Starting in 1946, the Chesapeake & Ohio took five of its Class F-19 Pacific 4-6-2 locomotives and converted them into Class L-1 Hudsons. This rework was done in its Huntington Shops and was completed in 1947. All but one of the new L-1s were covered with a streamlined stainless steel cowl which was painted yellow and silver. The tenders were cased in fluted stainless steel and tapered at the top so they would blend exactly with the new Budd passenger cars. The "yellowbellies" as they were called by C&O crews were numbered 490 through 494 (number 494 did not have a cowl applied). Only 490 survives today and is on display at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, MD.
In 1948, five more Hudsons were ordered from Baldwin and numbered 310 through 314. These were designated as class L-2-A. As it turned out, these were the last passenger steam locomotives built by Baldwin. They were also the heaviest hudsons ever built.
|Class||Qty||Road Numbers||Year Built||Builder|
As Pacifics, the F-19s were regarded as one of the best designs of that wheel arrangement in service. At the close of World War II, however, the Chessie decided to upgrade their passenger service with a premium express connecting Washington & Cincinnati called the Chessie.
Although characterized as a rebuild, in fact the railroad retained only the firebox from the 20-year-old engines. Karen Parker, "The C & O's Homemade Hudsons", Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Magazine (May 2006) provides a summary of the extensive rework undertaken by the Huntington shops:
*A new, one-piece cast frame with integral cylinders and main air reservoir.
*Roller bearings on all axles and in the main and side rods.
*Multiple-bearing crossheads, replacing the alligator type used on the F-19.
*New drivers that were carefully cross-counter-balanced to enable high-speed operation.
*An entirely new structure inside the boiler, reusing only the outer shell, with 41 tubes of 2.25'' outside diameter (171 fewer) and 195 flues of 3.5'' O.D. (147 more).
*A renewed but otherwise unchanged firebox.
*A Type E superheater, replacing the Type A of the F-19, and providing significantly increased super-heater heating surface (2001 sq. ft., a 65% increase) and 250' of superheat rather than 150' in the Type A.
*Slightly higher boiler pressure (210 psi vs. 200 psi).
*Cylinders of the same size (27'' x 28'') but now equipped with Franklin Type A poppet valves (oscillating cam type).
*A four-wheel trailing truck with a Franklin type E-I high speed booster, capable of operation up to 35 mph.
*A more efficient Worthington feedwater heater taken from an F-17 Pacific, which got the Elesco feedwater heater from the F-19.
*A new, very large cab."
The result was a considerably heavier engine that shone in stainless steel and a bright red-orange sloped nose and upper casing.
Parker comments that the rebuild did not have a combustion chamber and speculates that the boiler's length may have precluded its retention. Moreover, the poppet valves provided a healthy increase in horsepower. She quotes Gene Huddleston's anecdote of the engineer whose L-1 ran so smoothly and effortlessly one day that it was only the dynamic augment of a locomotive that was exceeding its counterbalanciing speed that awoke him to the realization that he was hitting 95 mph with 6 heavyweight cars.
Although the Chessie never actually ran, the L-1s put in good service throughout the C & O's passenger network. Their 74" drivers offered little real hindrance to very fast running because of the roller bearings distributed throughout. In April 1953, the first 2 were retired with the other three being replaced by diesels by mid-1955.
Firebox heating surface included 115 sq ft of syphons (2) and arch tubes. Roller bearings on all axles and, on the 300, roller bearings on the main and side rods. This set had piston valves.
The later L-2a engines (310-314) were the last steam passenger locomotives ordered by a US railroad; they were built by Baldwin in 1948. They were slightly heavier and had Franklin rotary poppet valves actuated by Baker valve gear.
L-1 4-6-4s were rebuilt F-19 4-6-2s; see Locobase 9382.
|Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media|
|Railroad||Chesapeake & Ohio (C & O)||Chesapeake & Ohio (C & O)|
|Locomotive Length and Weight|
|Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase||0.34||0.34|
|Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)||87.77'||91.69'|
|Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)||67900 lbs||72500 lbs|
|Weight on Drivers||202500 lbs||217500 lbs|
|Engine Weight||388700 lbs||439500 lbs|
|Tender Light Weight||355300 lbs||191500 lbs|
|Total Engine and Tender Weight||744000 lbs||631000 lbs|
|Tender Water Capacity||18000 gals||21000 gals|
|Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)||28 tons||30 tons|
|Minimum weight of rail (calculated)||113 lb/yard||121 lb/yard|
|Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort|
|Boiler Pressure||210 psi||255 psi|
|Cylinders (dia x stroke)||27" x 28"||25" x 30"|
|Tractive Effort||49237 lbs||52103 lbs|
|Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort)||4.11||4.17|
|Firebox Area||281 sq. ft||460 sq. ft|
|Grate Area||80.70 sq. ft||90.20 sq. ft|
|Evaporative Heating Surface||4414 sq. ft||4178 sq. ft|
|Superheating Surface||2001 sq. ft||1785 sq. ft|
|Combined Heating Surface||6415 sq. ft||5963 sq. ft|
|Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume||237.89||245.13|
|Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)|
|Robert LeMassena's Power Computation||16947||23001|
|Same as above plus superheater percentage||22201||29901|
|Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area||77303||152490|