Illinois Central / Alabama & Vicksburg 2-8-2 "Mikado" Type Locomotives

Introduction

The Illinois Central Railroad had a fleet of 605 "Mikados". This total was only exceeded by the1, 342 that were spread over the eleven major lines of the New York Central System and the 669 on the Baltimore & Ohio's roster.

The Baldwin Locomotive Works built the first of the IC's 2-8-2s in 1911. During 1911 and 1912 Baldwin delivered 100, which were assigned road numbers 1601 through 1700 and in 1912 Baldwin delivered another 50, which were assigned road numbers 1551 through 1600. Baldwin received another order and delivered 50 more of the same design in 1914, which were given road numbers 1501 through 1550. These 200 Baldwin-built locomotives had 63.5" diameter drivers, 27" x 30" cylinders, a 185 psi boiler pressure, they exerted 54,158 pounds of tractive effort and each weighed 283,850 pounds. The firebox was 235 square feet, the evaporative heating surface was 4,070 square feet and with the superheater the combined heating surface was 5,153 square feet. The piston valve had a 15" diameter..

The Lima Locomotive Works received an order to build 97 "Mikados" of the same specifications as the 200 built by Baldwin and delivered them during 1915 and 1916. These locomotives were assigned road numbers 1701 through 1797.

During the First World War the United States Railroad Administration was formed to run the U. S. railroads and it in charge from December 1917 until March 1920. The USRA standardized locomotive designs and carefully administered production and allocated locomotive deliveries to best affect movement of war material and troops. No USRA locomotives were assigned to the IC. However, during 1918 and 1919 the USRA permitted Baldwin to deliver 35 "Mikados" of the Illinois Central design and permitted Lima to deliver 50 more of the same. The Baldwin locomotives were given road numbers 1798 through 1832 and the Lima-built 2-8-2s were assigned road numbers 1833 through 1882.

Theses 182 locomotives had 63.5" diameter drivers, 27" x 30" cylinders, a 185 psi boiler pressure, they exerted 54,158 pounds of tractive effort and each weighed 282,700 pounds. The firebox was 266.6 square feet, the evaporative heating surface was 4,102 square feet and with the superheater the combined heating surface was 5,201 square feet. The piston valve had a 15" diameter.

In 1923, the American Locomotive Company delivered numbers 1183 through 1907. These locomotives had 63.5" diameter drivers, 27" x 30" cylinders, a 185 psi boiler pressure, they exerted 54,158 pounds of tractive effort and each weighed 298,000 pounds. The firebox was 266.6 square feet, the evaporative heating surface was 4,102 square feet and with the superheater the combined heating surface was 4.962 square feet. The piston valve had a 15" diameter.

Another 110 "Mikados" came from Lima, in 1923, which were assigned road numbers 1908 through 2017. This last group of 110 Lima-built "Mikados" had 64" diameter drivers, 27" x 30" cylinders, a 225 psi boiler pressure, they exerted 65,354 pounds of tractive effort and each weighed 298,000 pounds. The firebox was 307.2 square feet, the evaporative heating surface was 4,093 square feet and with the superheater the combined heating surface was 5,192 square feet. The piston valve had a 15" diameter.

This last order completed what would become one of the largest groups of locomotives of the same basic design used by a North American railroad. The 517 Illinois Central road numbers 1501 through 2017 "Mikados" were second only to the 574 Pennsylvania Railroad Class L1 "Mikados"

The Illinois Central Railroad acquired the Alabama & Vicksburg and the Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific Railroads in 1926. With these acquisitions came a total of thirteen 2-8-2s, which were assigned road numbers 3960-3972. Numbers 3960, 3961, 3963-3968 and 3970-3972 were rebuilt into 0-8-0s between 1937 and 1942.

Needing faster locomotive the IC decided to rebuild some of its 2-10-2s into 4-8-2s with larger driving wheels. There were a total of 56 locomotives built in the Paducah shop using the boilers from the 2-10-2s and new frames, cylinders, wheels, and other components between 1937 and 1942. Concurrent with the conversion of the 2-10-2s the shops modified the frames from the 2-10-2s and used the cylinders and driving wheels along with new boilers to construct a total of forty-one 2-8-2s. They were built between 1937 and 1942 and assigned road numbers 2100 through 2140. The cylinders of first 30 of the shop-built "Mikados" were bushed down to a 28" diameter and the other eleven were out shopped with the same 30" diameter cylinders that were on the 2-10-2s. These locomotives incorporated many of the same design improvements that had been added to the fleet of 2-8-2s over the years and were given tenders that carried 13,000 gallons of water and 21 tons of coal. The IC shops built one more "Mikado" in 1937. It was built with the frame, cylinders, and drivers from 2-8-4 number 7038 and the boiler from 4-6-4 number 1549. This locomotive was given road number 2020 and was renumbered 2199 in 1942.

There is one surviving IC 2-8-2 "Mikado" type locomotives. It is number 1518 on display at 1st and Broadway in Paducah, KY.

Roster by Richard Duley

Qty.Road NumbersFrom Other RRYear AcquiredYear BuiltBuilderNotes
501601-16501911Baldwin1
501651-17001911-1912Baldwin1
501551-16001912Baldwin1
501501-15501914Baldwin1
971701-17971915-1916Lima1
351798-18321918-1919Baldwin1
501833-18821918-1919Lima1
251883-19071923ALCO1
1101908-20171923Lima1
333795 . 39341916-1924IC1,2
43960-3963VS&P19261915Baldwin3
13964VS&P19261919Baldwin4
43965-3968VS&P19261920Baldwin5
13969A&V19261919Baldwin6
13970A&V19261922Baldwin7
23971-3972A&V19261924Baldwin8
412100-21401937-1942IC1,9
120201937IC10
Notes:
  1. In late 1936, there were 563 "Mikados" on the IC roster, 42 more were added between 1937 and 1942 making a total of 605. In 1944, there were 458 left on the roster and in 1948, that number was reduced by three. In 1955, the total was 320 and by the end of 1957 there were only 83 left. As late as 1961 the IC still owned 12 of the 2-8-2s. Today, there is only one surviving IC "Mikado", number 1581, now on display in Paducah, KY.
  2. Numbers 3795 . 3924 - The Burnside shops in Chicago, IL rebuilt them from 2-8-0 and they were renumbered between 793 and 993.
  3. Numbers 3960-3962 Ex Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific numbers 360-363 which were added to the roster in 1926 with the acquisition of the VS&P in 1926. Numbers 3960-3961 & 3963 rebuilt into 0-8-0s between 1937 and 1942 and became IC numbers 3489-3491. Number 3962 scrapped by 1950.
  4. Number 3964 Ex Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific number 364 was added to the roster in 1926 with the acquisition of the VS&P in 1926. Number 3964 rebuilt into a 0-8-0 between 1937 and 1942. and became IC number 3492
  5. Numbers 3965-3968 Ex Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific numbers 365-368 which were added to the roster in 1926 with the acquisition of the VS&P in 1926. Numbers 3965-3968 rebuilt into 0-8-0s between 1937 and 1942 and became IC numbers 3493-
  6. Number 3969 Ex Alabama & Vicksburg numbers 460. Added to the roster in 1926 with the acquisition of the VS&P. Number 3969 was scrapped by 1950.
  7. Number 3970 Ex Alabama & Vicksburg number 461. Added to the roster in 1926 with the acquisition of the VS&P. Number 3970 was rebuilt into a 0-8-0 between 1937 and 1942 and became IC number 3497.
  8. Number 3971 & 3972 Ex Alabama & Vicksburg numbers 462 & 463. Added to the roster in 1926 with the acquisition of the VS&P. Numbers 3971 & 3972 were rebuilt into 0-8-0s between 1937 and 1942 and became IC numbers 3498 & 3499.
  9. Numbers 2100-2140 built with new boilers and the frames, cylinders and drivers from the 2-10-2s that were used to build the Class 2500 4-8-2s.
  10. Number 2020 built with the frame, cylinders and drivers from 2-8-4 number 7038 and the boiler from 4-6-4 number 1549. It was renumbered 2199 in 1942 and it was retired in 1955 and scrapped shortly after.

Class Details by Steve Llanso

Class 1501 (Locobase 14231)

Data from Baldwin, DeGolyer, Vol 50, pp. 212-228. Works numbers were 41373-413778, 41399-41412, 41423-41452 in May 1914.

Following on from the large order filled by Baldwin in 1911-1912 (Locobase 1354), this batch was only slightly different. A few decades later in the late 1930s and early 1940s, many of this class were converted to heavy 0-8-2 switchers by removing the leading truck. A few more mated the chassis of one 2-8-2 with the boiler of another and had the rear truck deleted in favor of a fifth driven axle, thus becoming 2-10-0s.

Class 1551 (Locobase 1354)

Data from IC 1913a Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive collection. Works numbers were

1911

May 36577-36581; July 36641-36660, 36714-36716; August 36745-36746, 36757-36761, 36810-36814; October 37030-37039; November 37176-37180, 37254-37258; December 37402-37405.

1912

January 37443-37467, 37482-37490; February 37502-37503, 37507-37508; October 38563-38573; November 38664, 38724-38859.

Design by Edward C. Harriman. These were built by Baldwin and Lima. Baldwin delivered the first 150 in 1911-1912. As delivered, their fireboxes were essentially unadorned and relatively small. All of the Mikes in this long run had 15" piston valves. Some in this large stud of 2-8-2s were later fitted with 60 sq ft of circulators, which increased firebox heating surface to 293.2 sq ft.

So large a class went through many variations. One significant sub-group was a large set of 0-8-2 heavy switchers (created by removing the leading truck). Others made up part of the 3600 class of 2-10-0s, often made up of the chassis of one 2-8-2 and the boiler of another.

Class 1600 (Locobase 7044)

Data from IC 1913a Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive collection. Works number was 38859 in November 1912.

All of the Mikes in this long run of 2-8-2s delivered to the IC had 15" piston valves. This one apparently differed initially in the use of a Gaines combustion chamber. Later modifications would lead to a very different boiler.

Class 1600 - with syphons (Locobase 11187)

Data from IC 4 - 1930 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive collection.

The IC had a lot of Mikados to work with when it began investigating such boiler updates as thermic syphons in the firebox and increased superheater area. For its guinea pig, it seems to have chosen the odd-ball 1600, which was completed in 1912 with a Gaines combustion chamber that shortened tubes by almost 3 feet. In the 1920s, the shops fitted this locomotive with a new boiler that had 64 sq ft of syphons adding to the firebox heating surface.

Class 1701 (Locobase 7045)

Data from IC 4 - 1930 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive collection. See also DeGolyer, Vol 56, pp. 149+.

Lima works numbers were 5005-5014 delivered in 1915, 5162-5208 in 1916.

Baldwin added 48739 in May 1918; 48892, 48952, 49000 in June; 49156-49157, 49236, 49303, 49353, 49403-49404, 49476, 49552, 49641 in August; 49921-49922 in September; 50550, 50736 in November; 50876 in December; 51086, 51120-51121, 51165-51167, 51191 in January 1919; 51258, 51342-51343, 51387-51388 in February; 51517-51518, 51564, 51590 in March.

Lima added to the stud with fifty more, works numbers 5696-5745, in 1919

As noted in Locobase 1354, the run of Mikado production for the IC was long and relatively unvaried. But different builders managed to alter the specs just slightly. All of the Mikes had 15" (381 mm) piston valves.

Note: The Baldwin specifications credit the superheater with 887 sq ft (82.4 sq m) of area, while the IC diagrams consistently show 1,093-1,099 sq ft (102.4 sq m). Reviewing the more than three dozen 2-8-2 entries that show superheater flue counts of 36, outside flue diameters of 5 3/8" and 20-21 feet of tube lengths indicates that most stated areas in the upper 800s, but that the IC's values clustered around the higher number.

The most likely reason was a difference in the way that the IC calculated superheater area (measuring the outside diameter of the element, e.g.). Locobase does not believe the diagrams were showing "equivalent heating surface area." That figure, which multiplied each square foot of superheater area by 1.5 to try to express its greater effect on power, would be 1,331 sq ft (123.65 sq m).

It's possible that the elements in the IC engine were a bit bigger than those in earlier Mikados of the same configuration.

Class 1800 (Locobase 9471)

The data comes from the IC 1955 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive collection.

A Locobase reader should not take the count of engines as gospel - few lists are more confusing than the IC's rebuilds. Take, for example, this group of 21 engines neatly grouped under one set of road numbers. There are Baldwins, Limas, and Schenectadies ranging in birth date from 1914 to 1923.. Many other series of locomotives could have been shown.

Also observe that on the single diagram, three different boilers are shown. All have 60 sq ft of security circulators in addition to the combustion chamber; one version (shown in the specs) has 203 tubes, the other 199. The third variant didn't have a combustion chamber, which meant it retained the 20-ft, 6-in tube length, as well as 256 fire tubes.

Class 1883 (Locobase 7046)

Data from IC 4 - 1930 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive collection. Works numbers ran from 63611 to 63635.

Although following the general lines of the big Mikado program that supplied over 500 2-8-2s to the IC between 1911 and 1923, this small batch of Schenectady engines is shown with more than 200 sq ft less superheater area. Locobase doesn't know why there would be such a difference. The last batches procured later the same year (Locobase 20) reverted to the larger superheat area. This may be an instance of a combustion chamber taking up space in the boiler, but the evaporative heating surface was unchanged. So was the firebox heating surface, which included 31.6 sq ft of arch tubes. All of the Mikes in this long run had 15" piston valves.

Class 1908 (Locobase 20)

Data from the IC 4 -1930 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive collection. See also DeGolyer, Vol 67, pp. 386+ for the Baldwins.

The last 125 of a series that began in 1911 as a design by Edward C. Harriman. These were built by Baldwin, Alco-Schenectady, and Lima. Firebox heating surface included 15.8 sq ft (1.45 sq m) of arch tubes, 64 sq ft (5.95 sq m) of Nicholson thermic syphons. All of the Mikes in this long run had 15" (381 mm) piston valves.

Many of the earlier Mikados were rebuilt using similar boiler pressures and firebox changes. See Wes Barris's entry on IC Mikados at http://www.steamlocomotive.com/mikado/ic.shtml (accessed 20 March 2006).

Class I (Locobase 6082)

Data from the 1926 Alabama & Vicksburg locomotive diagram book supplied in March 2004 by Allen Stanley from his extensive collection. See also DeGolyer, Vol 59, pp. 68+.

Small Mikados for both the A & V and Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific. The A & V locomotives were produced separately: 460 (BLW #51644) in March 1919, 461 (55487) in June 1922. The firebox had a patented Gaines combustion chamber.

Two later 2-8-2s had two more superheater flues and 21 fewer tubes. They also had Nicholson thermic syphons. See Locobase 15199 for that pair.

The VS & P locomotives were more closely spaced. 360-363 (BLW #42739-42742) were turned out in December 1915. 364 (51675) followed in April 1919, while 365-368 (53059-60 in February and 53091, 53119 in April) finished the class in 1920.

For a detailed description of the Young gear, see Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen's Magazine, Volume 63, No 7 (July 1917), pp. 52. The biggest difference in the mechanism from the Walschaert gear was the absence of an eccentric on the driver. Instead, the Young used a rock shaft to communicate the movement of a crank arm on one side to the crank arm on the other side.

In response to a question about its configuration and advantages, the BLF replied in part:

"The principal advantages claimed for the Young valve, valve gear and reverse gear, a combination that usually goes together (although the valve gear can be used with any type of valve, or the reverse gear can be used with any type of valve gear), are an improved distribution of steam, and saving all loss from leakage; more effective valve lubrication, resulting in a reduction in friction, and a more accurate valve adjustment for prolonged periods.

It's clear from other commentaries that a big advantage lay in the increased valve travel: "With this type of gear a longer valve travel can be obtained than with either the Walschaert or the Baker, and, on account of the increased valve travel, a greater port opening is possible, thereby allowing for the reduction in the diameter of the valve. In other words, it is claimed that in early cut-offs a Young valve gear, with 11-inch valves, will supply as great a volume of steam to the cylinders as 10-inch valves are capable of with the Walschaert gear."

Impressive. See Locobase 6591 for a report by "4-12-2" on Union Pacific trials that appeared to substantiate the claims.

The BLF respondent concluded his assessment as follows:

"The gear has many good features to commend it, in that it is possible to obtain longer valve travel, as stated before; that all movement is in direct lines, with the wearing parts consisting of pins and bushings; that the valve can be made much lighter, and, owing to the difference in construction, that is, having the packing rings fit into the valve chamber, instead of into the valve itself, the valve rings can always be maintained a much better fit in this way, keeping them always steam tight, doing away with the possibilities of steam leakage, something very hard to control in this day of superheated steam."

All were taken into the Illinois Central and renumbered 3960-3972.

Class I (Locobase 15199)

Data from Baldwin, DeGolyer, Vol 68, pp. 100+. Works numbers were 58017-58018 in September 1924.

These two Mikados repeated the power dimensions found in the earlier I-class Mikes of the A&V and the VS&P (Locobase 6082). Like those engines, they used Young valve gear to actuate similar-sized 13" (331 mm) piston valves. The boiler was restructured for more superheat with the addition of two more superheater flues and 21 fewer tubes. They also had two Nicholson thermic syphons that added 52 sq ft (4.8 sq m) to the direct heating surface.

At that time the A&V still used 75 lb/yard (37.5 kg/metre) rail.


Specifications by Steve Llanso
Class1501155116001600 - with syphons1701180018831908II
Locobase ID14231 1354 7044 11187 7045 9471 7046 20 6082 15199
RailroadIllinois Central (IC)Illinois Central (IC)Illinois Central (IC)Illinois Central (IC)Illinois Central (IC)Illinois Central (IC)Illinois Central (IC)Illinois Central (IC)Alabama & Vicksburg (IC)Alabama & Vicksburg (IC)
Whyte2-8-22-8-22-8-22-8-22-8-22-8-22-8-22-8-22-8-22-8-2
Road Numbers1501-15501551-1700160016001701-1882 / 1200-13701800-18201883-19071908-2017460-461, 360-368462-463 / 3971-3972 / 3498-3499
GaugeStdStdStdStdStdStdStdStdStdStd
BuilderBaldwinBaldwinBaldwinICseveralseveralAlco-SchenectadyseveralBaldwinBaldwin
Year1914191119121928191519371915192319161924
Valve GearWalschaertWalschaertWalschaertWalschaertWalschaertBakerBakerBakerYoungYoung
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase16.50'16.50'16.50'16.50'16.50'16.50'16.50'16.50'15'15'
Engine Wheelbase35.17'35.17'35.17'35.17'35.17'36.11'35.17'35.17'24'33.50'
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.47 0.47 0.47 0.47 0.47 0.46 0.47 0.47 0.62 0.45
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)65.52'65.60'65.60'65.62'65.62'77.50'65.96'65.09'67.58'68.15'
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)63700 lbs56400 lbs63700 lbs63700 lbs
Weight on Drivers217000 lbs218200 lbs217000 lbs230000 lbs218300 lbs235400 lbs230000 lbs230000 lbs169000 lbs168900 lbs
Engine Weight280000 lbs283850 lbs280000 lbs298000 lbs282700 lbs298000 lbs298000 lbs217500 lbs227000 lbs
Tender Light Weight185000 lbs185000 lbs185000 lbs167500 lbs167500 lbs216500 lbs169900 lbs169900 lbs154000 lbs198000 lbs
Total Engine and Tender Weight465000 lbs468850 lbs465000 lbs465500 lbs450200 lbs467900 lbs467900 lbs371500 lbs425000 lbs
Tender Water Capacity9000 gals9000 gals9000 gals9000 gals9000 gals13000 gals9000 gals9000 gals7500 gals10000 gals
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)15 tons15 tons15 tons15 tons15 tons16 tons15 tons15 tons14 tons16 tons
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) on which locomotive could run90 lb/yard91 lb/yard90 lb/yard96 lb/yard91 lb/yard98 lb/yard96 lb/yard96 lb/yard70 lb/yard70 lb/yard
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter63"63.50"63.50"63.50"63.50"63.50"63.50"64"57"57"
Boiler Pressure175 psi185 psi175 psi185 psi185 psi225 psi185 psi225 psi200 psi200 psi
Cylinders (dia x stroke)27" x 30"27" x 30"27" x 30"27" x 30"27" x 30"28" x 30"27" x 30"27" x 30"22" x 28"22" x 28"
Tractive Effort51638 lbs54158 lbs51231 lbs54158 lbs54158 lbs70838 lbs54158 lbs65354 lbs40418 lbs40418 lbs
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.20 4.03 4.24 4.25 4.03 3.32 4.25 3.52 4.18 4.18
Heating Ability
Firebox Area272.20 sq. ft235 sq. ft254 sq. ft307.20 sq. ft266.60 sq. ft341.40 sq. ft266.60 sq. ft307.20 sq. ft210 sq. ft220 sq. ft
Grate Area70.40 sq. ft70 sq. ft68 sq. ft70.40 sq. ft70.40 sq. ft70.40 sq. ft70.40 sq. ft70.40 sq. ft46 sq. ft56.20 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface4074 sq. ft4070 sq. ft3666 sq. ft4093 sq. ft4102 sq. ft3111 sq. ft4102 sq. ft4093 sq. ft2573 sq. ft2436 sq. ft
Superheating Surface887 sq. ft1083 sq. ft785 sq. ft1099 sq. ft1099 sq. ft969 sq. ft860 sq. ft1099 sq. ft546 sq. ft582 sq. ft
Combined Heating Surface4961 sq. ft5153 sq. ft4451 sq. ft5192 sq. ft5201 sq. ft4080 sq. ft4962 sq. ft5192 sq. ft3119 sq. ft3018 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume204.93204.72184.40205.88206.33145.51206.33205.88208.86197.74
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation1232012950119001302413024158401302415840920011240
Same as above plus superheater percentage14538156701404215759157591964215238191661085613376
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area56209526055245168767596789525157706836354956052360
Power L112402147651118015285150941507912975187361316713532
Power MT503.99596.72454.33586.05609.74564.88497.48718.36687.06706.52

Photos

Reference

Credits

Introduction and roster provided by Richard Duley. Class details and specifications provided by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media.