This small West Virginia road gained an outsized prominence at the other end of the steam era from the year this little Consolidation entered service. Although the 2 was scrapped in 1930, the 18.6-mile road connecting Dundon to Widen in Clay County readily accepted other engines as they were discarded by dieselizing railroads. Thus, when almost all other steam revenue service had ended in the early 1960s, photographers could still image full-size engines in a setting both picturesque and relatively near major population centers.
4 was the only new steam locomotive built for the BC&G. According to Gene Connelly's Baldwin production list, it was originally ordered by the Ferrocarril Mexicano as their 200, but redirected to the BC&G. Its firebox heating surface area included 28 sq ft (2.6 sq m) of four arch tubes. Relatively large 14" (356 mm) piston valves fed the cylinders. Its 70 lb/yard (35 kg/metre) rail ran over 1/2-1% grades and around 16 degree main line curves (30 degrees on Y tracks).
After its long career on this West Virginia coal road, the 4 was sold in 1967 to Francis Ede of Bethlehem, PA, who stenciled the herald of the defunct Quakertown & Eastern and pulled excursion trips on main lines such as the Lehigh Valley, Penn Central, and the Reading. It was in this service that the saturated-boiler 4 acquired her nickname "Ol' Slobber Face" as the condensation of her exhaust dripped down onto her smokebox front.
After five years, Ede sold the engine in February 1972 to Carter Cash Enterprises of Appalachia, Va, who in turn sold it to the Southwest Virginia Scenic Railroad in Hiltons in April 1975. The 4 reached the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer in 1978, where she operated occasionally in tourist service.
A four-year effort to restore the 4 to operational condition was estimated to cost $500,000.
|Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media|
|Railroad||Buffalo Creek & Gauley||Buffalo Creek & Gauley|
|Number in Class||1||1|
|Locomotive Length and Weight|
|Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase||0.65||0.61|
|Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)||48.75'||57.25'|
|Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)|
|Weight on Drivers||122000 lbs||171000 lbs|
|Engine Weight||137000 lbs||194000 lbs|
|Tender Light Weight||80000 lbs||124000 lbs|
|Total Engine and Tender Weight||217000 lbs||318000 lbs|
|Tender Water Capacity||4000 gals||6000 gals|
|Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)||6 tons||10 tons|
|Minimum weight of rail (calculated)||51 lb/yard||71 lb/yard|
|Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort|
|Boiler Pressure||180 psi||190 psi|
|Cylinders (dia x stroke)||20" x 24"||22" x 28"|
|Tractive Effort||29376 lbs||43773 lbs|
|Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort)||4.15||3.91|
|Firebox Area||141 sq. ft||208 sq. ft|
|Grate Area||29.80 sq. ft||49.50 sq. ft|
|Evaporative Heating Surface||1774 sq. ft||2411 sq. ft|
|Combined Heating Surface||1774 sq. ft||2411 sq. ft|
|Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume||203.29||195.71|
|Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)|
|Robert LeMassena's Power Computation||5364||9405|
|Same as above plus superheater percentage||5364||9405|
|Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area||25380||39520|