Colorado Midland 2-8-0 "Consolidation" Locomotives of the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 201 (Locobase 12470)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Volume 23, p. 199; , American Engineer and Railroading Journal, Volume 76, No 2 (February 1902), p. 49 and William Kaminsky, "Colorado Midland Locomotive Roster,", July 2006. (Big thanks to Keith Lesteburg for his 31 March 2015 email correcting Locobase mistaken assertion that this class operated as compounds until the 1920s.) Works numbers were 18631-18632, 18646-18648 in January 1901.

Acquired in 1901 with the usual fanfare, this class pitted the Vauclain compound system against the demands of "passenger service on grades of 3 and 4 per cent. and curves of 16 degrees in the mountains of Colorado. These conditions required unusual tractive power and involved a large weight on driving wheels. M.. Vauclain, of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, in explaining the reason for the inclination of the cylinders of this engine, said that the officers of the road wanted the cylinders sufficiently high to clear the 'scenery' of the Rocky Mountains, which is 'so unstable that it is likely to be found alongside the railroad tracks'".

They cannot be described as "flyers", but the locomotives hauled four cars --a combination mail and smoker, two chair cars, and a sleeper weighing a combined 150 tons--over the Manitou-Cascade section that featured steep grades and six tunnels in a 3.4 mile (5.5 km) stretch. A"tourist sleeper" joined the train on weekends and some trains of six cars of 230 tons

this set of Vauclain compounds soon proved as unsuitable to the CM's requirements as most other North American railroads found compounds to be. They were rebuilt in 1908 with two simple-expansion 21" x 30" cylinders. The financially strapped CM finally closed in August 1918.

The class was superheated, the effect of which is shown in Locobase 16006.

Locomotive reseller W A Zelnicker bought all five in 1919 and sold them in March 1920 to the Louisiana & Arkansas, taking numbers 429, 425-428.

Class 301 (Locobase 11976)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Vol 31, 69.

Works numbers were 32124-32127, 32151,32152 in November 1907.

After the CM closed in 1919, this class went into storage until 1921, when it was sold to the Central Mexicano as their 1-6. The Nacional de Mexico nationalized the CM and placed the sextet in its G-35 class, giving them road numbers 785-790 and, after 1930, 1434-1439. See Locobase 11977 for the G-35, which used a modified boiler and firebox, possibly as a result of a conversion to oil-firing

Class 49 (Locobase 12226)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Vol 20, p. 229. Works numbers were 15130-15134 in December 1896.

Locobase 7698 shows the Schenectady engines supplied to the Midland Terminal (a subsidiary of the CM) and these appear to be duplicates supplied by Baldwin a couple of years later.

After 25 years, the CM was abandoned in 1919. Two of the engines -- 50 and 53 -- went to the Midland Terminal. The other were sold to the locomotive rebuilder/reseller Birmingham Rail & Locomotive, which induced the Boyne City, Gaylord & Alpena to buy the trio in January 1920. They were renumbered 5-7. (See Locobase 11484 for a discussion of the railroad.)

The direct heating surface is an estimate based on the Schenectady engines.

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID12470 11976 12226
RailroadColorado MidlandColorado MidlandColorado Midland
Number in Class565
Road Numbers201-205301-30649-53
Number Built565
BuilderBurnham, Williams & CoBurnham, Williams & CoBurnham, Williams & Co
Valve GearStephensonStephensonStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase15.75'14.50'14.33'
Engine Wheelbase24.33'23'22.25'
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.65 0.63 0.64
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)
Weight on Drivers160000 lbs175000 lbs133000 lbs
Engine Weight180000 lbs193000 lbs150000 lbs
Tender Light Weight120000 lbs130000 lbs85000 lbs
Total Engine and Tender Weight300000 lbs323000 lbs235000 lbs
Tender Water Capacity6000 gals6500 gals4000 gals
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)12 tons10 tons
Minimum weight of rail (calculated)67 lb/yard73 lb/yard55 lb/yard
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter60"52"52"
Boiler Pressure200 psi200 psi180 psi
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke)17" x 30"22" x 28"21" x 26"
Low Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke)25" x 30" (2)
Tractive Effort33595 lbs44305 lbs33737 lbs
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.76 3.95 3.94
Heating Ability
Firebox Area172.20 sq. ft158 sq. ft162.30 sq. ft
Grate Area35 sq. ft49.50 sq. ft31.70 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface2626 sq. ft3324 sq. ft2125 sq. ft
Superheating Surface
Combined Heating Surface2626 sq. ft3324 sq. ft2125 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume333.20269.82203.88
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation700099005706
Same as above plus superheater percentage700099005706
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area344403160029214
Power L1409257894395
Power MT225.53291.72291.41


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