Bessemer & Lake Erie 2-8-0 "Consolidation" Locomotives of the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class C-3B (Locobase 9031)

Data from Baldwin specs in DeGolyer, Volume 32, p. 106. . (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 4 April 2015 questioning and documenting some differences between the Pittsburgh engines shown in Locobase 3947 and the Baldwins that appear here; both entries were substantially revised as a result.) Works numbers were 33370-33371 in March 1909.

The two Pittsburgh-built Consolidations had oddly proportioned dimensions and areas compared to 2-8-0s when they were delivered in 1900 (Locobase 3947). But how much more out of kilter with conventional practice was this repeat order of an additional pair from Eddystone in December 1908? The specifications included few changes and none that materially redressed the imbalance between the high cylinder volume and heating surface area with the very small grate.

They were still needed on the Conneault grade, apparently, because both locomotives ran into the 1950s. 155 was scrapped in 1951, but 154 was stored instead. The Illinois Railroad Museum cosmetically restored the 154 in 1989 and exchanged it with the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI (which didn't have a 2-8-0) for a 4-4-0 (which the IRM did not have).

Class C-3D (Locobase 13791)

Data from B&LE 1 - 1944 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection. See also DeGolyer, Volume 38, p. 171. Works numbers were 36560-36561 in November 1911.

As noted in their records, the earlier entrants in the C-3 class of Consolidations (Locobases 3947 and 9031) used surprisingly small grates, a feature that undoubtedly led to their static configuration.

Two years after Baldwin delivered a brace of C-3Bs (Locobase 9031), they produced two more with much larger grates that brought the ratio between evaporative heating surface area and grate area back in line with usual practice. The firebox was shorter, but considerably wider (from 40" to 70 1/4"); its shorter depth measurement reflect the need to place the firebox above the drivers. Another change was the substitution of Baker-Pilliod outside radial valve gear for the Stephenson link motion used in the earlier engines. The main driving axle was made of vanadium steel.

This pair was superheated later on; see Locobase 9032.

Class C-3D - superheated (Locobase 9032)

Data from B&LE 1 - 1944 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection.

The C-3Ds delivered in 1911 (Locobase 13791) and in the process received 9" (177 mm) piston valves with 6 1/4" (159 mm) travel in a universal steam chest. The B&LE aggressively modified the boiler by taking out 195 tubes in order to accommodate 40 flues full of superheater tubes. They also added 31 sq ft (2.88 sq m) of arch tubes to the relatively small firebox heating surface area.

So equipped, the pair continued in service until the end of steam. They were scrapped in 1953 (157) and 1954 (156).

Class C-4A (Locobase 3294)

Data from Railway Age, 13 May 1921, corrected and supplemented by DeGolyer, Volume 48, pp.93+ and B&LE 1 - 1944 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection. Works numbers were 40459-40460 in August 1913.

The last two Bessemer & Lake Erie Consolidations, these were of a piece with the other low-speed, low-drivered ore & coal haulers of this line. Although possessing a relatively small boiler, they were delivered with superheaters and had large piston valves (14"356 mm diameter with 6 1/4"/159 mm travel) to ensure that the cylinders would be well served.

When delivered, this pair did not have a brick arch or arch tubes; firebox heating surface area amounted to 207 sq ft (19.23 sq m). They were among the first to be fitted with a mechanical stoker. In this case, a Crawford double under feed stoker was the only such in use; the others--Hanna, Street, Strouse, Standard--were overfeed & scatter designs. A later installation of 25 sq ft (2.32 sq m) of arch tubes increased the area to the value shown in the Locobase specs.

The specs also mention a Booth and Cooke [sic] patent front end that included Booth's patent nozzle and pipe. Drawings accompanying James Booth's US Patent 794214 reveal that the nozzle could be bolted to any exhaust box and consisted of an annular housing within which a conoidal tip faced downward. This decreased the exhaust nozzle's cross-section as the exhaust moved toward the blast pipe, presumably sharpening the draft. Booth claimed "a saving of fuel and in a reduction of the back pressure of the exhaust."

They were retired in 1951 and 1954.

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
ClassC-3BC-3DC-3D - superheatedC-4A
Locobase ID9031 13,791 9032 3294
RailroadBessemer & Lake ErieBessemer & Lake ErieBessemer & Lake ErieBessemer & Lake Erie
Number in Class2222
Road Numbers154-155156-157156-157158-159
Number Built222
BuilderBurnham, Williams & CoBaldwinB&LEBaldwin
Valve GearStephensonBakerBakerBaker
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft)15.5815.5815.5815.58
Engine Wheelbase (ft)24.3324.3324.3324.33
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.64 0.64 0.64 0.64
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft)57.9861.3361.33
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs)63,50067,200
Weight on Drivers (lbs)231,000231,000230,500248,140
Engine Weight (lbs)256,000256,000261,000268,140
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs)160,000158,500158,500151,966
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs)416,000414,500419,500420,106
Tender Water Capacity (gals)8000785078507850
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons)14151515
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd)969696103
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in)54545454
Boiler Pressure (psi)220220220190
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in)24" x 32"24" x 32"24" x 32"26" x 30"
Tractive Effort (lbs)63,82963,82963,82960,652
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.62 3.62 3.61 4.09
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft)236200231233
Grate Area (sq ft)36.8058.6058.7058.60
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft)3801373025632769
Superheating Surface (sq ft)680634
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft)3801373032433403
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume226.86222.62152.97150.20
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation809612,89212,91411,134
Same as above plus superheater percentage809612,89215,62613,249
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area51,92044,00061,49252,681
Power L15886559011,6268942
Power MT224.70213.40444.79317.78



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