US Army 2-8-0 "Consolidation" Locomotives of the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class S160 / Liberty (Locobase 433)

Data from US Military Railway Service diagram book supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Raildata collection. See also the listing at, which shows many illustrations of the basic design as it appeared in England and Tomas Galka's Polish Steam Locomotives website (, last accessed 21 December 2011).

Standard Consolidation built by Alco, Baldwin , and Lima for the US Army's Transportation Corps in World War II. Baldwin's works numbers were 64641-64665 in September 1942; 67561-67685

Credited to a committee headed by Major JW Marsh of the US Army and composed of design engineers from all three US locomotive builders, the S160's design was limited only by loading gauge limitations in Britain and Europe.

Compared to the World War I era Alco, this engine had a little higher superheat ratio, 10" piston valves 3 arch tubes in the firebox, Hulson rocking grate, but otherwise was a relatively austere, straightforward design. When used for oil, the tender's capacity was 1,800 gallons. (site owner:Alexandros C. Gregoriou ), last accessed 4 March 2006, says that 2,120 were produced overall, most of the S160 (Standard gauge) subclass, although some S161s went to Jamaica and S162 and S166 went to the Soviet Union. (See also Tomasz Galka, Standard-Gauge Locomotives in Poland,, last accessed 4 March 2006)

The result, says the SPS Limited's account of the type (, was a big success. "Everywhere they went the S160s were well received and proved to be rugged, reliable workhorses, strong and easy to maintain, with the bonus that they were not fussy about how or with what they were fired."

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway museum website ( gives the Great Western Railway drivers' perspective:

"The locomotives must have been a shock to GWR crews as they were quite unlike anything that had ever run on the system before. But while GWR sensibilities may not have led them to be liked, in practice they proved to be extremely powerful, surprisingly economical and entirely suitable for heavy freight traffic. They also enjoyed rapid acceleration and were also often used for troop trains and, occasionally, ordinary passenger traffic."

Technical reasons for the class's satisfactory performance include the generous heating surface to cylinder volume ratio and the relatively high superheat percentage.

But according to John D. Blyth (, the first batches suffered from a design fault that led to a series of boiler explosions that wrecked several locomotives and killed some crew members as well. Blyth adds that they had an intended working lifetime of about 90 days after which they were expected to be damaged one way or another.

As GWR notes: "[T]hey did suffer a high failure rate - they tended to develop hot driving axle boxes while those fitted with thermic siphons tended to suffer leaks and tubeplate cracks. The locomotive steam brake was very poor - particularly when working unfitted trains. In the boilers, a major weakness was excessive corrosion and fatigue of the firebox crown bolts, especially if the boiler water level was allowed to fall too low or there was an accumulation of scale on the firebox crown. As a result, there were five incidents of the crown collapsing while in UK use ..."

Tomasz Galka provides additional insights on these locomotives: "In Poland S160s were considered modern and efficient engines with good steaming capacity, but their shortcomings, resulting from simplified design, were obvious; in general, British wartime Liberation locomotives, designated Tr202, were viewed superior, particularly due to higher manufacturing quality and high-grade materials used. Running qualities left something to be desired and engines were prone to derailing. In PKP service, boiler pressure was reduced to 13 bar and maximum speed was set at 65 km/h."

Data from another website ( gives details of the Alco spec for Peruvian S160s built in 1943. These had 15 sq ft of arch tubes.

S160s went all over the world. 800 alone went to the United Kingdom where 400 were placed in storage in anticipation of the European invasion and the other 400 did very good work in Britain itself. These were distributed mostly to two of the grouped railways: GWR (174) and the LNER (168). The LMS operated 50. The Southern Railway made almost no use of the design, rostering only 6.

The others eventually went to France, where they acquired the nickname of Front Francaise. Some of the S160s originally shipped to North Africa spread throughout the Mediterranean as result of US landings in Italy and France and postwar distributions.

Only 260 of the 2,100 built ran on other than standard gauge -- 200 on the Soviet Union's 5' gauge (1,524 mm) and 60 on the 5'6" gauge.

After World War II, S160 war survivors as well as the hundreds supplied by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) and the Marshall Plan of 1947 ran on railways in several continents. Gregoriou and Tomasz Galka are the sources for the following:

Algeria (10 140U),

Austria (30 956.0 class),


China ( KD6 461-KD6 500),

Czechoslovakia (80 as the 456.1 class - 456.101-180 - "UNRRAs"),

France (121 140U),

Greece (27 THg - THg 521-537, 551-560 and 25 ex-FS 736 from Italy),

Hungary (510 411 class of which 26 supplied spare parts and the others received road numbers 411.001-484),

Italy (243 FS 736.001-243),

Jamaica (S161 as Class 60)

Korea (SORI-2),

Mexico (10 GR-28 delivered directly from Baldwin in 1946),

Morocco (5 or 6 140B),

the Netherlands,

Peru (2 Class 80 delivered directly from Baldwin in 1943),

Poland (575 - 75 Tr201from UNRRA and 500 Tr203 shipped directly from the US Army TC),

Soviet Union (90 ShA from Baldwin, 110 from Alco - 7 were lost or retained in the US)

Tunisia (6 140-250), and

Turkey (50 TCDD 45.171-231),

Yugoslavia (65 Class 37)

Some of these saw steam out in several countries in the 1970s and 1980s.

Class unknown (Locobase 431)

Data from Bruce (1952) and ACL 2-8-0 Locomotive Diagram supplied by Allen Stanley in May 2005. See also DeGolyer, Vol 57, pp. 191+ and Locobases 13381, 13383-13389 for the individual French railroad entries describing their careers.

Works numbers were:


August 46096-46105, 46125-46127, 46138-46149, 46162, 46182-46193, 46202-46207, 46223-46244

September 46285-46312, 46315-46337, 46361-46362, 46364-46395, 46457-46471

October 46567-46576, 46594, 46663-46671, 46721-46727, 46739-46746

November 46853-46861, 46919-46930, 47021-47033, 47109-47111

December 47187-47206, 47269-47280, 47372-47384, 47425-47431, 47476-47185


January 47546-47570, 47587-47602, 47653-47669, 47727-47728

February 47763-47767, 47835-47844, 47877-47890, 47940-47945

March 48000-48004, 48036-48050, 48109-48123, 48185-48189

April 48230-48243, 48313-48343, 48415-48418, 48421-48465

May 48511-48520, 48541-48566, 48644-48667, 48700-48724, 48748-48772

June 48865-48885, 48918-48937, 48965-48989, 49046-49070

July 49132-49149, 49246-49265, 49268-49287, 49367-49379, 49413-49422

August 49489-49495, 49547-49551, 49620-49634, 49668-49677

September 49693-49717, 49736, 49795-49824, 49838-49847, 49861-49920, 49981-49999, 50001-50050

October 50067-50127, 50136-50200, 50210-50308, 50332-50343, 50376-50430

November 50432-50444, 50483-50546. 50555-50575, 50601-50614, 50637-50667, 50695-50728

December 50742-50762, 50769-50776, 50817-50819, 50864-50873, 50890-50935, 50952-50985


January 51012-51027, 51050-51074, 51092-51107, 51133-51141, 51186-51190

February 51204-51223, 51236-51251, 51280-51298, 51319-51338, 51349-51368, 51408-51427

March 51453-51472, 51492-51506, 51539-51548

Standard Consolidation built for the US Army's Transportation Corps just before World War I. Not as powerful as many similar locomotives on private roads and fitted with piston valves that measured 10" (254 mm ) in diameter. . Most operated in France and many remained in that country after World War One.

Wikipedia in French helpfully offers a list of how these locomotives were distributed during and after the war, identifying subgroups as "Pershing" (delivered during the war), "Felton" (ordered or delivered after the Armistice of 11 November 1918), and "Slade" (ordered on 10 January 1919) to flesh out the depleted stocks of the major railroads

296 Pershing, 119 Felton and 40 Slade (410 Pershing, 45 Alco) to la Compagnie des chemins de fer de l'+tat--the Pershings were numbered 140.1101 to 140.1510. Note: 45 of these were Brooks-built engines with more cylinder volume; see Locobase 432

106 Pershing, 32 Felton et 15 Slade (153 Pershing) to la Compagnie des chemins de fer du Midi , where they took numbers 4201-4353

132 Pershing, 80 Felton et 30 Slade (242 Pershing) to la Compagnie des chemins de fer du Nord, which numbered them 4.1301-4.1542

388 Pershing, 127 Felton et 63 Slade (549 Pershing, 29 Alco) to la Compagnie du chemin de fer Paris-Lyon-MTditerranTe. The Pershings took 501 a 969. See Locobase 15481 for the Alcos.

156 Pershing, 62 Felton et 27 Slade (169 Pershing, 76 Alco) to la Compagnie du chemin de fer de Paris a OrlTans, the Pershings taking 7101 a 7349.

And 7001 a 7076 pour les ALCo

61 Pershing et 22 Slade (83 Pershing) to le RTseau ferroviaire d'Alsace-Lorraine o· elles furent immatriculTes : G14 n' 5701-5761, G14 n' 5801-5822

160 Pershing et 50 Felton (210 Pershing) to la Compagnie des chemins de fer de l'Est and placed in class sTrie 12s n' 40.101 a 40.310.

Upon the formation of the SNCF in 1937, they were grouped under the class 140C (later 140G). According to "Des Surnoms Pour La Vapeur," Rail Magazine, No 7 (November 1977), p.13, this design attracted several nicknames including Americaines, TP, Pershing, and Boiled-Beef. TP stood for Travaux Publics (Public Works).

After the war, a few others moved onto private railroads such as the Atlantic Coast Line (L-4).

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
ClassS160 / Libertyunknown
Locobase ID433 431
RailroadUS ArmyUS Army
Number in Class21001570
Road Numbers652
Number Built21001570
Valve GearWalschaertWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase15.50'15.50'
Engine Wheelbase23.25'23.67'
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.67 0.65
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)51.67'57.41'
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)35280 lbs
Weight on Drivers140000 lbs150000 lbs
Engine Weight161000 lbs166400 lbs
Tender Light Weight115000 lbs109000 lbs
Total Engine and Tender Weight276000 lbs275400 lbs
Tender Water Capacity6500 gals5400 gals
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)9 tons tons
Minimum weight of rail (calculated)58 lb/yard63 lb/yard
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter57"56"
Boiler Pressure225 psi190 psi
Cylinders (dia x stroke)19" x 26"21" x 28"
Tractive Effort31493 lbs35611 lbs
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.45 4.21
Heating Ability
Firebox Area128 sq. ft181 sq. ft
Grate Area41 sq. ft32.70 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface1765 sq. ft1862 sq. ft
Superheating Surface471 sq. ft420 sq. ft
Combined Heating Surface2236 sq. ft2282 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume206.87165.88
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation92256213
Same as above plus superheater percentage111627331
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area3484840580
Power L11664510343
Power MT1048.45608.06


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