Illinois Central 2-6-2 "Prairie" Locomotives of the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 1001 (Locobase 5327)

Data from "Recent Locomotives of the Illinois Central Railroad," Railway Age, Volume 33, No. 23 (6 June 1902), pp. 860-862; and "Prairie Type Passenger Locomotive", American Engineer and Railroad Journal, Volume 76, No 6 (June 1902), p. 199. Works number was 5737 in April 1902.

John S Ingles (in Drury (1993)) tells us that this locomotive was procured to be compared against a single Atlantic delivered by Baldwin in the same year. After a year of trials, the Atlantic layout won and Rogers produced the batch.

RA's report conceded that the Prairies offered greater adhesive weight, as was "to be expected." "However," the report continued, " the advantage somewhat offset by a larger number of driving whels and the dependent parts, with a probable increase in cost of repairs. Moreover, the first cost for this reason is greater."

Another weakness of the Prairie arrangement was its unsteadiness. RA noted the introduction of three-point suspension hangers for the trailing truck and AERJ descirbed the pair of yokes for each axle box saying that "from these yokes the load is applied to the boxes through initial stability links or 'three-point' hangers. RA commented that "It is believed that this manner of connecting the box to the equalizers will overcome much of the side motion and contribute to the steady riding of the engine."

This single Prairie was converted into a 4-6-2 in July 1907 and took the number of the experimental Atlantic.

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID5327
RailroadIllinois Central (IC)
Number in Class1
Road Numbers1001
Number Built1
Valve GearWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase13.50'
Engine Wheelbase30.75'
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.44
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)62.12'
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)
Weight on Drivers140200 lbs
Engine Weight210800 lbs
Tender Light Weight147600 lbs
Total Engine and Tender Weight358400 lbs
Tender Water Capacity7000 gals
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)15 tons
Minimum weight of rail (calculated)78 lb/yard
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter75"
Boiler Pressure200 psi
Cylinders (dia x stroke)20" x 28"
Tractive Effort25387 lbs
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 5.52
Heating Ability
Firebox Area201.20 sq. ft
Grate Area51.08 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface3535 sq. ft
Superheating Surface
Combined Heating Surface3535 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume347.21
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation10216
Same as above plus superheater percentage10216
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area40240
Power L111151
Power MT526.04


If you have any railroad data such as diagram books, rail station plans or anything else that you would be willing to share, please contact us.