Streamlined Steam Lost Forever (But Not Forgotten)

There are a number of famous streamlined steam locomotives that, unfortunately did not survive. This document will tell you about a few of them.

Milwaukee Class A 4-4-2

Hiawatha 3 Four modern atlantic type locomotives were purchased in 1935 to power a high speed train named the "Hiawatha" between Chicago and St. Paul/Minneapolis. These were the first steam locomotives to be built streamlined. They were also the first steam locomotives intended to cruise at 100 mph (they could reach 120 mph). Average speeds of these trains were 60 mph with top speeds of about 100 mph. They regularly pulled nine car trains.

The impressive capabilities of these locomotives were mainly due to the large steaming capacity (large firebox) and their large 84 inch drivers.

The four locomotives were numbered simply one through four. Pictured is number three. They were extremely successful. Number 3 was retired in 1949, the other three in 1951. Unfortunately, all were later scrapped.

Milwaukee Class F7 4-6-4

Milwaukee Road F7 Six class Otto Kuhler-styled F7 hudsons numbered 100-105 were delivered to the Milwaukee Road in 1938. The original A's and older consists were released for service on other sections. The F7s were assigned routes between Chicago and Minneapolis. They were scheduled to cover a portion of this route at 81 mph -- the world's fastest regularly scheduled steam-powered train. They often exceeded 100 mph on this route.

All six of these locomotives were scrapped between 1949 and 1951.

NYC Hudson

On February 14, 1927, the New York Central presented the first of their fleet of 275 steam locomotives of the 4-6-4 wheel arrangement which they named the "Hudson" type. The design was influenced by the recent Lima "Superpower" 2-8-4 and NYC Pacifics. All but ten of them were built by ALCO (the others were built by Lima). These Hudsons were designed by NYC's former chief engineer of motive power, Paul W. Kiefer.

The Hudsons were typically used to pull 16-18 car Pullman trains at speeds up to 94 MPH. All had boosters on the rear axle of the trailing truck which added roughly 10,000 lbs. starting TE. Unfortunately, none survived. The last one to be scrapped was Number 5452.

Commodore Vanderbilt

Commodore Vanderbilt In 1934, J1E Hudson 5344 was the world's first streamlined locomotive. The "bathtub" shroud was designed by the Case School of Science at Cleveland, OH. In 1935 it was assigned to the 20th Century Limited between Toledo and Chicago and remained in this service for some time. During July, 1939, this locomotive was re- shrouded to look like the 20th Century J3s. After an October, 1945 grade crossing accident with a sand truck in East Chicago, all the streamlining was removed. Another "claim to fame" of this locomotive is that it was the prototype for the Lionel O-gauge model.

Empire State Express

Empire State Express On December 7, 1941, two of the J3A Hudsons (5426 & 5429) were streamlined with a stainless steel cowling to match the Empire State Express train. This cowling was removed in 1949 & 1950. 5426 was also fitted with a centipede tender. [photo]

20th Century

NYC Hudsons NYC 5450 NYC J3s J3

Ten of the J3 Hudsons (5445-5454) were built streamlined (in 1938). The design was developed by Henry Dreyfuss. Half of these locomotives had boxpok drivers. The other half had Scullin double-disc drivers. These locomotives were used primarily for New York - Chicago service. Shrouding over the main air reservoirs was removed in 1941. All streamlining was removed from these locomotives in 1945. Hudson Digital Art

New York, New Haven & Hartford Class I-5 Hudson

New York, New Haven & Hartford had 10 very successful streamlined, class I-5 4-6-4 Hudsons. They were called Shoreliners on the NYN&HRR and were used to pull the premiere Yankee Clipper and Merchant's Limited between New York and Boston during the period between 1938 and 1950. They pulled these trains even after the DL-109 diesels became NHs standard because the diesels could not keep the four hour schedule. Even after the ALCO PAs came on board, the I-5s were kept in reserve for a couple of years.

Pennsylvania Duplex-Drive Locomotives

Of all the U.S. railroads, the Pennsylvania ("The Standard Railroad of the United States") probably experimented the most with steam locomotive designs. Many of these experiments involved duplex-drive technology.

See the Duplex Drive section for information on these streamlined locomotives.

Southern 1380

Southern 1380 was a rebuild of a 1923 Ps4 Pacific. The streamlining was done by Otto Kuhler. The 1380 pulled The Tennessean from Washington D.C. to Monroe Virginia.

Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis 535

UP Streamliners

UP 2906: Before:* UP Pacific 2910. Similar to 2906 before shrouding. After: UP Pacific 2906 after shrouding. UP Pacific 2906 after shrouding.

Union Pacific's Omaha Shops shrouded two locomotives in 1937. The 7002 locomotive was built to pull heavy passenger trains over the Rocky Mountains, with massive 6-foot wheels driven by 4,000 horsepower. The 2906 was one of 10 P-13 Pacifics built for the UP by Baldwin in 1920. They were shrouded primarily to serve as relief power for the dieselized Cities streamliners between Omaha and Ogden or Denver. Pacific 2906 and Mountain 7002 served between 1939 and 1941 on the Forty-Niner, a heavyweight, all-Pullman streamliner departing five times a month from Chicago to San Francisco, site of the Golden Gate Exposition. The locos bore UP's prewar streamliner colors of Armour Yellow, Leaf Brown, and Scarlet. The 7002 ended its spectacular 32-year career as a rescure engine for stalled locomotives.

*Note: The "before" photo shows sister Pacific 2910.

From Streamlined Steam, Quadrant Press Review.

Other "Lost" Streamlined Steam