Chinese Eastern 2-8-0 Locomotives in China

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 128 (Locobase 6808)

Data from the table presented on pages 375, 377 of the Groupe VI. - GTnie civil. - Moyens de transport. DeuxiFme partie. Classes 32 (Tome I), part of the series of Rapports du Jury Internationale of the Exposition Unverselle Internationale de 1900 Paris Exposition, hosted on the website of Le Conservatoire numTrique des Arts & MTtiers ([], Accessed 21 August 2005).

These Far-east Russian cross-compound Consolidations had cabbage stacks to screen out the sparks of the fire fuelled by wood held in 23 cubic meters of space in the tender.

Class X (Kh) (Locobase 10115)

Data from "Compound Locomotive for the Chinese Eastern Railway," The Locomotive & Railway Carriage & Wagon Review, Volume IV [4] (March 1899), p. 42 and Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University, Volume 21, p. 227. See also Theodore Waters, The Trans-Siberian Railway", Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly (March 1900), archived on the Catskill Archives website at [], last accessed 11 July 2021; and Charles Henry Hawes, In the Uttermost East: being an account of investigations among the natives and Russian convicts of the island of Sakhalin, with notes of travel in Korea, Siberia, and Manchuria (Harper & Brothers, 1903). Works numbers 16070-16094 (July 1898), 16115-16139 (August 1898), 16751-16770 (May 1899), 16787-16806 (June 1899), 17466-17475, 17481-17485, 17498-17499-17501, 17512-17523 (February 1900)

The Chinese Eastern was a Manchurian railroad that came mostly under Russian influence as far as service was concerned, but which seemed to prefer British and American locomotives. So Baldwin built this larger fleet of Vauclain compound Consolidations in a year and a half. The Philadelphia builder adapted the earlier design delivered to Russian railroads (Locobases 12173, 12265, and 3222), but had a slightly larger bundle of shorter boiler tubes

They were not much different from similar engines in North American service (for example, the piston valves measured 11 1/2"/292 mm in diameter), but they did sport squat cabbage stacks. As in the specifications for the 0-6-2Ts described in Locobase 3230, the front and back ends of the piston valves could be joined in one of two ways. The builder could either bolt the two halves together (presumably around the circumference of the castings) or through a prolongation of the valve stem & fixing it at each end of the piston valve.

Charles Henry Hawes took a trip along this railway soon after it was complete. Here's his description of the roadbed:

"The railroad itself had been hurriedly laid. But when this excuse is made, that is all that can be said for the responsible authorities. It was incredibly bad, the result of the extraordinary defalcations in connexion with its construction"

Hawes ascribes some of the Boxer Rebellion unrest to a wish to conceal these defects: "... indeed, it is believed that the so-called Chinese danger in Manchuria, during the year 1900, was largely manufactured in order to prevent a commission of inquiry from headquarters."

In all respects, this line may have been built to lower standards than some of the early Union Pacific: "The line had been laid in many places at the base of valleys, and will have to be shifted to a safe elevation above the flood area. Ballasting was noticeably absent; sleepers were sections of pine-trunks, rounded edge uppermost, with the bark still adhering, and, instead of being parallel to each other, lay at all manner of angles. I pointed this out to an official, and he shrugged his shoulders, replying, " What does it matter?"

"I tried walking upon the sleepers on many occasions, and I found the intervals most irregular. A stride of four feet would be followed by one of six inches, and I did not wonder, after that, at the joltings we experienced in transit.

"The light rails were merely pinned to the sleepers, which, in their turn, were not bedded, for I found them literally rock under my feet as I walked on them."

Then, reflecting on the fact that his train was being pulled by a large American-built locomotive: "The effect of a heavy Baldwin locomotive, weighing seventy to eighty tons, passing over rails of twenty pounds to the foot [10 kg/metre], can be imagined. Under such treatment they became as ribbons, and, without any exaggeration, wriggled both vertically and horizontally. Was there any wonder that our rate of progress was so slow ? "

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class128X (Kh)
Locobase ID6808 10115
RailroadChinese EasternChinese Eastern
Number in Class28121
Road Numbers128KH151-KH271
Number Built28121
BuilderFives-LilleBurnham, Williams & Co
Valve GearWalschaertStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)14.11 / 4.3013.42 / 4.09
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)22.15 / 6.7521.67 / 6.61
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.64 0.62
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)38.75 / 11.81
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)119,931 / 54,400125,000 / 56,699
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)143,962 / 65,300143,000 / 64,864
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)110,672 / 50,20092,960 / 42,166
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)254,634 / 115,500235,960 / 107,030
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)5359 / 20.304800 / 18.18
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT) 8.80 / 8 5.50 / 5
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)50 / 2552 / 26
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)49.20 / 125050 / 1270
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)174 / 12180 / 12.40
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)20.87" x 25.59" / 530x650 (1)14" x 26" / 356x660
Low Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)29.53" x 25.59" / 750x650 (1)24" x 26" / 610x660
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)22,345 / 10135.5323,269 / 10554.65
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 5.37 5.37
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)224 - 2.008" / 51270 - 2" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)15.29 / 4.6612.42 / 3.79
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)149.40 / 13.88157.30 / 14.59
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)26.69 / 2.4835 / 3.25
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1947 / 180.891888 / 175.46
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1947 / 180.891888 / 175.46
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume384.33407.56
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation46446300
Same as above plus superheater percentage46446300
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area25,99628,314
Power L137902947
Power MT278.68207.90

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