Valley & Siletz 2-6-2 "Prairie" Locomotives of the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 50 (Locobase 14318)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Volume 52, p. 402. See also Linda Carlson, Company Towns of the Pacific Northwest (University of Washington Press, 2003). (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 22 February 2015 email supplying the tender's fuel capacity.) Works number was 41379 in May 1914.

This 40-mile common carrier southwest of Salem, Ore, was incorporated in January 1912. Linking the Siletz River with the much larger Wilamette, the line eventually linked Independence with Valsetz at the end of the line. Its alignment required many bridges, but still included 2 1/2% grades and 16 degree curves. This logging Prairie was delivered as a wood-burner with a 3 1/2-cord fuel capacity in the tender, but was also designed to be converted to oil burning.

The V&S moved timber and agricultural products on 56 lb/yard (28 kg/metre) rail as well as serving a highly prized passenger function in the early days. "In Valsetz," says Linda Carlson (p. 123), "the Valley & Siletz Railroad wasn't the only way out, but for years it was the best; the unpaved road to camp was a rough series of 130 switchbacks that could be impassable with snow and mud." As late as 1941, the road was still notorious for its unsuitability for any normal use.

The 50 remained on the V&S until it was scrapped in 1953.

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID14318
RailroadValley & Siletz
Number in Class1
Road Numbers50
Number Built1
Valve GearWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase10.25'
Engine Wheelbase26.83'
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.38
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)50.54'
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)
Weight on Drivers92400 lbs
Engine Weight120800 lbs
Tender Light Weight80000 lbs
Total Engine and Tender Weight200800 lbs
Tender Water Capacity4000 gals
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated)51 lb/yard
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter46"
Boiler Pressure180 psi
Cylinders (dia x stroke)17" x 24"
Tractive Effort23070 lbs
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.01
Heating Ability
Firebox Area121 sq. ft
Grate Area18.20 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface1552 sq. ft
Superheating Surface
Combined Heating Surface1552 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume246.15
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation3276
Same as above plus superheater percentage3276
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area21780
Power L14721
Power MT337.92

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