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 Wheelbase (ft)14.4215.7515.7515.6015.60
Engine Wheelbase (ft)22.5824.2524.2524.3324.33
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.64 0.65 0.65 0.64 0.64
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft)44.1554.8554.0654.5454.54
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs)44,500
Weight on Drivers (lbs)80,000170,000170,000180,500180,500
Engine Weight (lbs)95,000189,000189,000200,000200,000
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs)75,000130,680136,800143,000143,000
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs)170,000319,680325,800343,000343,000
Tender Water Capacity (gals)30006000600070007000
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons)615161515
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd)3371717575
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in)4857575757
Boiler Pressure (psi)160200200200200
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in)17" x 26"21" x 32"21" x 32"22" x 28"22" x 28"
Tractive Effort (lbs)21,29042,08842,08840,41840,418
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.76 4.04 4.04 4.47 4.47
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft)99.80241238182.20197.80
Grate Area (sq ft)22.7535.3033.6054.3054.30
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft)9972848222635722866
Superheating Surface (sq ft)489576
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft)9972848271535723442
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume145.96222.01173.52289.96232.65
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation36407060672010,86010,860
Same as above plus superheater percentage36407060793010,86012,706
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area15,96848,20056,16836,44046,285
Power L12803600311,578691413,941
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 Wheelbase (ft)15.6715.6717.7917.7914.33
Engine Wheelbase (ft)24.3324.3326.7926.7922.08
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.64 0.64 0.66 0.66 0.65
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft)55.4255.4258.1758.1754.24
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs)49,00053,000
Weight on Drivers (lbs)184,860184,860203,500203,500172,000
Engine Weight (lbs)207,360207,360228,000228,000192,000
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs)136,680136,680166,600166,600126,500
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs)344,040344,040394,600394,600318,500
Tender Water Capacity (gals)60006000825082506000
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons)1515161612
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd)7777858572
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in)5757626251
Boiler Pressure (psi)200200200200185
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in)22" x 30"22" x 30"23" x 30"22.5" x 30"21" x 28"
Tractive Effort (lbs)43,30543,30543,51541,64338,073
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.27 4.27 4.68 4.89 4.52
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft)237.50214.30197219.70173
Grate Area (sq ft)33.6033.6033.6033.6054.40
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft)26723254337228832670
Superheating Surface (sq ft)576582
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft)32483254337234652670
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume202.44246.53233.74208.82237.87
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation672067206720672010,064
Same as above plus superheater percentage793067206720786210,064
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area56,05042,86039,40051,41032,005
Power L113,0186227624213,8014952
Power MT621.00297.05270.49598.05253.89


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