White Pass & Yukon 2-8-2 Locomotives in Canada

White Pass & Yukon

The White Pass & Yukon Railroad was built during the Klondike gold rush days to provide rail service to the Yukon. By 1900, 110 miles of narrow-gauge track were built from the port at Skagway, Alaska, over the spectacular White Pass, through British Columbia and on into Whitehorse in the Yukon.

Unlike many of its contemporaries, the WP&Y survived the 1930s depression, boomed during WW II building the Alaska Highway, added diesel power in the 1960s and pioneered multi-modal containerized shipping. In 1982, the major mines in the Yukon were closed and as a result the WP&Y ceased operations. In 1988 the WP&Y was reopened from Skagway, AK to Bennett in British Columbia as a tourist railroad.

The WP&Y offers scenic train excursions to cruise ship passengers and independent travelers out of Skagway, Alaska, a restored gold rush town and headquarters of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Between June and August, the WP&Y offers special steam excursions, using Steam Engine No. 73, between Skagway and Lake Bennett, British Columbia. For more information see the WP&Y Home Page. http://www.whitepassrailroad.com/

The first "Mikado" type locomotives on the White Pass & Yukon Railroad were the two it received in 1938 and 1938 from the Baldwin Locomotive Works. This pair was given road numbers 70 and 71. In 1947 two more of the same design were delivered to the WP&Y and were assigned road numbers 72 and 73. These four locomotives had 44" diameter drivers, 17" x 22" cylinders, a 205 psi boiler pressure, they exerted 25,179 pounds of tractive effort and each weighed 145,000 pounds. The evaporative heating surface was 1,676 square feet and with the superheater the combined heating surface was 2,133 square feet.

During World War II; there was concern that the Japanese might invade Alaska, as it was the closest part of the United States to Japan. The U.S. Army took control and began the construction of the Alcan Highway. The Army brought some newly built and many used steam locomotives which it bought from closed U.S. narrow gauge railroads.

Among the used locomotives were two it obtained from the Sumpter Valley Railroad which were given road numbers 80 and 81 on the WP&Y and seven from the D&RGW which were assigned roads numbers 250 through 256.

The Army ordered eleven new "MacArthur" as the "Mikado" types were renamed as a result of the war with Japan from the Baldwin Locomotive Works. The locomotives were delivered in 1943 and were given road numbers 190 through 200. These locomotives had 48" diameter drivers, 16" x 24" cylinders, a 185 psi boiler pressure, they exerted 20,128 pounds of tractive effort and each weighed 119,000 pounds. The firebox was 115 square feet, the evaporative heating surface was 1,371 square feet and with the superheater the combined heating surface was 1,745 square feet.

The White Pass saw record volumes of traffic as it served as a vital supply route for construction materials for the new Alaska Highway and other projects. As many as 17 trains were operated daily. In one record period of 24 hours, 37 trains rolled into Whitehorse.

There are nine surviving WP&Y 2-8-2 "Mikado" type locomotives. They are numbers 70-73, 80, 81 190, 192 and 195.


Dollywood, the entertainment park, named for singer-songwriter Dolly Parton first opened in 1961 and only had one ride. That was a five-mile loop railroad that was called the Rebel Railroad. It had a steam train, a general store, a blacksmith shop and a saloon. The Rebel Railroad operated until 1970, when it was purchased by the Cleveland Browns football team and renamed "Goldrush Junction". "Goldrush", as it was to be called later, added a wood shop, a saw mill, an outdoor theater, several children's rides, a church and a campground.

In 1976, "Goldrush" was purchased by Herschend Enterprises in Branson, Missouri and in1977 the park became Silver Dollar City-Tennessee and grew significantly over the next decade of operation adding rides, a variety of working crafts, entertainment shows and attractions like the Silver Dollar Grist Mill, which was completed in 1983.

In1986, Dolly Parton became an owner of the park along with current management Herschend Enterprises and lent her name to the park Dollywood has since more than doubled in size to over 100 developed acres.

Dollywood has two operating steam locomotives. Number 70 named "Cinderella" and number 192 named "Klondike Kate". These two locomotives serve as the motive power for the "Dollywood Express", the name given to the train that continuously circles the five-mile loop.

Number 192, was bought from the White Pass & Yukon Route in Alaska by the Rebel Railroad in 1960. Number 70 came to the park in 1977 from the WP&Y along with number 71. WP&Y number 72 was severely damaged in a Skagway, AK roundhouse fire while it was in storage there. The running gear survived and was bought by the park and arrived with 70 and 71.


WP&Y 2-8-2 Roster
Qty.Road NumbersFrom Other RRYear AcquiredYear BuiltBuilderNotes
270 1938Baldwin1
272 & 731947Baldwin2
280 & 81SV19421920ALCO3
  1. Number 70 and 71 now at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN.
  2. Number 72 was severely damaged in a fire at the Skagway Enginehouse and only the running gear survived which is now at Dollywood. Number 73 is operational on the WP&Y.
  3. Ex Sumpter Valley Railroad number 19 & 20 came to the WP&Y in 1942. Sold back to the Sumpter Valley Railroad in 1971.
  4. Number 197 scrapped in 1945. Numbers 191, 193 and 194 scrapped in 1951. Number 196 was used for riprap at Skagway, AK. Numbers 198, 199 and 200 sold to the Hacienda Grande Railroad in Chicama, Peru in 1948. Number 190 sold to the "Tweetsie" Railroad. Number 192 is now operational at Dollywood. Number 195 is on display in Skagway, AK.
  5. Ex D&RGW numbers: 470, 471, 472, 474, 475, 477 & 479 came to the WP&Y in October 1942. Number 250 scrapped in 1944. The others scrapped in 1945.

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 190 (Locobase 6750)

Data from Locomotive Cyclopedia 1947 and locomotive diagram. Also see MRS US Locomotives Equipment Data Book supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. [] (11 August 2005) contained a detailed discussion of this class by Mike Peltier.

Of the 60 metre-gauge originally intended for India, the first eleven (Baldwin works #69425-69435 in February 1943) went to the WP&Y already sized for the 36" track. Peltier demonstrates that although many commentators have said these locomotives were originally intended for Iran, they misheard. In fact, some of this dual-gauge design was sent to disembark at Oran, Algiers and latrine rumors corrupted the destination to Iran. None of the WP&Y engines were ever intended for Oran or Iran.

When they entered White Pass service, the 190s remained property of the US Army. After the war, the last three were stored at Auburn Depot and later sold to Hacienda Casa Grande Railway in Peru (Chicama). The WP&Y bought 192 & 196 in 1946 and operated them and the 190 into the 1950s.

190 wound up on the Tweetsie as the Yukon Queen in 1960 and was still in service in 2014. 192 went to the Rebel Railroad and was still operating in 2014 at Dollywood in Tennessee as Kondike Kate. See Locobase 4994 for a description of the Dollywood Express.

Class 70 (Locobase 4994)

See [] . See also David Crosby, "Hiding in Plain Sight", Trains Magazine (May 2014), pp. 29-33; "The White Pass and Yukon Route", Baldwin Magazine, Volume 17, No 2 (October 1938), pp. 3-10. Works numbers were 62234 in May 1938, 62257 in January 1939 and 73351-73352 in 1946

White Pass officials pronounced themselves well-pleased with this class in an article published soon after the delivery of the lead engine. The Mikado had a better firebox to grate ratio than its predecessors, which accounted for a 13% reduction in fuel consumption. Moreover, the judicious equalization of axles allowed the class to operate freely over all the 56- and 45-lb/yard (28 and 22.5 kg/metre) rail of the system. At time of writing, the heaviest train #70 had pulled weighed in at 156 tons, but this would soon be surpassed, officials expected.

A second came eight months later and two more arrived five years after that in 1946.

The first pair --70-71--was retired in April 1963 and the second two had their fires dropped in June 1964. The 71 and 72 were nearly destroyed in a 1969 fire in the Skagway roundhouse. The 70, which escaped harm, and the heavily damaged 71 and 72 were sold in 1977 to Whistle in the Woods Corp, a tourist operation in Pigeon Forge, Tenn and the home of Dollywood Amusement Park. First run as the Rebel Railroad, the 2.9 mile (4.7 km) road is now known as the Dollywood Express. The 71 and 72 were never operated on that line, having been procured to provide spares for the 70.

HawkinsRail ([], last accessed 29 March 2014) describes the route: "the serpentine route features multiple pedestrian crossings, grades in excess of 5%, and wide return loops on each end of the mainline." David Crosby notes that the 70 generates more tractive effort than the 192 (see Locobase 6750), a useful difference on the demanding Dollywood Express profile: "Departing the line's one and only station, both engines put on a furious display of sight and sound that rivals even the largest mainline steam stars of today [2014]."

And the ruckus isn't just for show. Almost as soon as they're rolling, they must climb a 5% grade. Crosby notes that when the train reaches the "mountaintop reversing loop, [its passengers] have climbed some 200 feet [61 metres] in elevation." They will have also felt the pull of a a 6% grade.

73 was restored to excursion service on the White Pass itself, taking passengers every Friday over a 54-mile (87-km) trip that includes grades as steep as 8% and takes four hours to reach Lake Bennett

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID6750 4994
RailroadWhite Pass & YukonWhite Pass & Yukon
Number in Class114
Road Numbers190-20070-73
Number Built4
Valve GearWalschaertWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)13.50 / 4.1112 / 3.66
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)28.25 / 8.6126.83 / 8.18
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.48 0.45
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)54.25 / 16.5455.71
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)27,104 / 12,294
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)80,000 / 36,287108,000 / 48,988
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)119,000 / 53,978145,000 / 65,771
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)99,600 / 45,17885,500 / 38,782
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)218,600 / 99,156230,500 / 104,553
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)5000 / 18.944000 / 15.15
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)9 / 88 / 7
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)33 / 16.5045 / 22.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)48 / 121944 / 1118
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)185 / 12.80205 / 14.10
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)16" x 24" / 406x61017" x 22" / 432x560
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)20,128 / 9129.9225,179 / 11421.02
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.97 4.29
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)95 - 2" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)19 - 5.375" / 137
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)13.50 / 4.11
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)115 / 10.69114
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)27.70 / 2.5736 / 3.35
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1371 / 127.421676 / 155.76
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)374 / 34.76457 / 42.47
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1745 / 162.182133 / 198.23
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume245.26289.97
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation51257380
Same as above plus superheater percentage62018930
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area25,74328,278
Power L114,06416,539
Power MT1550.291350.45

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