Illinois Central 2-10-2 "Santa Fe" Locomotives of the USA

The Illinois Central Railroad took delivery of three "Santa Fe" type locomotives in 1916. These 2-10-2s were built by the American Locomotive Company and were designated as Class 2601 and they were assigned road numbers 2601 through 2603. In 1918 ALCO delivered four more of the Class 2601 locomotives which were given road numbers 2604 through 2607. The Class 2601s had 63" diameter drivers, 29" x 32 cylinders, a 188.5 psi boiler pressure, they exerted 68,444 pounds of tractive effort and each weighed 367,000 pounds.

Numbers 2601 through 2607 were built for hump-yard service and were fitted with flangeless main wheels that allowed them to negotiate sharper curves. The design emphasized interchangeability of parts with 2-8-2s already in IC service. These seven locomotives were traded to the Central of Georgia in 1926 for ten "Mallets" 2-6-6-2 locomotives, which were built by ALCO in 1919.

In 1921, the Lima Locomotive Works began to fill the IC's order for 125 new 2-10-2 locomotives which would to be known as "Centrals" instead of "Santa Fes". These locomotives were needed to haul freight. The first one hundred arrived in two batch of 50 each in 1921 and the last 50 were delivered in 1923.

These 125 "Centrals" were designated as Class 2901 and were assigned road numbers 2901 through 3025. They were delivered with 63" diameter drivers, 30" x 32 cylinders, a 190 psi boiler pressure, they exerted 73,829 pounds of tractive effort and each weighed 382,000 pounds.

Between 1937 and 1942, the Paducah Shops of the IC removed the boilers from 56 of the Class 2901s and used them to build 56 4-8-2s. They also used the cylinders and frames from these same 56 locomotives to build fifteen 2-10-0s and forty-one 2-8-2s. The Paducah Shops also made many improvements to the remaining sixty-nine Class 2901 "Centrals"

Five more 2-10-2s came in 1926 when the IC acquired the Alabama & Vicksburg Railway. These locomotives A&V numbers 470 through 474 and were renumbered 3100 through 3104 when they were put on the IC roster.

There are no surviving IC 2-10-2 "Santa Fe" type locomotives.

Roster by Richard Duley

ClassQty.Road NumbersFrom Other RRYear AcquiredYear BuiltBuilderNotes
2601 32601-26031916ALCOTraded to the Central of Georgia in 1926 for ten .Mallets. 2-6-6-2 numbers 790-799.
2601 42604-26071918ALCOTraded to the Central of Georgia in 1926 for ten .Mallets. 2-6-6-2 numbers 790-799.
2901 253001-30251923Lima1,2,3
3100 53100-3104A&V19261919-1922BaldwinAcquired in 1926 with the purchase of the Alabama & Vicksburg Railway. They were A&V numbers 470-474. The IC renumbered them 3100-3104. The IC rebuilt them to 0-10-0s between 1938 and 1941 and renumbered them 3602-3606. Numbers 3602-3606 scrapped between 1949 and 1951.


  1. The IC used the boilers from 56 of the Class 2901 locomotives to build 56 Class 2500 4-8-2s (numbers 2500-2555) between 1937 and 1942. The IC used the cylinders and frames to build 15 Class 3610 2-10-0s (numbers 3610-3624) and to build 41Class 2100 2-8-2s (numbers 2100-2140) during the same years.
  2. The IC's Paducah shops made many improvements to the remaining 69 Class 2901 2-10-2s including mechanical lubricators, lightweight pistons, Boxpox drivers, new furnace bearers and square sand boxes. The boiler pressure was raised to 240 pounds on 48 of them in 1943-1944 and they were renumbered 2700-2747. Number 2997 had its boiler pressure raised to 260 pounds and it was renumbered 2750. Number 2936 was equipped with a trailing truck booster in 1944, which added 16,000 pounds to the tractive effort and it was renumbered 2850. Number 2850 and 19 others were rebuilt with new boilers in 1944-1945 and they were renumbered 2800-2819 (2850 became 2814).
  3. 56 were dismantled in 1937-1942 (see note 2 above). The remaining 69 underwent improvements and were renumbered 2700-2747, 2750 and 2800-2819 (see note 3 above). Numbers 2700-2747 scrapped between1955-1962. Number 2750 scrapped in 1961. Numbers 2800-2819 scrapped between 1957 and 1962.

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 2601 (Locobase 460)

Data from Railway Age Gazette (20 July 1917).

Wagon-top boiler. Built for hump-yard service; as such they were fitted with flangeless main wheels that allowed them to negotiate sharper curves (up to 16 deg). The design emphasized interchangeability of parts with 2-8-2s already in IC service.

Class 2900 (Locobase 461)

Data from IC 4 - 1930 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection. Works numbers were 6132-6181, 6188-6237 in 1921 and 6327-6351 in 1923.

Known as "Centrals" on the IC, instead of the more common "Santa Fe," these 125 freight haulers arrived between 1921 and 1923. The first hundred were built in batches of 50 and delivered in 1921. They had Duplex stokers. The last 25 came in 1923 and had DuPont stokers.

All had 15" (381 mm) piston valves.

Many were rebuilt later into 2-8-2, 2-10-0, 4-8-2 and 0-10-0 designs when later business conditions demanded more speed than they could deliver.

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID460 461
RailroadIllinois Central (IC)Illinois Central (IC)
Number in Class3125
Road Numbers2601-26032900-3024
Number Built3125
Valve GearWalschaertBaker
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft)2222.33
Engine Wheelbase (ft)41.1742.50
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.53 0.53
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft)71.5682.83
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs)61,500
Weight on Drivers (lbs)286,000296,500
Engine Weight (lbs)367,000382,000
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs)208,600
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs)590,600
Tender Water Capacity (gals)900012,000
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons)1519
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd)9599
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in)6363
Boiler Pressure (psi)188.50190
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in)29" x 32"30" x 32"
Tractive Effort (lbs)68,44473,829
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.18 4.02
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft)366437.30
Grate Area (sq ft)80.4088.31
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft)46775165
Superheating Surface (sq ft)11621285
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft)58396450
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume191.18197.29
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation15,15516,779
Same as above plus superheater percentage18,18620,135
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area82,78999,704
Power L113,72614,415
Power MT529.03535.91



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