New Orleans Great Northern 2-6-2 "Prairie" Locomotives of the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 1 (Locobase 12771)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Volume 27, p. 233. See James H Lemly, The Gulf, Mobile and Ohio - Chapter XXI, The New Orleans Great Northern

Railroad Company - 1905-33, published on the web at, last accessed 25 June 2011; and "Engage in Huge Reforestry Plan--Perpetual Timber Supply Until Eternity at Great Southern Co.'s Tract at Bogalusa - A Local Reforestation Project", McKean County Democrat (12 February 1925), as archived at, last accessed 15 December 2016. Works numbers were 25740 in May 1905 and 26281-26282 in August.

This trio was ordered by the 50-mile East Louisiana Railroad, which was built to open up timberlands north of Lake Ponchatrain. In addition to a 24-mile main line between Covington and West Pearl City, the EL also operated a 12-mile branch from Mandeville Junction to Mandeville and had extended the line from Covington 13 miles to Folsom. The EL was the line on which Homer Plessey decided to test the Jim Crow laws in 1892, a case that resulted in the establishment of "separate but equal" as a legal doctrine governing de jure segregation by race for the next 60 years.

The specifications for the five locomotives in the order described the maximum grade as 8% (!) and curve radii as tight as 25 degrees. Within a month of the 1's production and before that of 2 and 3, the EL was bought by the Nogan in June 1905.

Although they remained with the NOGN until 1916, their low drivers suited them more to logging work and the trio was sold the Great Southern Lumber Company. There they joined at least two more Prairies bought from other loggers in 1910; see Locobase 12772 for a discussion of this large timber harvester.

The 1 was later sold to Alexandria Gravel.

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID12771
RailroadNew Orleans Great Northern (GM&O)
Number in Class3
Road Numbers1-3
Number Built3
BuilderBurnham, Williams & Co
Valve GearStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase 8.33'
Engine Wheelbase23.83'
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.35
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)
Weight on Drivers84000 lbs
Engine Weight110000 lbs
Tender Light Weight80000 lbs
Total Engine and Tender Weight190000 lbs
Tender Water Capacity4000 gals
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated)47 lb/yard
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter45"
Boiler Pressure200 psi
Cylinders (dia x stroke)17" x 24"
Tractive Effort26203 lbs
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.21
Heating Ability
Firebox Area116 sq. ft
Grate Area16 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface1556 sq. ft
Superheating Surface
Combined Heating Surface1556 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume246.79
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation3200
Same as above plus superheater percentage3200
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area23200
Power L15082
Power MT400.14

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