New York, Chicago & St Louis 4-6-4 "Hudson" Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class L-1a/L-1b (Locobase 188)

Data from 1930 Locomotive Cyclopedia, supplemented by NKP 5 - 1950 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for valve gear ID; and for his 22 September 2017 email reporting unlikely boiler pressure values for 177 entries. A Locobase macro caused the error.) Alco's Brooks Works supplied the first four (works numbers 67211-67214 in March 1927 and Lima finished the class with four (works numbers 7399-7402 in November 1929).

Firebox had syphons.The nearly square cylinders were fed by 14" (356 mm) piston valves. A thicker tire (74") more than offset an increase in boiler pressure to 225 psi (15.5 bar), so the tractive effort dropped slightly.

The Brooks engines had built-up frames while the Limas were delivered with cast-steel beds. The Alcos would be given cast-steel beds just after World War Two.The L-1b's boilers were pressed to 215 psi (14.8 bar) and the engines weighed slightly more. By the end of their careers, all eight would roll on Timken roller bearings.

These were among the very first 4-6-4s to be built. Drury's (1993) comment on these engines: They "...looked bigger than they were after the smoke lifters were added. In actuality, they were little more than a USRA light Pacific with a four-wheel trailing truck."

By the end of their days, the L-1s would be photographed pulling local freights and other secondary services.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID188
RailroadNew York, Chicago & St Louis (Nickel Plate)
Number in Class8
Road Numbers170-177
Number Built8
Valve GearWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)13 / 3.96
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)37.75 / 11.51
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.34
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)73.65 / 22.45
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)58,700 / 26,626
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)175,475 / 79,594
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)316,500 / 143,562
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)206,200 / 93,531
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)522,700 / 237,093
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)11,000 / 41.67
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)16 / 14.50
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)97 / 48.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)73 / 1854
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)215 / 14.80
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)25" x 26" / 635x660
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)40,681 / 18452.61
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.31
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)302 / 28.06
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)66.80 / 6.21
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)4219 / 391.95
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)1055 / 98.01
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)5274 / 489.96
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume285.61
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation14,362
Same as above plus superheater percentage17,234
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area77,916
Power L126,959
Power MT1016.12

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Wes Barris