International Railway of Central America 2-8-2 Locomotives in Guatemala

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 150 (Locobase 15424)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Vol 79, pp. 76+. See also J B West's blog A Life Wasted Chasing Trains, "Some history [relating to the IRCA] at []. Works numbers were 60586-60589 in August 1928.

These oil-fired Mikados outstripped in size the 2-8-2s bought at the same time and described in 154323. The first two used Walschaert gear to actuate 9" (229 mm) piston valves. The second pair--152-153-- had Caprotti valve gear that opened four 5 1/2" (140 mm) poppet valves in each cylinder.

The 150s were bought in batches at a time when the IRCA achieved a milestone, as J B West recounts: "The link between Zacapa and San Salvador was completed in 1929. It connected the previously built IRCA lines in the two countries, reaching in El Salvador as far south a La Union, on the Gulf of Fonseca, a ferry ride away from Nicaragua. It also connected in San Salvador with the independent El Salvador Railway."

Note the strategic thinking (and the prodigious resource outlay) of this next pair of sentences: "The direct route from El Salvador to the Caribbean port of Barrios justified the expensive construction through the mountains. At the Ipala Loops four levels of track are visible on the mountainside as the railroad looped around to reach the summit."

"With the completion of the link to El Salvador", says West, "the IRCA had created a narrow gauge empire stretching from Mexico to the Gulf of Fonseca, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific, a system of over 800 miles of line."

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID15424
RailroadInternational Railway of Central America
Number in Class4
Road Numbers150-153
Number Built4
Valve Gearvarious
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)12 / 3.66
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)26.50 / 8.08
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.45
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)52.29 / 15.94
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)104,000 / 47,174
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)131,000 / 59,421
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)75,500 / 34,246
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)206,500 / 93,667
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)3500 / 13.26
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)1500 / 5678
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)43 / 21.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)40 / 1016
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)175 / 12.10
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)18" x 22" / 457x559
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)26,507 / 12023.39
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.92
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)125 - 2" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)24 - 5.375" / 137
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)15.50 / 4.72
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)130 / 12.08
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)34 / 3.16
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1668 / 155.02
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)420 / 39.03
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2088 / 194.05
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume257.43
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation5950
Same as above plus superheater percentage7140
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area27,300
Power L110,980
Power MT931.03

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