West Virginia Central & Pittsburgh / Western Maryland / Wisconsin & Michigan 4-6-0 "Ten-wheeler" Locomotives of the USA


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 43/G-6 (Locobase 12489)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University, Volume 23, p. 249 Works numbers were 18810-18811 in March 1901.

Mixed-traffic Ten-wheelers, this pair donned the Western Maryland herald in 1905 and the road numbers 91-92. As class G-6, they served the WM for another two decades.

91 was retired in December 1924 while the 92 was sold to Maryland Pipe Supply Company in December 1927.


Class 527 (Locobase 14977)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Volume 65, p. 340. See also "History of the Wisconsin and Michigan Railway" at http://user.pids.net/vindalu/W&M/prototype2.htm and George Woodman Hilton, The Great Lakes Car Ferries (), 145-152. Works numbers 53537-53538 in August 1920.

The Iron Range Route was the brainchild of John N Faithorn, says the history, as part of a railroad-car ferry transportation system. Beginning at the two ports of Marinette, Wisc and Menominee, Mich, which lay across the Menominee River from each other, the railroad ran 51 miles (82 km) north to the Minneapolis, St Paul & Sault Ste Marie (Soo Line). Its ferry partner was the Lake Michigan Car Ferry Transportation Company, which George Hilton reports had a "brief and inglorious history" during which three of the four barges operating as car ferries sank. The actual embarkation point was located in Peshtigo, Wisc.

Faithorn persisted with construction beyond the Soo junction to Quinnesec, where a two-mile stage line took passengers to Iron Mountain resort. By 1908, the W&M included 135 route miles (217 km), but began to lose money and mileage from that point on. After the railroad entered bankruptcy in 1914, the road was bought by John Marsch, one of its major bondholders.

It was Marsch who bought the two Ten-wheelers shown in this entry. They were tasked to run on 70 lb/yard (35 kg/metre) rail, take on modest 1% grades, and bend around 15 degrees (radii of 383 feet/117 metres). They were fitted with 10" (254 mm) piston valves for steam admission to the cylinders. "All four Baldwins", says the history, including the larger 4-6-0s described in Locobase 14978, "were equipped with distinctive homemade whistles built by an industrious master mechanic." The new equipment failed to stave off the larger trends then at work undermining most smaller railroads.

When the railroad closed in 1938, the 527 was sold to the Rock Island Southern while the 528 went to metals dealer Hyman Michaels.


Class 600 (Locobase 14978)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Volume 71, p. 195. See also "History of the Wisconsin and Michigan Railway" at http://user.pids.net/vindalu/W&M/prototype2.htm and George Woodman Hilton, The Great Lakes Car Ferries (), 145-152. Works numbers were 55722-55723 in October 1922.

A brief history of this northern Michigan common carrier appears in Locobase 14977. This entry concerns the two Ten-wheelers that John Marsch ordered in 1922, apparently to meet demand that the earlier two couldn't match.

The result seems to have been a case of over-reaching, according to the history, which describes the pair as "top heavy". In fact, the 600 derailed on the main line in its first year of operation. The engines were also regarded as "poor steamers", even though they had significantly bigger grates in proportion to their heating surface area.

The design offers a good example of why one should be wary of mere numbers as an indicator of ability. Most of the ratios and percentages are right in line with acceptable practice, yet these engines were failures. Maybe they were simply too heavy for the track.

18 sq ft (1.65 sq m) of arch tubes contributed to the direct heating surface area and steam entered the cylinders through 10" (254 mm) piston valves. Shop-bound most of their W&M careers, the history observes, "The 600's remained as relief engines and were used sparingly, even when tonnage was too high for smaller engines."

When the W&M entered its death throes in 1937, Marsch sold both locomotives in April 1937 to locomotive rebuilder/reseller Birmingham Rail & Locomotive. The BR&L found a North Carolina buyer in 1939 in the Atlantic & East Carolina, which renumbered them 602 and 601. They served the 95-mile (153 km) road until 1952, when both were scrapped.


Class G-7 (Locobase 11466)

Data from "Locomotive Building," The Railroad Gazette, Vol XXXVIII, No 17 (28 April 1905), p 149. See also Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Volume 28, p. 133. Works numbers were 27758-27759, 27769, 27786 in March 1906; 27859 in April.

These must have been near the head of the parade of locomotives that would be fitted with Walschaert (or Walschaert's, but never Walschaerts) outside radial valve gear. Drury (1993) doesn't record this set of five Ten-wheelers that operated on the WM for over 25 years. They were trim-looking mixed-traffic engines with slide valves.

The five were scrapped without any major upgrades beginning with 104 in February 1927 and ending with 103 in September 1935.

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Class43/G-6527600G-7
Locobase ID12,489 14,977 14,978 11,466
RailroadWest Virginia Central & Pittsburgh (WM)Wisconsin & MichiganWisconsin & MichiganWestern Maryland (WM)
CountryUSAUSAUSAUSA
Whyte4-6-04-6-04-6-04-6-0
Number in Class2225
Road Numbers43-44527-528600-601101-105
GaugeStdStdStdStd
Number Built2225
BuilderBurnham, Williams & CoBaldwinBaldwinBurnham, Williams & Co
Year1901192019221906
Valve GearStephensonWalschaertWalschaertWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft)12.3313.5013.5013.50
Engine Wheelbase (ft)22.9224.2524.4224.75
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.54 0.56 0.55 0.55
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft)55.2956.2954.62
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs)
Weight on Drivers (lbs)114,000117,000140,000130,000
Engine Weight (lbs)149,000150,500182,000165,000
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs)100,000124,000142,000
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs)249,000274,500324,000
Tender Water Capacity (gals)5000600070006000
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons)10129
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd)63657872
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in)62625764
Boiler Pressure (psi)190180195200
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in)19" x 26"20" x 26"21" x 28"22" x 26"
Tractive Effort (lbs)24,44925,66535,90733,426
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.66 4.56 3.90 3.89
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft)171.10172186180
Grate Area (sq ft)35.4033.6045.9035
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft)2118269228182596
Superheating Surface (sq ft)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft)2118269228182596
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume248.24284.75251.05226.94
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation6726604889517000
Same as above plus superheater percentage6726604889517000
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area32,50930,96036,27036,000
Power L16842698861866520
Power MT396.95395.02292.24331.71

Reference


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