Maine Central 2-8-0 "Consolidation" Locomotives of the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class W (Locobase 7053)

Data from MEC 2 -1923 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection. Works numbers were 47732-47736 and 49207-49210.

Four arch tubes contributed 23.8 sq ft (2.21 sq m) to the firebox heating surface. Inside-admission 12" (305 mm) piston valves supplied steam to the cylinders. A distinguishing difference between this nonet and the later W-1/W-2 engines (Locobase 7054) was the absence of external steam pipes entering the valves.

503-508 were retired before World War II. 505 was scrapped in August 1927, 503-504 went ten years later in September 1937 and 506-508 followed in October.

502 was retired in October 1946. 501 and 509 were both fitted with superheaters and remained in service. 509 finally retired in June 1953. 501 carried on even longer until retired in June 1958. It was later leased to Steamtown.

Class W-1/W-2 (Locobase 7054)

Data from MEC 2 -1923 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 26 October 2016 supplying a builder's card containing the data for this class.) Works numbers were 50933-50937 in April 1912, 50938-50939 in May, 52989-52996 in February 1913, 54564-54567 in March 1914.

Arch tubes contributed 23.8 sq ft (2.11 sq m) to the firebox heating surface. This class differed from the earlier W (Locobase 7053) in having a superheater and slightly larger cylinders pressed to a slightly less intense degree. They had prominent steam pipes that entered the 12" (305 mm) piston valves from the top; the earlier Ws did not show these pipes. Tractive effort remained about the same.

The high slender boiler and big cab gave a rangy look to these fast freighters (for Consolidations). The last four W-2s were essentially duplicates of the W-1s.

Three of the class were scrapped before the US entered World War II. 517 was broken up in July 1936, class leader 510 went in April 1940, and 511 followed in November of the same year. The other sixteen carried on until the late 1940s with 518 going to the ferro-knacker in November 1949. Except for 519, which served as a stationary boiler at the Waterville shops, the others were all scrapped between 1950 and 1954.

F. Nelson Blount's Monadnock Steamtown and Northern Amusement, Inc, the MS&N, which was registered on 1 January 1961, bought the 519 in September 1963. After Blount's death, the Steamtown collection was transferred to Pennsylvania under the aegis of the National Park Service.

Richard Glueck reported on 7 September 2016 to the Railway Preservation News forum--, last accessed 30 November 2016, that he "saw 519 at Scranton, a few months ago, squirreled away behind dead cars and looking like a good candidate for at least cosmetic refurbishment."

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID7053 7054
RailroadMaine Central (MEC)Maine Central (MEC)
Number in Class919
Road Numbers501-509510-528
Number Built919
Valve GearWalschaertWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft)1717
Engine Wheelbase (ft)25.5025.50
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.67 0.67
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft)61.5857.50
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs)
Weight on Drivers (lbs)167,500172,500
Engine Weight (lbs)192,000198,000
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs)156,000136,100
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs)348,000334,100
Tender Water Capacity (gals)70007000
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons)1211
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd)7072
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in)6363
Boiler Pressure (psi)200185
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in)22" x 28"23" x 28"
Tractive Effort (lbs)36,56936,971
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.58 4.67
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft)186186.80
Grate Area (sq ft)50.2056.50
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft)29282292
Superheating Surface (sq ft)443
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft)29282735
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume237.68170.23
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation10,04010,453
Same as above plus superheater percentage10,04012,125
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area37,20040,087
Power L1657710,406
Power MT346.26531.97