Kansei 4-4-0 Locomotives in Japan


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 23 (Locobase 9624)

Data from Catalogue Descriptive of Simple and Compound Locomotives built by Brooks Locomotive Works, Dunkirk, NY (Buffalo, NY: Matthew-Northrup Company, 1899). Works numbers were 2775-2777 in July 1897.

This engine has the appearance of a 3/4-size North American locomotive, but its front end looks like a 4-6-0 that was bobbed to carry a single-axle truck. It also had a large, thimble-shaped dome just ahead of the cab.


Class Hayate/6500 (Locobase 9505)

Data from "Pittsburgh Engines for Japan," Railway and Locomotive Engineering, May 1899, page 197. See also Dan Free, Early Japanese Railways 1853-1914: Engineering Triumphs That Transformed Meiji-era Japan (Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing, 2008) Pittsburgh works numbers ran as a single batch: 1771-1776 in January 1898.

Looking exactly like 3/4-scale North American Eight-wheelers, this sextet was reported to have given "excellent satisfaction" in their first several months of service. In terms of the driver diameter-to-gauge ratio, these were pure express engines, although the speeds would have considerably lower than comparable engines in North America.

Dan Free noted that they were nevertheless speedy enough to be dubbed the Hayate("Fast Wind") class.

See Locobase 11245 for a 1906 batch that was heavier and trailed a larger tender.


Class Oite/109 (Locobase 11245)

Data from "Compound Locomotive for the Kansei Railway, Japan," Railroad Gazette, Vol 41 (21 December 1906), pp 560-561; and "Two Cylinder Compounds for Kansei Railway of Japan", Railway Age, Volume 43, No 1 (4 January 1907). p. 19. See also Dan Free, Early Japanese Railways 1853-1914: Engineering Triumphs That Transformed Meiji-era Japan (Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing, 2008). Works numbers were 41427-41429 in September 1906.

These were repeats of the 1898 cross-compounds described in Locobase 9505. Dan Free comments that these three (plus the other nine simple-expansion variants with 15" x 22" cylinders) were dubbed Oite ("Tailwind") by the Kansei in continued recognition of their design's tall driver diameters.

The principal difference was the provision of a larger tender. The tender featured a wheel arrangement that constituted, said the RG, an "Americanizing" of an English design. While most small tenders in England (and consequently Japan at this time) had three separate axles rigidly fixed in pedestals, the Alco tenders had a fixed leading axle and a diamond truck carrying the other two axles.

As noted in Locobase 9505, these were essentially 3/4-scale Eight-wheelers of North American design. The RG article outlines some of the limitations on usual practice imposed by the shrinkage. Foremost among the truncations was the reduction of the main rod's length to 5 ft 8 inches (1.73 m), less than three times that of the stroke. RG noted that such proportions are "rarely met in modern construction." Loading-gauge limitations probably contributed to limiting the LP cylinder's size to 25" (638 mm).

Pittsburgh delivered twelve more Oite class engines fitted with two 15" x 22" simple-expansion cylinders. Works numbers were 414750-41486 in December 1906.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class23Hayate/6500Oite/109
Locobase ID9624 9505 11245
RailroadKanseiKanseiKansei
CountryJapanJapanJapan
Whyte4-4-04-4-04-4-0
Number in Class363
Road Numbers23-25109
Gauge3'6"3'6"3'6"
Number Built363
BuilderBrooksPittsburghAlco-Pittsburgh
Year189818981906
Valve GearStephensonStephensonStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)10.33 / 3.15 7.50 / 2.29 7.50 / 2.29
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)17.33 / 5.2820 / 6.1020 / 6.10
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.60 0.38 0.38
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)38 / 11.5838.50 / 11.7338.25 / 11.66
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)70,000 / 31,75252,000 / 23,58752,400 / 23,768
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)82,880 / 37,59482,000 / 37,19586,000 / 39,009
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)58,000 / 26,30853,900 / 24,449
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)140,880 / 63,902139,900 / 63,458
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)2700 / 10.232400 / 9.092400 / 9.09
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT) 5.50 / 53 / 35 / 5
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)58 / 2943 / 21.5044 / 22
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)48 / 121962 / 157562 / 1575
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)165 / 11.40180 / 12.40180 / 12.40
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)16" x 22" / 406x55917" x 24" / 432x610 (1)17" x 24" / 432x610 (1)
Low Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)25" x 24" / 635x610 (1)25" x 24" / 635x610 (1)
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)16,456 / 7464.3211,704 / 5308.8511,704 / 5308.85
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.25 4.44 4.48
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)202 - 2" / 51228 - 1.75" / 44228 - 1.75" / 44
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m) 9.33 / 2.84 9.33 / 2.84 9.33 / 2.84
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)95.20 / 8.8581 / 7.5381 / 7.53
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)16.40 / 1.5213.25 / 1.2313.25 / 1.23
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1074 / 99.811044 / 97.031044 / 96.99
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1074 / 99.811044 / 97.031044 / 96.99
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume209.78331.17331.17
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation270623852385
Same as above plus superheater percentage270623852385
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area15,70814,58014,580
Power L1399639533953
Power MT251.70335.19332.63

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