Chicago & Alton 2-8-0 "Consolidation" Locomotives of the USA


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class H Odd (Locobase 9099)

Data from C&A 6 - 1918, 12 - 1920 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection.

Who knows for what reason the Alton retained this "odd" Consolidation? It was quite small, more than a decade older than any of the other 2-8-0s, and did indeed have the odd cylinder dimensions of 17" diameter by 26" bore. But there it was in 1924, slide valves and tall skinny stack, high dome over the second coupled axle, no superheat.


Class H1 (Locobase 9055)

Data from C&A 12 - 1920 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection.

The specifications show the locomotives as delivered in their full, saturated-boiler state. A smallish grate saw some compensation in the relatively generous firebox heating surface. Steam admission came through 12" piston valves.

A later diagram (from 1930) shows that 15 tubes were removed (or simply blanked out) and the firebox heating surface was reduced by a small amount and the grate had narrowed by an inch and a quarter. By this time, several had been superheated; see Locobase 9056.


Class H1 - superheated / E46 (Locobase 9056)

Data from C&A 12 - 1920 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection.

Superheated in the usual way by the Alton in the 1920s, the H1 lost 160 tubes, but gained a useful amount of superheat in the flues. The 12"piston valves still served the cylinders and the small grate had not grown dramatically (it had in fact shrunk a bit), but the overall heating surface loss was low and the railroad pressed the boiler to its original pressure.

The result was a relatively light drag freighter with a short boiler that extracted quite a bit of added power from the original design.


Class H2 (Locobase 9097)

Data from C&A 6 - 1918, 12 - 1920 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection. Works numbers ran 20623-20624 in June 1902, 20638-20639, 20658-20659, 20682-20683, 20722, 20743 in July.

These Consolidations stand as good representatives of the upper limit of tube count in a saturated boiler. 442 holes in a tube plate must have represented something of a maintenance nightmare. Otherwise, the designs had the usual features for a turn-of-the-century 2-8-0, although 12" (305 mm) piston valves were not common.

All of these were later superheated; see Locobase 9098.


Class H2a - superheatd/E47a (Locobase 9098)

Data from C&A 6 - 1918, 12 - 1920 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection.

Delivered with a saturated boiler stuffed with boiler tubes (see Locobase 9097), this class later adopted a modestly scaled superheater installation that, even so, nearly offset the the loss in heating surface from sacrificing 191 tubes for 36 flues. Unlike other C & A updates, this design retained its Stephenson valve gear.


Class H3 - superheated/E-48 (Locobase 9093)

Data from C&A 12 - 1920 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection. Works numbers 25966, 25982, 25991-25992, 25995, 26001, 26012-26013, 26042, 26051 (July 1907) and. 28176, 28225, 28249, 28250, 28266-28269, 28275, 28338 (May 1906).

Steam admission came through 12" piston valves.

The medium-sized Consolidations that came to the C & A in 1905-1906 lost very little heating surface area when they were superheated. Thus the superheat added more than the usual power to the basic design. These drag freighters served the Alton, then the Baltimore & Ohio through the end of the 1940s.


Class H3/E-48 (Locobase 9092)

Data from C&A 12 - 1920 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection. See also DeGolyer, Volume 28, p. 22; and Volume 29, p. 24. Works numbers 25966, 25982, 25991-25992, 25995, 26001, 26012-26013, 26042, 26051 in July 1905 and. 28176, 28225, 28249, 28250, 28266-28269, 28275, 28338 in May 1906.

Steam admission came through 12" (305 mm) piston valves in these Consolidations. Smaller than the 1902 H2 class, they had the same power dimensions.

Most engines in this class were superheated; see Locobase 9093.


Class H7 (Locobase 9094)

Data from C&A 12 - 1920 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection.

These were substantial Consolidations with drivers tall enough to serve main-line freight trains. Steam admission came through relatively capacious 14" piston valves. At the time it entered service, the American Engineer & Railroad Journal for July 1909 noted that this design had the highest ratio of boiler to grate "...of any consolidation locomotive on our records."

All of this class were superheated; see Locobase 9095.


Class H7 - superheater/E-49 (Locobase 9095)

Data from C&A 12 - 1920 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection. Works numbers were 45934-45943.

Originally supplied as saturated-steam engines in 1909-1910 (Locobase 9094), this class was superheated in the 1920s. Unusually for such conversions, the exchange of tubes for flues resulted in a net gain in total evaporative heating surface. Possessing such healthy steam production and relatively capacious 14" (356 mm) piston valves, this locomotive proved serviceable in a variety of roles to the end of the steam era.


Class H8 / E-50 (Locobase 9096)

Data from C&A 6 - 1918, 12 - 1920 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection. Works numbers were 47768, 47770-47771 in 1909.

Compared to the Consolidations supplied by the same builder in the previous year (Locobase 9094), these engines had smaller boilers and drivers. That's because they comprised part of the ten-engine order by the Buffalo & Susquehanna in 1910 that was annulled by the B&S's financial collapse. Their B&S numbers were to have been 173, 175, and 176.

Also, they were never superheated. Even so, they were taken into the Baltimore & Ohio's roster when that railroad took over the Alton in 1931.

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
ClassH OddH1H1 - superheated / E46H2H2a - superheatd/E47a
Locobase ID9099 9055 9056 9097 9098
RailroadChicago & Alton (C&A)Chicago & Alton (C&A)Chicago & Alton (C&A)Chicago & Alton (C&A)Chicago & Alton (C&A)
CountryUSAUSAUSAUSAUSA
Whyte2-8-02-8-02-8-02-8-02-8-0
Number in Class11051010
Road Numbers499400-409400-409/2612-15, 2960-65450-459450-459/2957-2966
GaugeStdStdStdStdStd
Number Built11010
BuilderBrooksBrooksC & ABurnham, Williams & CoC&A
Year18901900192219021922
Valve GearStephensonStephensonStephensonStephensonStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase14.42'15.75'15.75'15.60'15.60'
Engine Wheelbase22.58'24.25'24.25'24.33'24.33'
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.64 0.65 0.65 0.64 0.64
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)44.15'54.85'54.06'54.54'54.54'
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)44500 lbs
Weight on Drivers80000 lbs170000 lbs170000 lbs180500 lbs180500 lbs
Engine Weight95000 lbs189000 lbs189000 lbs200000 lbs200000 lbs
Tender Light Weight75000 lbs130680 lbs136800 lbs143000 lbs143000 lbs
Total Engine and Tender Weight170000 lbs319680 lbs325800 lbs343000 lbs343000 lbs
Tender Water Capacity3000 gals6000 gals6000 gals7000 gals7000 gals
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)6 tons15 tons16 tons15 tons15 tons
Minimum weight of rail (calculated)33 lb/yard71 lb/yard71 lb/yard75 lb/yard75 lb/yard
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter48"57"57"57"57"
Boiler Pressure160 psi200 psi200 psi200 psi200 psi
Cylinders (dia x stroke)17" x 26"21" x 32"21" x 32"22" x 28"22" x 28"
Tractive Effort21290 lbs42088 lbs42088 lbs40418 lbs40418 lbs
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.76 4.04 4.04 4.47 4.47
Heating Ability
Firebox Area99.80 sq. ft241 sq. ft238 sq. ft182.20 sq. ft197.80 sq. ft
Grate Area22.75 sq. ft35.30 sq. ft33.60 sq. ft54.30 sq. ft54.30 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface997 sq. ft2848 sq. ft2226 sq. ft3572 sq. ft2866 sq. ft
Superheating Surface489 sq. ft576 sq. ft
Combined Heating Surface997 sq. ft2848 sq. ft2715 sq. ft3572 sq. ft3442 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume145.96222.01173.52289.96232.65
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation3640706067201086010860
Same as above plus superheater percentage3640706079301086012706
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area1596848200561683644046285
Power L12803600311578691413941
Power MT308.98311.40600.59337.79681.10

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
ClassH3 - superheated/E-48H3/E-48H7H7 - superheater/E-49H8 / E-50
Locobase ID9093 9092 9094 9095 9096
RailroadChicago & Alton (C&A)Chicago & Alton (C&A)Chicago & Alton (C&A)Chicago & Alton (C&A)Chicago & Alton (C&A)
CountryUSAUSAUSAUSAUSA
Whyte2-8-02-8-02-8-02-8-02-8-0
Number in Class201010103
Road Numbers410/2967-2986410-419430-439430-439/2987-2986440-442 / 2997-2999
GaugeStdStdStdStdStd
Number Built10103
BuilderC & ABurnham, Williams & CoAlco-BrooksC & AAlco-Brooks
Year19221905190919241910
Valve GearStephensonStephensonBakerBakerWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase15.67'15.67'17.79'17.79'14.33'
Engine Wheelbase24.33'24.33'26.79'26.79'22.08'
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.64 0.64 0.66 0.66 0.65
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)55.42'55.42'58.17'58.17'54.24'
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)49000 lbs53000 lbs
Weight on Drivers184860 lbs184860 lbs203500 lbs203500 lbs172000 lbs
Engine Weight207360 lbs207360 lbs228000 lbs228000 lbs192000 lbs
Tender Light Weight136680 lbs136680 lbs166600 lbs166600 lbs126500 lbs
Total Engine and Tender Weight344040 lbs344040 lbs394600 lbs394600 lbs318500 lbs
Tender Water Capacity6000 gals6000 gals8250 gals8250 gals6000 gals
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)15 tons15 tons16 tons16 tons12 tons
Minimum weight of rail (calculated)77 lb/yard77 lb/yard85 lb/yard85 lb/yard72 lb/yard
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter57"57"62"62"51"
Boiler Pressure200 psi200 psi200 psi200 psi185 psi
Cylinders (dia x stroke)22" x 30"22" x 30"23" x 30"22.5" x 30"21" x 28"
Tractive Effort43305 lbs43305 lbs43515 lbs41643 lbs38073 lbs
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.27 4.27 4.68 4.89 4.52
Heating Ability
Firebox Area237.50 sq. ft214.30 sq. ft197 sq. ft219.70 sq. ft173 sq. ft
Grate Area33.60 sq. ft33.60 sq. ft33.60 sq. ft33.60 sq. ft54.40 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface2672 sq. ft3254 sq. ft3372 sq. ft2883 sq. ft2670 sq. ft
Superheating Surface576 sq. ft582 sq. ft
Combined Heating Surface3248 sq. ft3254 sq. ft3372 sq. ft3465 sq. ft2670 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume202.44246.53233.74208.82237.87
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation672067206720672010064
Same as above plus superheater percentage793067206720786210064
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area5605042860394005141032005
Power L11301862276242138014952
Power MT621.00297.05270.49598.05253.89


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