Pittsburgh & West Virginia 4-6-2 "Pacific" Locomotives of the USA

The P&WV is one of the smaller class 1 railroads and is easy to over look. It is most famous for owning the first 2-6-6-4's in the world, and for dieselizing exclusively with Fairbank Morse H-20-44 jumbo switchers. It was folded into the Norfolk & Western in 1964, along with the Wabash, Nickel Plate, and the equally obscure Akron, Canton & Youngstown.

The P&WV was not a major passenger carrier. It never scheduled more than three trains a day, in each direction between Wheeling, WV and Pittsburgh, PA. Before 1921, it was able to cover its passenger train needs with four Atlantics, leased from its primary western connection, the Wheeling & Lake Erie. Yet, in 1921 the railroad had accumulated enough money to buy its own passenger locomotives. It bought two 4-6-2's from Alco, Brooks, and they were among the lightest Pacifics ever built. Indeed, many railroads had Pacifics with more weight on their drivers than the entire locomotive weight of the P&WV K-1 class. Considering they pulled passenger trains that were only three cars long, over a well engineered line that had minimal grades, the P&WV could get away with their compact sized Pacifics.

In 1924, a third Pacific, class K-2, was bought from Alco, Richmond. It weighed two tons more, but the tractive effort of the #202 was only slightly higher than the first two P&WV Pacifics. Passenger train service was discontinued on the P&WV November 1, 1931. K-1 #201 was scrapped in 1941, but the #200 and #202 lasted until 1947. The locomotives were used in milk train service after passenger train operations ceased.

Roster by Richard Duley

ClassRoad NumberYear BuiltBuilder
K-1200, 2011921ALCO, Brooks
K-22021924ALCO, Richmond

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class K-1/K-2 (Locobase 7876)

Data from P & WV 12 - 1937 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection.

Diminuitive, graceful, high-boilered Pacifics with relatively low cylinder volume for the wheel arrangement on an American railroad. They also had among the smallest grates owned by a Pacific in North America.

The K-2's biggest difference from the K-1 was its year of construction (1924) and its builder (Richmond).

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID7876
RailroadPittsburgh & West Virginia
Number in Class3
Road Numbers200-201, 202
Number Built3
Valve GearBaker
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase11'
Engine Wheelbase30.33'
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.36
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)61.27'
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)
Weight on Drivers117000 lbs
Engine Weight181000 lbs
Tender Light Weight128600 lbs
Total Engine and Tender Weight309600 lbs
Tender Water Capacity6500 gals
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)10 tons
Minimum weight of rail (calculated)65 lb/yard
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter63"
Boiler Pressure180 psi
Cylinders (dia x stroke)20" x 26"
Tractive Effort25257 lbs
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.63
Heating Ability
Firebox Area147 sq. ft
Grate Area39.26 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface2025 sq. ft
Superheating Surface523 sq. ft
Combined Heating Surface2548 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume214.20
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation7067
Same as above plus superheater percentage8551
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area32017
Power L114928
Power MT843.86

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