Crowell & Spencer Lumber Company 2-6-2 "Prairie" Locomotives of the USA


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 200 (Locobase 14296)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University, Volume 62, p. 316+. (Thanks to Everett Lueck, railroad operations director of the Southern Forest Heritage Museum in Long Leaf, LA, whose 15 February 2015 email to Wes Barris and Locobase corrected the original comments.) Works number was 5314 in April 1920.

The C&SLC's operation in western Louisiana included the Red River & Gulf Railroad and several logging roads. This small wood-burning logging Prairie was fitted with a Rushton cabbage stack, which was a then-new Baldwin reformulation of their Radley & Hunter spark-arresting stack. The specs included a note that the "back bumper of engine to be strongly reinforced", a requirement that stemmed from the single-bar bumper used in earlier Baldwins had bent when the engine was jacked up by the rear.

Everett Leuck says his 20 years of research on the Crowell railroads showed him that the original statement ( "Sold to Red River & Gulf, the C&SL's 50-mile common-carrier line, the 200 wound up serving on the company's Meridian Lumber rails for decades") was completely wrong (" It was never sold to the RR&G (that is a Lucius Beebe fable) and never worked for Meridian.").

Leuck summarizes the 200's career as follows: "The engine was purchased in 1920 for the Crowell and Spencer logging camp and operation at Hutton, LA. It worked at Hutton until the operation was abandoned in 1944 when it was brought to Long Leaf and stored. It was cut up at Long Leaf in 1955."


Class 303 (Locobase 14295)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University, Vol 52, pp. 336. (Thanks to Everett Lueck, railroad operations director of the Southern Forest Heritage Museum in Long Leaf, LA, whose 15 February 2015 email to Wes Barris and Locobase corrected the original comments. Thanks, too, to Chris Hohl for his 8 February 2015 email giving the fuel capacity.) Works number was 42142 in June 1916.

Locobase wonders if this wood-burning logging Prairie wasn't slippery. Its relatively low factor of adhesion on the light 45 and 60 lb/yard (22.5 and 30 kg/metre) rail wouldn't seem to handle the relatively high powered engine on the 7 1/2 miles between Louisiana Junction and Cocodrie. Like many loggers, 303 was delivered with two grate sets, one for wood burning, one for coal. When fitted out as a wood burner, the engine carried 3 1/2 cords of wood.

The C&S had seven miles of trackage rights on the Red River & Gulf, which it owned. As the Supreme Court characterized the relationship between the railroad and the lumber company in its Tap Lines Case opinion of 1914: "The two companies are, and have been from their inception, identical in interest, and they have the same officers." All of the locomotives were lettered and numbered for Crowell & Spencer

Lueck's account of the 303's career greatly expands upon and corrects the short description originally entered here. He reports: "303 was bought for the Crowell and Spencer expansion south of Long Leaf, to Pine Prairie in 1916. For a time it actually worked both as a woods engine, and was maintained in ICC service and used on the RR&G [Red River & Gulf] (I have the roundhouse records). The Crowell plan had been for that extension to be part of the RR&G but it never got transferred." So Locobase's hunch that this engine was intended for more than logging-road service appears to have been correct.

Leuck continues: "In 1920, the engine was transferred to the Alexandria Lumber Co. at Alco, LA (another Crowell company) as #5. In 1928, the Crowell's bought out their partners in ALCO, and transferred it to Meridian Lumber Co (another Crowell Co.) The engine was renumbered back to #303 (not 203 as that is an error and I have pictures to prove it) and used at Alco, until that operation closed at the end of 1944."

Leuck finds the history of the 303's last years somewhat elusive. "It was used to dismantle the mill and town there, and then was either stored at Long Leaf and scrapped in 1954 (the most likely possibility) or scrapped at Alco in 1945 (a more remote possibility)."

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Class200303
Locobase ID14296 14295
RailroadCrowell & Spencer Lumber CompanyCrowell & Spencer Lumber Company
CountryUSAUSA
Whyte2-6-22-6-2
Number in Class11
Road Numbers200303
GaugeStdStd
Number Built11
BuilderBaldwinBaldwin
Year19201915
Valve GearWalschaertStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase 9.17' 9.17'
Engine Wheelbase23.75'24.67'
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.39 0.37
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)45.56'48.54'
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)
Weight on Drivers71000 lbs82000 lbs
Engine Weight92000 lbs110000 lbs
Tender Light Weight80000 lbs80000 lbs
Total Engine and Tender Weight172000 lbs190000 lbs
Tender Water Capacity4000 gals4000 gals
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated)39 lb/yard46 lb/yard
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter44"46"
Boiler Pressure180 psi200 psi
Cylinders (dia x stroke)15" x 24"16" x 24"
Tractive Effort18777 lbs22706 lbs
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.78 3.61
Heating Ability
Firebox Area86 sq. ft112 sq. ft
Grate Area14.10 sq. ft16 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface1074 sq. ft1594 sq. ft
Superheating Surface
Combined Heating Surface1074 sq. ft1594 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume218.79285.40
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation25383200
Same as above plus superheater percentage25383200
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area1548022400
Power L140445914
Power MT376.71477.00


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