 Locomotive Diagram books supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. See also DeGolyer, Volume 21, p. 188. See also "New Class 'G' Locomotives for the Wabash", Railroad Gazette, Volume XXX [30], No 13 (1 April 1898), pp. 232-233. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his December 2014 email comments concerning the tender capacities.) Works numbers were 15781, 15792-15795 in March 1898.

As many other railroads turned to the Atlantic arrangement for express passenger locomotives, so did the Wabash beginning with this quintet from Baldwin. The purpose of the trailing axle shows clearly in the diagram as the firebox has been shifted behind the rear driving axle. But neither this class nor its successor (Locobase 6920) exploited the greater available space as a chance to enlarge the grate. Railroad Gazette obsserved that these were designed to share many of the components and dimensions as a class of Ten-wheelers delivered at the same time (Locobase 3293). Such fidelity included the prominent clerestory over the cab, but didn't extend to a second sand dome.

Baldwin's estimates of 80,000 lb (36,287 kg) adhesion weight and 137,000 lb (62,142 kg) for loaded engine. The figure for the latter in the 1907 diagram ran more than 10 short tons (9.1 metric tons) higher.

When delivered, the class had 175.7 sq ft (1.5 sq m) in direct heating surface area. Arch tubes installed later added 13.6 sq ft (1.25 sq m) to that figure, according to the 1907 diagram. But the 1917 and 1929 diagrams rescind the addition and give the original firebox area. Of the four set of specs Locobase reviewed, only the 1907 gives areas consistent with the tube count, diameter, and length shown in all four; the difference amounts to about 44 sq ft (4.1 sq m).

In any case, the class served the Wabash for more than 30 years. 1601 was scrapped first in June 1931, followed by 1605 in December. The last three went in 1933, 1603 in June and 1602, 1604 in July.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
ClassE2E3E3sE4E4s
Locobase ID6920 5350 6923 6921 6922
RailroadWabashWabashWabashWabashWabash
CountryUSAUSAUSAUSAUSA
Whyte4-4-24-4-24-4-24-4-24-4-2
Number in Class61281010
Road Numbers606-611/624-629612-623612+602-611602-611
GaugeStdStdStdStdStd
Number Built61210
BuilderRichmondAlco-BrooksWabashBurnham, Williams & CoWabash
Year19011903192819041924
Valve GearStephensonStephensonWalschaertStephensonStephenson or Walsch
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)7 / 2.13 7.50 / 2.29 7.50 / 2.29 7.50 / 2.29 7.50 / 2.29
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)24.47 / 7.4630.96 / 9.4430.96 / 9.4430.56 / 9.3130.56 / 9.31
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.29 0.24 0.24 0.25 0.25
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)52.19 / 15.9150 / 15.2460.52 / 18.4555.60 / 16.9555.60 / 16.95
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)42,400 / 19,23256,500 / 25,62856,860 / 25,791
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)81,600 / 37,01396,700 / 43,862111,500 / 50,576110,720 / 50,222113,720 / 51,583
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)161,600 / 73,301180,700 / 81,964205,050 / 93,009197,820 / 89,730201,820 / 91,544
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)120,700 / 54,749130,000 / 58,967159,400 / 72,303130,000 / 58,967132,000 / 59,874
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)282,300 / 128,050310,700 / 140,931364,450 / 165,312327,820 / 148,697333,820 / 151,418
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)600060007800 / 29.5560006000 / 22.73
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)101213 / 11.801213 / 11.80
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)68 / 3481 / 40.5093 / 46.5092 / 4695 / 47.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)79 / 200783 / 210884 / 213479 / 200780 / 2032
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)200 / 13.80215 / 14.80200 / 13.80220 / 15.20210 / 14.50
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)19" x 26" / 483x66021" x 26" / 533x66021" x 26" / 533x66021" x 28" / 533x71121" x 28" / 533x711
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)20,198 / 9161.6725,246 / 11451.4123,205 / 10525.6229,229 / 13258.0727,551 / 12496.94
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.04 3.83 4.80 3.79 4.13
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)180 / 16.73177 / 16.45202 / 18.77176.33 / 16.39200 / 18.59
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)31.50 / 2.9343.70 / 4.0643.71 / 4.0645.12 / 4.1945.12 / 4.19
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2315 / 215.152676 / 248.702209 / 205.302942 / 273.422366 / 219.89
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)483 / 44.89510 / 47.40
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2315 / 215.152676 / 248.702692 / 250.192942 / 273.422876 / 267.29
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume271.33256.74211.94262.10210.79
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation63009396874299269475
Same as above plus superheater percentage6300939610,316992611,181
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area36,00038,05547,67238,79349,560
Power L1992310,16120,325986719,846
Power MT536.19463.31803.75392.94769.48

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
ClassG/E1
Locobase ID6919
RailroadWabash
CountryUSA
Whyte4-4-2
Number in Class5
Road Numbers601-605/1601-1605
GaugeStd
Number Built5
BuilderBurnham, Williams & Co
Year1898
Valve GearStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)7 / 2.13
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)24.47 / 7.46
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.29
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)50.87 / 15.51
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)42,200 / 19,142
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)83,460 / 37,857
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)157,900 / 71,622
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)120,700 / 54,749
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)278,600 / 126,371
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)4500
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)10
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)70 / 35
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)73 / 1854
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)200 / 13.80
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)19" x 26" / 483x660
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)21,858 / 9914.63
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.82
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)189.29 / 15.73
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)29.79 / 2.77
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2423 / 225.19
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2423 / 225.19
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume283.99
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation5958
Same as above plus superheater percentage5958
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area37,858
Power L19610
Power MT507.70

Reference