Oregon-American Lumber Company 2-6-2 "Prairie" Locomotives of the USA


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 104 (Locobase 15229)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University, Vol 71, p. 313. See also the Oregon Encyclopedia's entry on the O-ALC at http://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/entry/view/oregon_american_lumber_company/ and "United Railways and the Oregon-American Lumber Company" at Abandoned Railroads of the Pacific Northwest website (http://www.brian894x4.com/UnitedRailway_OregonAmerican.html, last accessed 3 June 2013.) Works number was 56851 in August 1923.

A direct comparison between a locomotive using a saturated boiler and another, identical engine using a superheated boiler, even in Locobase, isn't possible too often. Even in upgrade efforts, the new engine has tweaks or other changes that don't appear in the original. In the current entry, however, we have a new-built superheated logging Prairie that is identical to the National Lumber & Manufacturing Company locomotive of a year earlier shown in Locobase 15228.

One can see the impact of superheating on an uncomplicated design. One little difference is the use of 8" (203 mm) piston valves instead of slide valves. Although the evaporative heating surface ratio to cylinder volume is lower, it's still quite adequate given the good amount of superheated area that contributes much hotter steam. The 104 ran on the United Railway, which had been incorporated in 1906 as an ambitious electric interurban destined, they thought, to reach San Francisco. Instead, the UR, which was ultimately wholly owned by the Spokane, Portland & Seattle (itself a Great Northern-Northern Pacific creation), became intertwined with the O-ALC. (See the sourced websites for much more detail.)

The cornerstone for the UR and for the O-ALC was the huge sawmill that operated at Vernonia for forty years from 1917 to 1957 under four different owners. Its timber, says the Oregon Encyclopedia, represented the "finest old-growth stands of Douglas-fir timber known to modern man, was notable for its uniformity of character and density. The companyÆs timber was generally 300 to 600 years old." O-A pulled out 2.5 billion feet of timber from its 30,000 acres of holdings in Columbia, Clatsop, and Tillamook counties.

The 104 served the United Railways lines until Long Bell Lumber sold it to Weaver Clark at Banks, Ore in 1956. Malarky Wall bought the 104 from Clark, stored it, then sold it to Frank Fisher, who later died and whose estate sold it to Fred Kepner at Modoc Northern Siding in Merrill, OR as part of a large collection. Although each of the last three owners stored the engine, it has not been run in tourist service.


Class 105 (Locobase 15230)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University, Volume 71, p. 313. See also the Oregon Encyclopedia's entry on the O-ALC at http://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/entry/view/oregon_american_lumber_company/ and "United Railways and the Oregon-American Lumber Company" at Abandoned Railroads of the Pacific Northwest website (http://www.brian894x4.com/UnitedRailway_OregonAmerican.html, last accessed 3 June 2013.) Works number was 58193 in January 1925.

Locobase 15229 shows the side-tank engine (104) that entered service in 1923 on the United Railways that carried the logs for the O-ALC. Well more than a year later, the company returned to Eddystone for a locomotive that had the same tractive effort dimensions, was also oil-fired and superheated, but that had a bigger boiler and a separate tender.

105 had a similar career to that of the 104 except that it was sold by Long Bell Lumber to International Paper first in November 1956. After its June 1957 sale to Weaver Clark, the 105 had the same owners as 104. The 105 was reconditioned in the earlly 1960s and ran on the tourist-oriented Vernonia, South Park & Sunset Steam Railroad beginning in 1964. After the trains ran every weekend until October 10, 1969, the leased line on which it ran was closed.

105 wound up in Fred Kepner's collection of steam locomotives store at Modoc Northern Siding in Merrill, OR.

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Class104105
Locobase ID15229 15230
RailroadOregon-American Lumber CompanyOregon-American Lumber Company
CountryUSAUSA
Whyte2-6-2T2-6-2
Number in Class11
Road Numbers104105
GaugeStdStd
Number Built11
BuilderBaldwinBaldwin
Year19231925
Valve GearWalschaertWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase 9.33' 9.33'
Engine Wheelbase26.08'26.75'
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.36 0.35
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)26.08'48.33'
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)
Weight on Drivers117500 lbs105000 lbs
Engine Weight149500 lbs134000 lbs
Tender Light Weight78000 lbs
Total Engine and Tender Weight149500 lbs212000 lbs
Tender Water Capacity2000 gals3500 gals
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)900 gals1500 gals
Minimum weight of rail (calculated)65 lb/yard58 lb/yard
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter44"44"
Boiler Pressure170 psi170 psi
Cylinders (dia x stroke)18" x 24"18" x 24"
Tractive Effort25537 lbs25537 lbs
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.60 4.11
Heating Ability
Firebox Area81 sq. ft114 sq. ft
Grate Area22.50 sq. ft28.15 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface1225 sq. ft1706 sq. ft
Superheating Surface284 sq. ft378 sq. ft
Combined Heating Surface1509 sq. ft2084 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume173.30241.35
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation38254786
Same as above plus superheater percentage45525647
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area1638622868
Power L1738310014
Power MT415.58630.77


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