Rutland 4-8-2 "Mountain" Locomotives in the USA

The financially troubled Rutland Railroad was in dire need of motive power in 1946 and choose to buy four 4-8-2 "Mountains" from the American Locomotive Company. They were designated as Class L-1 and were assigned road numbers 90 through 93.

These locomotives had 26 x 30 cylinders, 73" drivers, a boiler pressure of 230 psi and exerted 54,312 pounds of tractive effort.

In the early 1950s, the Rutland had replaced most of its older steam locomotives with diesels. Some reports say that they were removed from service late in 1952. Several attempts were made to sell them to Mexico. By 1955, the Rutland could no longer afford to keep the steam locomotive maintenance facilities open for just four "Mountains" so they sold them for scrap. They were sent to Luria Steel in Pittsburgh.

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class L-1 (Locobase 222)

Data from tables in 1947 Locomotive Cyclopedia. See also Jim Shaughnessey, The Rutland Road (2d Edition) (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1997), pp. 163 inter alia. And thanks to Chris Hohl for supplying Locobase in November 2012 with Alco's builder's card Order No. S-1985, June 1946. and for a later correction on the valve gear.) Works numbers were 74376-74379 in 1946.

Replacement power for the worn-out Rutland stud based on the very successful 4-8-2s operated by the New York Central, although the Rutland engines were smaller. The main postwar passenger power, the class was painted green and, almost inevitably, named the Green Hornets.

Jim Shaughnessey draws a word portrait of Gardner A Caverly's reaction to a chance encounter with one of these engines in 1955. He saw the locomotive "struggling upgrade with northbound tonnage. The ground trembled, the setting sun was darkened with rising black smoke, and the white hot fire gleamed through the ashpan doors. He listened to the thunderous exhause and the wail of her whistle echoing and re-echoing through the pine-clad hills."

Stirring stuff, and it affected Caverly: "Never before had he been so deeply moved by the power and glory of steam. It was a subject fit for an artist, but Michelangelo himself could not have recorded the emotion that overwhelmed him"

But here's the punch line: "He was nearly brought to tears as the engineer waved for it was only the week before that he had signed the engine's death warrant." (p. 163).

All four locomotives were retired in March 1955.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID222
RailroadRutland (Rutland)
Number in Class4
Road Numbers90-93
Number Built4
Valve GearWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)19.25 / 5.87
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)41.50 / 12.65
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.46
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)232,000 / 105,234
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)348,000 / 157,850
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)207,700 / 94,211
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)555,700 / 252,061
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)11,000 / 41.67
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)14 / 12.70
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)230 / 15.90
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)26" x 30" / 660x762
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)54,312 / 24635.54
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.27
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)337 / 31.31
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)67 / 6.22
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)3919 / 364.08
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)1152 / 107.02
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)5071 / 471.10
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume212.58
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation15,410
Same as above plus superheater percentage18,954
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area95,337
Power L124,245
Power MT921.57

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Wes Barris