Chicago, Hammond & Western 4-6-0 "Ten-Wheeler" Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 109/F-53 (Locobase 9942)

Data from "Shields' Ten-Wheeler", Locomotive Engineering, Vol X, No 8 (August 1897), p. 610. See also "Grasse River Railroad", Rail City Museum USA website at [], last accessed 6 July 2017; and Matthew LaRoche, "Old locomotives sit abandoned in the middle of Maine", Bangor Daily News 26 February 2014, archived at [], last accessed 6 July 2017. Works numbers were 4552-4553

Based on the specifications submitted by Master Mechanic Alexander Shields, this locomotive was designed precisely to handle the transfer traffic that was this railroads's core business. According to the editor," is essential that the engines have great tractive power, combined with as short a wheel-base as possible, on account of the heavy trains to be hauled and the numerous curves that have to be traversed."

The CH & W had been bought soon after it was chartered by the Chicago Junction in 1898; the CJ had also leased the East Chicago Belt and the Terminal Railroad. After the ECB's lease expired in 1907, the CJ reorganized as the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad. The two locomotives were renumbered in 1911 as 115-116 and in 1914 as 15-16.

In 1914, the IHB sold the 115 to Potato Creek Railroad in Norwich, Penna as their #8; it went to the Grasse River logging and passenger railroad in the Adirondacks in 1921 as #63. One source says the PC sold the 63 in 1926 to the Umbazooksus & Eagle Lake, a logging road in Maine's Allagash Forest renumbered it 1. The Umbazooksus & Eagle Lake is usually known as the Eagle Lake & West Branch, but who can resist trying to say "Um-ba-zook-sus" to himself?

Although Matthew LaRoche's article does not give road numbers, Kevin Brown's photograph shows at least one of the two locomotives as having the same profile as the 1. (Brown's 360 view of the engines was available at [], last accessed 6 July 2017.)

Moreover, LaRoche's history of the EL&WB says that "Edouard "King" Lacroix, a lumber baron who had huge operations at Churchill Depot and Clayton Lake, was up to the challenge" of connecting the Great Northern Paper Co. mills in Millinocket and East Millinocket with the huge stands of timber. "La Croix", he adds, "went to New York City and bought two used steam locomotives. He had them delivered to Lac Frontiere, Quebec, over existing rail lines." LaCroix's 13-mile (20.9 km) Eagle Lake & West Branch opened on 1 June 1927.

During its short lifetime, the EL&WB carried "about 6,500 cords of pulpwood per week"to the mills, " LaRoche writes, "enabling Great Northern Paper to manufacture approximately 20 percent of the United States annual paper production." After about 1 million cords had been shipped, however, the Great Depression shut down paper demand in general and the EL&WB in particular. The two locomotives were parked at the tramway at the north end of Chamberlain Lake and abandoned.

LaRoche, then superintendent of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, brought the story to the present. The locomotives stood essentially untouched for more than 60 years, one of the engines gradually listing to one side, until 1996, when Maine's Bureau of Parks and Lands and volunteers from the Allagash Alliance worked for three years to provide more stable footing for the engine.

Locobase suspects this may be one of the most remote points of interest relating to steam railroading in particular and industrial technology in general. LaRoche notes "The trains [sic] are most easily reached during the winter, by snowmobile from Chamberlain Bridge." Most easily by snowmobile sums up the remoteness. "However," LaCroix adds, "many snowmobilers make an all-day expedition to the trains from the Greenville, Millinocket, and Patten areas."

Superintendent LaCroix later reported on 16 June 2017 in the Fiddlehead Focus ([]) that the no-questions-asked return of parts illegally removed from the locomotives several years before had beens successfully arranged. Once he had them back, the fun began. According to LaCroix:

"Chief Ranger Kevin Brown took the broken light platform and door out to Ashland for welding and recruited Joe Powers to help with the project. Joe provided the expertise in working with metals. He welded the broken light stand, bent the hinges to fit, removed the non-original stack, and welded the original smoke stack back in place.

This all sounds pretty easy, but believe me - it wasn't. These parts weighed in excess of 750 pounds; they had to be brought to the site by snowmobile, manually lifted into place and welded on-site. We had to bring a very heavy portable welder on the 15-mile snowmobile trip down the lake with torches, pry bars and a bunch of other tools."

116 was renumbered 1483.

NB: Tube length is an estimate based on the calculation of tube surface area by subtracting reported firebox heating surface from reported total evaporative heating surface.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID9942
RailroadChicago, Hammond & Western
Number in Class1
Road Numbers109-110/115-116/15-16/1483
Number Built1
Valve GearStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)14.83 / 4.52
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)25.92 / 7.90
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.57
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)52.79 / 16.09
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)109,000 / 49,442
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)142,000 / 64,410
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)61 / 30.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)57 / 1448
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)200 / 13.80
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)20" x 26" / 508x660
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)31,018 / 14069.54
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.51
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)320 - 2" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)13
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)153.30 / 14.25
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)26.80 / 2.49
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2318 / 215.43
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2318 / 215.43
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume245.29
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation5360
Same as above plus superheater percentage5360
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area30,660
Power L16202
Power MT376.32

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