General Mining Association 0-6-0 Locomotives in Canada

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class Samson (Locobase 4866)

Data from See also H S Poole, "One of the Oldest Rail Roads in Canada" Paper 36 , Transactions of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers, Volume 4 (16 January 1890), p. 33. See also Smith Hempstone Oliver, The First Quarter-Century of Steam Locomotives in North America, United States National Museum Bulletin 210 (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1956), pp. 63-65 as well as [] and []

Typical of the breadth of locomotive practice until things settled down into the Stephenson multi-tube boiler, this little class were among the first to run in Canada. (The first to run - Dorchester - is shown in Locobase 13283.)

Samson had vertical cylinders driving down on the last set of drivers. Poole gives the cylinder diameter and stroke shown in the specifications. Other sources say 15 5/8" x 18".

The firebox was located at the base of the stack, which meant that the fireman perched on the nose of the engine to fire it. A single large-diameter return flue ran back to the footplate, then forward again to the stack. It measured 26 1/2" in diameter "round the fire, diminishing to 18" where it enters the smoke box."

Meanwhile, valve gear consisting of four eccentrics on the driving axle was worked by the reversing lever. The crossheads used levers and sliding blocks instead of guides and showed very little wear after decades of service. The wheels consisted of two parts -- rim and wheel centers -- which were keyed to each other by wooden wedges which seem to have served quite well.

Samson had the same engineer for 40 years. Hercules and John Buddle (who represented the GMA) followed soon, all 3 arriving in Pictou, Nova Scotia in November 1838. Poole's father managed the Albion mines for the GMA for 14 years and kept records on locomotive use between 1840 and 1853. During that period, says Poole, "...the Samson on an average in each year was out 113 days, ran 4721 miles a year, and hauled 21,913 chaldrons of coal, at an average annual cost of 61 9s. 6d. cy.* for repairs, and 227 13s. 2d. cy. for working expenses." (Poole converts the Canadian pound to 16 shillings sterling.)

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID4866
RailroadGeneral Mining Association
Number in Class3
Road Numbers
Number Built3
BuilderTimothy Hackworth
Valve Gear
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m) 8.67 / 2.64
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m) 8.67 / 2.64
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase1
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)37,988 / 17,231
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)37,988 / 17,231
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)21 / 10.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)48 / 1219
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)60 / 4.10
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)15.25" x 16" / 387x406
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)3954 / 1793.51
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 9.61
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation
Same as above plus superheater percentage
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area
Power L1
Power MT

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Wes Barris