South Manchurian 2-6-4 Locomotives in Japan

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class DB1 (Locobase 20203)

[Originally composed in 2012 as Locobase 14414]

Data from Catalogue 10036--Locomotives for Export (New York City, April 1910), pp. 32-33. See also J F Gairns, "Some Remarkable Locomotives of 1908", Cassier's Magazine, Volume XXXVI [36], No 2 (June 1909), pp. 121, 123; and "Tank Locomotives for the Southern Manchuria Railway", Railway Age, Volume XLV [45], no 6 (7 Febrruary 1908), pp. 187-188. (Thanks to Alexander Blessing for his 12 July 2023 email pointing out a duplicated entry.) Works numbers were 43934-44002 in August 1907.

Although many builders' lists compiled in later years show these Richmond engines with 69" drivers, the Catalogue gives the diameter as 54". Gairns's contemporary review confirms the 54" figure, which is also confirmed by a study of the accompanying photographs in both publications cited above.

Gairns added that the design corresponded "to that of the large order recently completed by the same builders for the Panama Railroad, but they are smaller. The design is simple and neat. Equalizing levers are employed for the coupled wheels and the leading bogie truck." Gairns doesn't specify the equalizing scheme (e.g., was the bogie truck equalized with the leading driving axle?). Locobase's assessment of the design's appearance is that the tank is oddly bobtailed.

RA noticed the emphasis on straight horizontals in the locomotive's design and the contribution of the side tanks to the look, saying "for this reason the locomotive presents an unusually attractive appearance, compared to most of the tank engines built in this country."

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID20203
RailroadSouth Manchurian
Number in Class69
Road Numbers1-33, 433-468
Number Built69
Valve GearStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)13.17 / 4.01
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)33.33 / 10.16
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.40
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)33.33 / 10.16
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)109,600 / 49,714
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)186,300 / 84,504
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)186,300 / 84,504
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)3520 / 13.33
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)7 / 6
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)61 / 30.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)54 / 1372
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)180 / 12.40
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)19" x 26" / 483x660
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)26,594 / 12062.85
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.12
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)220 - 2" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)12 / 3.66
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)125 / 11.61
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)26 / 2.42
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1498 / 139.17
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1498 / 139.17
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume175.57
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation4680
Same as above plus superheater percentage4680
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area22,500
Power L14031
Power MT243.25

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Wes Barris