California Western / Cincinnati & Westwood 2-6-2 "Prairie" Locomotives of the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 1 (Locobase 11986)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Vol 17, p. 61. Works numbers were 12105 in August 1891 and 12360 in December. See (last accessed 31 December 2010) for more information on the C & W.

This independent road operated until 1928. It was opened in 1874 as a narrow-gauge line linking the suburb of Westwood to downtown Cincinnati, but never made much money and eventually was closed in 1886 because it was unsafe to operate.

The aptly named James N Gamble (co-founder of Proctor & Gamble) took a flyer on the abandoned line and enlarged the gauge to standard gauge and reopened the line to passengers in 1887. By 11 August 1896, Gamble had to cease passenger operations. It became, in essence, a terminal road, and the tanks provided much of the motive power.

The road closed to most traffic in 1924 and all traffic stopped in 1928. The 1 was sold to Laurentide Pulp Company.

Class 21 (Locobase 14936)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Volume 65, p. 50. Works numbers were 53277 in June 1920, 54898 in July 1921, and 57553 in December 1923.

Locobase 14109 tells the story of the CW's founding and operation and describes the saddle tanks that came from Baldwin at an earlier date. The first of these superheated logging Prairies was built at around the same time as the two Long Bell engines shown in Locobases 14934-14935). Notice that this engine supplied very nearly the same heating and superheating areas as did the others, but used more and shorter tubes and flues. Significant differences included a longer, deeper firebox and more cylinder volume, but lower boiler pressure. It was also oil-fired.

The design obviously satisfied the CWR's requirements as the 22 arrived a year later and the 23 a little more than two years after that. The later engines trailed tenders that held 200 US gallons (757 litres) less oil and thus weighed 108,700 lb (49,306 kg). 23 was credited with an slightly lower adhesion weight of 109, 500 lb (49,668 kg) and all-up weight of 139,300 lb (63,185 kg).

The 21 would roam the Redwood Empire for almost 30 years before being sold to Pan American Engineering in 1950. PAE would send the engine down to the Mexicano del Pacifico (headquartered in Los Mochis, on the Gulf of California in Sinaloa State) , where it was renumbered 6. The 23 was scrapped in April 1950 while 22 staved off the ferroknacker until April 1952.

Class 7 (Locobase 14109)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University, Volume 47, p. 254. Works number was 33390 in April 1909, 39551 in March 1913, and 41922 in February 1915.

Serving the Union Lumber Company as it exploited the timber reserves in northwestern California, the Fort Bragg Railroad was renamed the California Western Railway & Navigation Company in 1905. The CW ran for 39.6 miles from Fort Bragg, which lies on the coast about 135 miles northwest of San Francisco inland along the Nojo River to Willits where it met the California Northwestern.

The first of three Baldwin Prairie saddle tanks was renumbered from 7 to 17 in 1924 and operated on the CW for almost 30 years before being scrapped in 1938 at Fort Bragg. 11 kept its number throughout its career, which lasted until its scrapping in 1947.

Number 12 was about 5 tons heavier than either of the earlier engines, but shared all of the other dimensions. It was lettered for the Union Lumber Company, but operated on the CW. It was scrapped in 1950.

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID11986 14936 14109
RailroadCincinnati & WestwoodCalifornia WesternCalifornia Western
Number in Class223
Road Numbers1-221-227, 11, 12 / 17
Number Built223
BuilderBurnham, Williams & CoBaldwinBurnham, Williams & Co
Valve GearStephensonWalschaertStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase 9.25'11'9'
Engine Wheelbase23.83'26.58'24.67'
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.39 0.41 0.36
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)23.83'49.92'24.67'
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)
Weight on Drivers75000 lbs111000 lbs72000 lbs
Engine Weight100000 lbs140000 lbs98000 lbs
Tender Light Weight100000 lbs
Total Engine and Tender Weight100000 lbs240000 lbs98000 lbs
Tender Water Capacity1500 gals5000 gals1500 gals
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)2000 gals800 gals
Minimum weight of rail (calculated)42 lb/yard62 lb/yard40 lb/yard
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter50"44"44"
Boiler Pressure130 psi180 psi160 psi
Cylinders (dia x stroke)17" x 24"18" x 24"15" x 22"
Tractive Effort15329 lbs27039 lbs15300 lbs
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.89 4.11 4.71
Heating Ability
Firebox Area144.10 sq. ft150 sq. ft71.70 sq. ft
Grate Area20.30 sq. ft26.20 sq. ft12.80 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface954 sq. ft1456 sq. ft903 sq. ft
Superheating Surface332 sq. ft
Combined Heating Surface954 sq. ft1788 sq. ft903 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume151.31205.98200.68
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation263947162048
Same as above plus superheater percentage263956122048
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area187333213011472
Power L1287796993289
Power MT253.71577.91302.12


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