Bismarck, Washburn & Great Falls / Minneapolis, St Paul & Sault Ste Marie 4-6-2 "Pacific" Locomotives in the USA

Soo Line 2719, a 1923 product of the American Locomotive Company, was the last steam engine to operate in Soo Line service, pulling a round-trip excursion train from Minneapolis to Ladysmith, WI, on June 21, 1959. It was then donated to the City of Eau Claire, where it was displayed at Carson Park.

In 1996, the non-profit Locomotive & Tower Preservation Fund, which operates a live-steam railroad at Carson Park and also preserved the former Chicago & North Western Eau Claire Tower there, began the process of restoring the 2719 to active service. The Pacific type engine steamed again in 1998 and was last operated in 2001 before being stored at Union Pacific's roundhouse in Altoona, near Eau Claire. In April 2004, the roundhouse was torn down and the engine had to be stored outside, and a subsequent deal to move the engine to Montana for excursion service fell though.

In 2005, LSRM member Glischinski approached both organizations with the idea of moving the engine to Duluth for display and operation. The locomotive is listed on the Wisconsin and National Registers of Historic Places, one of the few steam locomotives in the country so listed and the only one in the Midwest.


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class H (Locobase 9390)

Data from DeGolyer, Volume 26, p. 225 and Soo 9 - 1943 Steam Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. Works number was 23711 in February 1904)

The North Dakota railroad that bought this Baldwin served the capitol and surrounding communities. It began as the Bismarck, Washburn & Fort Buford in 1898, but soon extended its lines to the lignite mines of Wilton, which produced 1,000 tons of lignite per day (making it the largest lignite mine in the world) and boasted 400 miners in 1915 and were a significant source of revenue.

The Minneapolis, St Paul & Sault Ste Marie bought the railroad in 1904 and acquired this dainty Pacific (and a very similar 2-8-2 Vauclain Compound). It is one of the smallest standard-gauge 4-6-2s to have run in North America. The low axle loading suggests that the builder was supplying as many axles as he could to run on what must have been pretty light rail.

The later Soo diagram shows what was likely a new boiler which had 235 2" tubes instead of the original 2 1/4" tubes. Tube heating surface area dropped to 2,215 sq ft (205.78 sq m) with a commensurate evaporative heating surface area of 2,372 sq ft (220.45 sq m). Boiler pressure was reset to 180 psi (12.41 bar). Tender capacity later increased to 6,000 US gallons (22,710 litre ) and loaded weight to 124,400 lb (56,427 kg).


Class H-1 - superheated (Locobase 8743)

Data from Soo Miscellaneous Steam Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange.

Even after superheat was added to the original H-1 Pacifics (see Locobase 9389 for the saturated version), these were still small, light 4-6-2s. The refitted boiler managed the unusual feat of containing more heating surface than the earlier wet vessel. This might have reflected a relatively spread out tube arrangement in the earlier version.

H-20s were Wisconsin Central Pacifics delivered in 1909 by Alco-Schenectady; they were superheated to the same specifications as the H-1s.


Class H-1 / H-20 (Locobase 9389)

Data from Soo Miscellaneous Steam Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. Works #29908-29915, 39413-39417, 39905-39907, 42486-42491.

These were the first Pacifics for the Soo Line and as delivered they had saturated boilers. Their valve gear, located between the driver sets, operated inside piston valves measuring 12" in diameter; the latter fed relatively small cylinders.

The class was later superheated; see Locobase 8743.


Class H-2 (Locobase 1365)

Data from Soo 9 - 1943 Steam Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange.

These four successors to a 22-engine H-1 class featured a significantly enlarged cylinder volume, a change from Stephenson to Walschaert valve gear (still opening 12" piston valves), larger grate and firebox, a boiler pressed to a lower degree, and a more than 10% increase in adhesion. Locobase isn't sure if these were delivered with superheaters - the specifications reflect the superheated boiler. The superheater diameter is recorded as shown on the diagram; it's unusual in being 1/8" smaller than the 5 3/8", the smaller of the two diameters usually given for Schmidt Type A superheaters.

Note that the superheater area in the specs is estimated. It is a calculation based on taking the diagram value of 773 sq ft of "superheater equivalent" and deducting a third from it. See the logic presented in Locobase 1364.


Class H-22 (Locobase 9392)

Data from Soo 9 - 1943 Steam Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange.

Produced in February 1914, this quartet of express passenger Pacifics followed the H-3 (Locobase 7588) three years later. They shared many similarities with the earlier batch in most respects, but had a slightly smaller boiler pressed to a higher degree. Like the H-3s, they used 14" piston valves for steam admission.


Class H-23 (Locobase 3105)

Data from Soo 9 - 1943 Steam Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange.

These were the last 6 in a series of Pacifics built for the Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Sault Ste Marie over a 14-year period. All were relatively small engines with similar basic dimensions. The H-23s were ordered 9 years after the H-22s, which are shown in Locobase 9392.

14" piston valves and a generous lap of 1 1/8" suggest these were free steamers as does the A/S ratio. The superheater area is estimated and is 2/3 of the "equivalent" area of 1,260 shown in the diagram. See the logic explained in Locobase 1364.

Four were scrapped, one was put on display, and #2719 was being restored to operating condition in the 1990s. See http://www.2719.com from which the specifications are taken.


Class H-3 (Locobase 9393)

Data from Soo Miscellaneous Steam Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange..

By the time the 1943 Diagram book appeared, the H-3/H-21 class had been subdivided into 2 subgroups. The original layout, as shown in the 1913 Alco publication mentioned in Locobase 7588, showed a larger boiler than the one in the current entry. They were otherwise identical. Later differences centered on the the size of the tender; the larger version is shown in the specs.

Drury (1993) shows another group of 4 -- H-22 class 2714-2717 -- delivered in 1914 and weighing 3 tons more; see Locobase 9392.


Class H-3-21 (Locobase 7588)

Data from reproduction of 1913 Alco Bulletin 1016 on Richard Leonard's http://www.railarchive.net/alcopacifics/index.html (accessed 16 June 2006).

These locomotives represented the Soo Line's step up into express passenger service. In addition to mounting tall-enough drivers, the design increased boiler capacity in relation to the cylinder volume as well as raising the ratio of superheater. Set to pop at 185 when first in service, the boiler's pressure setting was soon raised to 200 psi.

Another 5 engines had slightly smaller boilers; see Locobase 9393.

Drury (1993) shows another group of 4 -- H-22 class 2714-2717 -- delivered in 1914 and weighing 3 tons more; see Locobase 9392.

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
ClassHH-1 - superheatedH-1 / H-20H-2H-22
Locobase ID9390 8743 9389 1365 9392
RailroadBismarck, Washburn & Great Falls (Soo)Minneapolis, St Paul & Sault Ste Marie (Soo)Minneapolis, St Paul & Sault Ste Marie (Soo)Minneapolis, St Paul & Sault Ste Marie (Soo)Minneapolis, St Paul & Sault Ste Marie (Soo)
CountryUSAUSAUSAUSAUSA
Whyte4-6-24-6-24-6-24-6-24-6-2
Number in Class1262244
Road Numbers4 / 700701-722 / 2700-2703701-722 / 2700-2703723-7262714-2717
GaugeStdStdStdStdStd
Number Built12244
BuilderBurnham, Williams & CoSooAlco-SchenectadyAlco-SchenectadyAlco-Schenectady
Year19041920190419101914
Valve GearStephensonStephensonStephensonWalschaertWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)10.83 / 3.3012 / 3.6612 / 3.6612 / 3.6613.50 / 4.11
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)28.75 / 8.7631.96 / 9.7431.96 / 9.7432.75 / 9.9834.58 / 10.54
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.38 0.38 0.38 0.37 0.39
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)56.10 / 17.1058.69 / 17.8958.69 / 17.8959.85 / 18.2466.19 / 20.17
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)33,700 / 15,28648,520 / 22,00851,500 / 23,36057,400 / 26,036
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)99,400 / 45,087134,640 / 61,072129,300 / 58,650147,500 / 66,905163,000 / 73,936
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)159,530 / 72,362211,000 / 95,708202,000 / 91,626221,000 / 100,244264,000 / 119,749
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)100,000 / 45,359121,720 / 55,211115,600 / 52,435124,400 / 56,427143,200 / 64,955
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)259,530 / 117,721332,720 / 150,919317,600 / 144,061345,400 / 156,671407,200 / 184,704
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)6000 / 22.736000 / 22.736000 / 22.736500 / 24.627500 / 28.41
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)10 / 9.1010 / 9.1010 / 9.1010 / 9.1012 / 10.90
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd)5575728291
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)62 / 157569 / 175369 / 175369 / 175375 / 1905
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)200 / 13.80200 / 13.80185 / 12.80170 / 11.70200 / 13.80
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)18" x 26" / 457x66020" x 26" / 508x66020" x 26" / 508x66024" x 26" / 610x66025" x 26" / 635x660
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)23,098 / 10477.0925,623 / 11622.4123,701 / 10750.6131,363 / 14226.0336,833 / 16707.19
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.30 5.25 5.46 4.70 4.43
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)155.70 / 14.46162 / 15.06162 / 15.06207.44 / 19.28207.44 / 19.28
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)49.50 / 4.6044 / 4.0944 / 4.0946.98 / 4.3752.75 / 4.90
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2466 / 229.102462 / 228.812885 / 268.122920 / 271.383392 / 315.24
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)368 / 34.20516 / 47.96736 / 68.40
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2466 / 229.102830 / 263.012885 / 268.123436 / 319.344128 / 383.64
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume322.03260.42305.17214.49229.63
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation990088008140798710,550
Same as above plus superheater percentage990099448140918512,449
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area31,14036,61229,97040,55548,956
Power L1875616,018831512,35218,707
Power MT582.61786.84425.32553.86759.05

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
ClassH-23H-3H-3-21
Locobase ID3105 9393 7588
RailroadMinneapolis, St Paul & Sault Ste Marie (Soo)Minneapolis, St Paul & Sault Ste Marie (Soo)Minneapolis, St Paul & Sault Ste Marie (Soo)
CountryUSAUSAUSA
Whyte4-6-24-6-24-6-2
Number in Class61111
Road Numbers2718-2723727, 32, 34-35, 37, 27132703+
GaugeStdStdStd
Number Built61111
BuilderAlco-SchenectadyAlco-SchenectadyAlco-Schenectady
Year192319111913
Valve GearWalschaertWalschaertWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)13.50 / 4.1113.50 / 4.1113.50 / 4.11
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)34.58 / 10.5434.58 / 10.5434.58 / 10.54
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.39 0.39 0.39
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)71.10 / 21.6766.19 / 20.1766.19 / 20.17
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)59,000 / 26,76261,610 / 27,94655,000 / 24,948
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)172,400 / 78,199171,960 / 78,000158,500 / 71,894
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)281,080 / 127,496277,570 / 125,904259,000 / 117,481
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)215,000 / 97,522216,000 / 97,976143,000 / 64,864
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)496,080 / 225,018493,570 / 223,880402,000 / 182,345
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)12,000 / 45.457500 / 28.417500 / 28.41
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)17.50 / 15.9012 / 10.9012 / 10.90
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd)969688
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)75 / 190575 / 190575 / 1905
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)200 / 13.80200 / 13.80200 / 13.80
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)25" x 26" / 635x66025" x 26" / 635x66025" x 26" / 635x660
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)36,833 / 16707.1936,833 / 16707.1936,833 / 16707.19
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.68 4.67 4.30
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)207 / 19.24207.40 / 19.28207.40 / 19.28
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)52.75 / 4.9052.75 / 4.9052.75 / 4.90
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)3379 / 314.033392 / 315.243539 / 328.90
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)840 / 78.07805 / 74.81805 / 74.81
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)4219 / 392.104197 / 390.054344 / 403.71
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume228.75229.63239.58
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation10,55010,55010,550
Same as above plus superheater percentage12,66012,55512,555
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area49,68049,36149,361
Power L120,26519,75720,006
Power MT777.44759.89834.81

Photos