Illinois Central 4-6-4 "Hudson" Locomotives of the USA

The Illinois Central rebuilt one of its 2-8-4 "Berkshires" (number 7038) to be a 4-6-4 "Hudson" in its own shops and gave it road number 2499.

When first rebuilt this new "Hudson" had 27 x 30 cylinders, 73.5 drivers, a 270 psi boiler pressure, and a tractive effort of 68,350 pounds. The tractive effort was too great for the weight on the drivers, so this locomotive was very slippery. After extensive tests in 1937, it was decided that the cylinder diameter would be reduced by three inches. After this modification number 2499 was assigned to passenger service.

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 2499 (Locobase 1357)

Perhaps the only freight Hudson built. An unsuccessful rebuild of Berkshire 7038 that generated far too much tractive effort for the weight the engine put on the drivers. In 1945, after several futile efforts to tame the design, the IC trimmed cylinder size by 3" and put the engine into passenger service. It was the road's only 4-6-4. A photograph shows some odd features, including an outside-equalized front truck

The following memoir is reprinted from the November 1997 issue of the "Green Diamond",the Illinois Central Historical Society Magazine as reproduced on . "I'm sure most IC fans have heard or have read about the conversion of 4-6-4 No. 1 from 2-8-4 No. 7038, the result of a search for motive power for the fast merchandise trains that were too much for 4-6-2's as the traffic grew and 2-8-2's were too slow. 4-8-2's were sometimes a waste of power for these fast merchandise trains, and a possible solution was to rebuild 2-8-4's into 4-6-4's.

As we know now, this solution didn't work. I've read reports that said No. 1 was "slippery" and also top heavy and prone to derail. Now we come to why Stagner included the story "McIntyre's Baby" in his book North American Hudsons.

John L. McIntyre was born on a farm in ChampaignCounty, Illinois, on January 1,1871, and entered ICRR service on July 16, 1891, as a fireman. He became an engneer in December 1895 and was promoted to traveling engineer on the Springfield Division on February 8, 1921. He transferred to the St. Louis Division in 1929, returned to the Springfield Division in 1939, retired after fifty years of service and was honored at a banquet on January 3l, -941, in Clinton, Illinois.

In late 1938 or early 1939, No. 1 was working out of Clinton, Illinois, on the Springfield, Division. John McIntyre was road foreman of engines at Clinton, and it became his responsibility to make a success of No. 1 . To correct the slipping, he had the weight equalization on the drivers changed, and some improvement was noted. Also changed during its Clinton stay was a reduction of thc cylinder diameter to 24 inches.

From Cimic to Clinton, No. 1 was ratcd at 4,600 tons while the 2500 series 4-8-2's were rated al 6000 tons. No.1 handled coal trains as well as dispatch trains from Clinton to Markham.

In I945, No. 1 was renumbered to 2499. It was placed in servicE between Louisville and Fulton, Kentucky, handling passenger trains. It was retired in 1949 and scrapped soon afterward, never returning to the Springfield Division.

McIntyre had done all he could to improve No.l, but it became a one of a kind on the ICRR. It did have the distinction of being the only 4-6-4 built expressly for freight service."

Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID1357
RailroadIllinois Central (IC)
Road Numbers2499
Valve GearBaker
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase16.50'
Engine Wheelbase41.70'
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.40
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)82.48'
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)
Weight on Drivers248000 lbs
Engine Weight388000 lbs
Tender Light Weight
Total Engine and Tender Weight
Tender Water Capacity
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated)138 lb/yard
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter73.50"
Boiler Pressure265 psi
Cylinders (dia x stroke)27" x 30"
Tractive Effort67023 lbs
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.70
Heating Ability
Firebox Area414 sq. ft
Grate Area100 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface5164 sq. ft
Superheating Surface2111 sq. ft
Combined Heating Surface7275 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume259.75
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation26500
Same as above plus superheater percentage34185
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area141526
Power L142836
Power MT1142.38



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