Because of their size and weight, these new locomotives were restricted to the 488 mile Omaha - Chicago main line. They were some of the largest 4-8-4s ever built weighing in at 498,000 pounds. The tractive effort was 65,200 lbs at a boiler pressure of 250 psi as originally delivered, but later the pressure was raised to 275 psi increasing the tractive effort to 71,800 lbs. The drivers were 76" in diameter and the cylinders were 27" x 32".
In 1940. the entire fleet underwent a rebuild to include lightweight rods, boxpok drivers and roller bearings on all axles. In the late 1940s, 24 of them underwent another rebuild and were given new nickel - steel frames, new cylinders, pilot beams and air reservoirs, new fireboxes and many other minor improvements. These were reclassified as Class H-1.
Unfortunately, there are no surviving Chicago & North Western Northerns.
As built in 1929, these dual-service engines had an outside-cradle frame (also known as a banjo frame) holding the 4-wheel trailing truck. While needed to clear the large ashpan, says Drury (1993), this frame was a weak point.
The first five were delivered with Baker valve gear; the rest had Walschaerts. Other features included 14"-diameter piston valves; a firebox fitted with combustion chamber (116 sq ft/10.8 sq m), thermic syphons (129 sq ft/12 sq m) and firebrick tubes (21 sq ft1.95 sq m). Two of the thermic syphons were placed in the firebox, the third "centrally located' in the combustion chamber. Boiler served by Worthington Type S feedwater heater and Standard Type B (modified) stoker. As built, these engines had a Franklin booster that added 11,300 lb to starting tractive effort. These were huge engines that initially were restricted to the Chicago-Omaha main line.
Drury notes two rebuilds. 1940 introduced roller bearings on the axles, lighter Boxpok drivers, and lighter main and side rods. Locobase 3582 describes the much more extensive reconstruction wrought on 24 locomotives beginning in 1946.
As noted in Locobase 252, the H-class 4-8-4 went through two major rebuilds during their careers. The first, in 1940, is described in 252. In 1946, 3004's refit went substantially farther with a new boiler mated to a new firebox and mounted on a cast nickel-steel frame with integral cylinders, air reservoirs, and pilot beam. Tube and flue diameters both increased, (from 2" and 3 1/2", respectively), but their number decreased and total evaporative heating surface declined by a total of more than 1,300 sq ft.
Essentially, these were new locomotives. Drury comments that the rebuild "...was a much better engine than it had been in 1929, and it had been an excellent engine then." 24 were modernized by C & NW in 1946-1949 before dieselization stopped the program. They left service beginning in 1950, the last departing in 1956.
|Specifications by Steve Llanso|
|Railroad||Chicago & North Western (C&NW)||Chicago & North Western (C&NW)|
|Locomotive Length and Weight|
|Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase||0.42||0.42|
|Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)||91.08'||91.17'|
|Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)|
|Weight on Drivers||288000 lbs||288000 lbs|
|Engine Weight||498000 lbs||498000 lbs|
|Tender Light Weight||320000 lbs||320000 lbs|
|Total Engine and Tender Weight||818000 lbs||818000 lbs|
|Tender Water Capacity||18000 gals||18000 gals|
|Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)||20 tons||20 tons|
|Minimum weight of rail (calculated) on which locomotive could run||120 lb/yard||120 lb/yard|
|Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort|
|Boiler Pressure||250 psi||275 psi|
|Cylinders (dia x stroke)||27" x 32"||27" x 32"|
|Tractive Effort||65226 lbs||71749 lbs|
|Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort)||4.42||4.01|
|Firebox Area||558 sq. ft||518 sq. ft|
|Grate Area||100 sq. ft||100 sq. ft|
|Evaporative Heating Surface||5214 sq. ft||4422 sq. ft|
|Superheating Surface||2357 sq. ft||1870 sq. ft|
|Combined Heating Surface||7571 sq. ft||6292 sq. ft|
|Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume||245.88||208.53|
|Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)|
|Robert LeMassena's Power Computation||25000||27500|
|Same as above plus superheater percentage||32750||35750|
|Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area||182745||185185|