Surviving Streamlined Steam
In December of 1934 New York Central class J1E
Hudson 5344 was shrouded and became the first streamlined steam
locomotive in North America. In 1935 the Milwaukee Road's 4-4-2
Hiawathas because the first steam locomotives that were built as
such. Many more colorful and uniquely designed streamlined steam locomotives
were built in the following 15 years.
As it turned out, streamlining had little effect on the aerodynamics of the
locomotive except at the highest speeds. The real purpose was really to
improve the locomotive's appearance. Additionally, streamlining created a
problem -- any part of the locomotive that was covered with sheet metal for the
sake of appearance was inaccessible for maintenance. Often, streamlined
locomotives would leave the shop a little less streamlined than when it
arrived. Also, a number streamlined locomotives lost their shrouds in wartime
In 1947 the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway's class K-2D number 535
sporting black, gray, and cobalt blue, built to haul the six car heavyweight
City of Memphis between Memphis and Nashville, became the last
streamliner intended to be steam powered. In 1950 the last streamlined
steamers were constructed at the Norfolk & Western Roanoke Shops. The saga of
streamlined steam ended on June 5, 1960 when Canadian Pacific Railway's 21 year
old Royal Hudson, 2857, returned to Toronto from an excursion to Port McNicoll,
Ontario. The following document will describe all of the surviving streamlined
steam power. See my document titled Lost Forever
(But Not Forgotten) for more streamlined steam.
Canadian National Railway Class U-4-a Confederation
In 1936 the Montreal Locomotive Works built 6400-6404 for the Canadian National
Railway. The CNR did extensive research using wind tunnel tests to keep smoke
from swirling around the locomotive cab in their streamlined 4-8-4 design,
however, they were fitted with non-streamlined vanderbilt tenders. CNR gave
the name Confederation to this 4-8-4 wheel arrangement. The Grand
Trunk Western used the same design for their class U-4-b 6405-6410. CNR 6400
was displayed at the New York World's Fair
of 1939. It is now on display at the National Museum of Science & Industry
in Ottawa, Ontario. It is pictured second from left in photo.
Canadian Pacific Railway Jubilee
The CPR had two classes of Jubilees (4-4-4). The first group, class F2a
(3000-3004), had their main rods connected to the leading pair of drivers and
were CPR's first streamlined steamers. The second group, class F1a
(2910-2929), had their main rods connected to the trailing set of drivers.
Two Jubilees from the second group survive today. 2928 is at the Canadian
Railway Museum in Delson, Quebec, 2929 is at Steamtown in Scranton,
Pennsylvania. In November 1998 I heard that the Lehigh Valley Scenic
Railroad is going to try to purchase 2829 from Steamtown to run double
headers with CPR 2839.
Canadian Pacific Railway Royal Hudsons
In 1937 30 streamlined Hudsons were built for the Canadian Pacific Railway.
10 more were built in 1938. The streamlining design of these locomotives was
patterned after that of the Jubilee's. Four of these locomotives survive
today with one more from an earlier non-streamlined class.
Class H1b 2816 @ Steamtown Nat Hist Site, Scranton, PA
The class H1b Hudsons were not streamlined. In July 1998 Canadian
Pacific Railway announced publicly that is has acquired and is
repatrioting for corporate heritage purposes ex-CPR H1b 4-6-4 #2816
from Steamtown, Scranton, Pa. Movement was scheduled for Sept 10,
1998 and was under the direction of BC Rail's Steam Shop Supervisor Al
Broadfoot. (BC Rail once operated ex-CPR H1e Royal Hudson #2860 in tourist
excursion service.) CPR moved 2816 to BCR's North Vancouver, British
Columbia steam shop for either cosmetic or operating restoration.
2816 was found to be in basically sound condition and economically
"restorable". More discussion about this move can be found on the Bulletin Board Systems or on this page.
Class H1c 2839 @ Allentown, PA
2839 has an abundant history. After serving on some of the last commuter
trains in Montreal in 1960, it was put on display at the Ontario Science
Center in Toronto. In 1969 it was sold to private owners and moved to
Pennsylvania. Southern Railway briefly operated it in 1979-80 (see photo).
In 1980 it was stored at the Wilmington & Western in Greenbank, Delaware. It
saw operation once on the Blue Mountain & Reading in 1984. Leased by the
Lehigh Valley Scenic Railroad, it has been moved to Allentown, PA for
restoration. They plan to run weekend excusions from Bethlehem to Steamtown
with a stop in Jim Thorpe. They are also going to try to purchase the CP
Jubilee (4-4-4) from Steamtown to run double headers.
Class H1d 2850 @ Canadian RY Museum, Delson, QC
In 1939 2850 piloted Their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth
3224 miles from Montreal to Vancouver without mechanical incident.
Embossed crowns were later added to the skirts of all streamlined
Hudsons by Royal permission. Because of this, all streamlined CPR
Hudsons are called Royal Hudsons. 2850 was also displayed
at the New York World's Fair of 1939.
2850 was rebuilt less than a year before being donated to the museum.
This locomotive is currently kept under roof in good cosmetic condition.
Class H1d 2858 @ Ntnl Mus of Sci & Tech, Ottawa, ON
This locomotive is currently kept under roof and in good cosmetic condition.
Class H1e 2860 @ Province of Brit Col N. Vancouver, BC
For many years 2860 has been in regular service but not in its proper
CPR livery. In June, 1998, 2860 was taken out of service because of
boiler problems. During the boiler work, more problems were found.
As of September 1998, CPR 3716 is being used in place of 2860.
Canadian Pacific Railway Class T1c Selkirk
The Canadian Pacific Railway applied the name Selkirk (from the
Selkirk Range of the Rockies) to the 2-10-4 wheel arrangement (instead of
using the "Texas" name). The CPR Selkirks were unique for two reasons:
first, they were streamlined (odd for a freight wheel arrangement), second,
they were built for passenger service. This photo is of class T1c 5931 on
display at Heritage Park in Calgary, Alberta. 5935, (also class T1c) is on
display at the Canadian Railway Museum in Delson, Quebec.
Chesapeake & Ohio Class L-1 Hudson
In 1946 four 25 year old F-19 C&O Pacifics were converted by the C&O to class
L-1 Hudsons (490-493). They had stainless steel and orange shrouds. 490 was
the only one to see service after 1950. Its orange cowl was repainted yellow.
C&O crews called these locomotives Yellowbellies. 490 is now on
display at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.
Chicago Burlington & Quincy Class S-4A Hudson (Aeolus)
Ok, I'm cheating a little bit here. This locomotive survives, but without its
shrouding. In 1937 West Burlington installed a stainless steel shroud and
roller bearings on CB&Q 3002 in order to use it for substitute power on the
Zephyrs. It was renumbered 4000 and named Aeolus (Greek God of the
Winds). Crews were quick to refer to this locomotive as "Big Alice the Goon",
after a character in the Popeye comic strip. 4000 saw regular duty heading the
Chicago to Denver Aristocrat and Exposition Flyer. In 1941
West Burlington built a similarly shrouded Hudson 4001 also named Aeolus.
4000's shrouding was removed in 1941 but the nickname stuck. 4000 is now on
display in a park in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.
Charles T. Felstead photo, Charles E. Winters Collection.
Norfolk & Western Class J Northern
Norfolk & Western class J locomotives were numbered 600 - 613. Wartime
restrictions on materials required that locomotives 605 - 610 be classified as
freight locomotives and built without shrouds (they were later shrouded, after
V-J day). N&W J class locomotive were unique for many reasons. They were
America's last 4-8-4s. They could generate the highest tractive effort of any
4-8-4. They were the last 4-8-4 streamlined steamers. 602 was unique in that
it was fitted with a Franklin high speed trailing truck booster which added
12,500 lbs. TE. After many years of service in excursion service, 611 survives
today at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke, VA.
Pennsylvania Power & Light Co. Fireless 0-8-0 Switcher
PP&L 4094 is the only surviving eight-coupled fireless switcher -- and it is
streamlined! It was built in 1939.
Southern Pacific Class GS-4 Northern
Golden State Class Northerns were delivered to the Southern Pacific in several
classes. The first batch, class GS-1 (4400-4409) from Baldwin were not
streamlined. The second batch, class GS-2 (4410-4415) from Lima were. The
third batch, class GS-3 (4416-4429) had 80" (instead of 72") drivers. The
fourth batch, class GS-4 (4430-4459) had a mars light and an all-weather cab.
The fifth batch, class GS-5 (4458-4459) were two GS-4s fitted with roller
bearings. The sixth batch, class GS-6 (4460-4469) were classified as freight
locomotives and painted black because of the war. It was for this same reason
that "GS" was changed to stand for "General Service" instead of "Golden
State". In my opinion, with their skyline casings, running board skirting, and
red, orange, and black colors, the Golden State Class Northerns were the best
looking streamlined steam locomotives ever. GS-4 4449 survives in Portland,
Oregon and is operational. War baby 4460 is on display at the Museum of
Transportation in St. Louis, Missouri.
Temiskamig & Northern Ontario Pacific
Temiskamig & Northern Ontario Pacific number 701 was a sister to fully
shrouded 700. 701 is on display in Englehart, Ontario.
London & North Eastern Railway 60008
This three cylinder Pacific, named Dwight D. Eisenhower, is
displayed at the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It was
originally named Golden Shuttle but was renamed in September 1945.
It was built by the LNER as the A4 class, introduced in Sept 1935. There
were 35 in the class. When British Railways was formed, by the amalgamation
of the 4 "Groups" prior to that event, as there would have been number
duplication on locos, block numbers were allocated the former group engines.
Former LNER locos were numbered in the series starting 60000. That is how
60008 came about.
London & North Eastern Railway 60010
This three cylinder Pacific, named Dominion of Canada (formerly
numbered 4489) is displayed at the Canadian Railway Museum in Delson, Quebec.
Other Streamlined Steam References