Mexicano 2-8-0 Locomotives in Mexico

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 11/G-2/E-2 (Locobase 13643)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Volume 34, p. 310. See also the Montana Heritage Commission's webpage on the Virginia City #12; and "2 ft 6in gauge 2-8-0 # 12 on the Alder Gulch Shortline, Montana" thread begun by Olaf Rasmussen on 28 January 2020 on the Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum site at [],387530,387530,quote=1, last accessed 29 September 2020. Works numbers numbers were 34312-34315 in February 1910.

Gene Connelly's Baldwin list shows these four were originally intended for the "FC de Atlamaxac (Munoz Chgnamuapan)", a 60-cm (23.6") road. Before their delivery, however, they were converted to the 2' 6" gauge of the FC Mexicano to run on the 33-mile Zacatlan branch. These little Consolidations were among the first locomotives to use Baker-Pilliod outside lever-and-link valve gear.

The class was in service on that branch for more than 40 years. 12 had a long post-Mexico career beginning with the sale to Nelson Blount in 1957, who moved it to the Edaville Railroad in Massachusetts. In 1992, the Escanaba & Lake Superior bought the engine and began to restore it to operate on Montana's Virginia City. The MHC website describes the thousands of hours of work spent on the 12's restoration: "For the past several years, John Larkin has had four to six people working full time on the engine, often ten hours a day, five days a week, and eight hours on Saturday. Beginning with the bare frame, every part was rebuilt to like-new specifications. Moorehead Boiler of Minneapolis, Minnesota rebuilt the steam boiler. Every bearing and wearing point was renewed. The cab was rebuilt with a beautiful polished mahogany interior, and outfitted with brass gauges, injectors, oil cups, and other parts whose polish would satisfy even the most critical army sergeant. When it rolled out of the Baldwin factory in 1910 it could not have been more beautiful than it is today."

Alas, beginning in 2010, the Alder Gulch Railroad had to cancel its operating seasons and simply put the 12 on display.

In a 31 January 2020 post on the Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum ([],387530,387852#msg-387852), J.David wrote: "Greetings:

I was in charge of the restoration of No.12 for John Larkin. The locomotive did NOT receive a new boiler. It did get a new rear tube sheet which I flanged (heat & beat method) in the Valley Railroad shop. The new tube sheet was installed by a code shop from St.Paul, they also inspected the boiler and did other work on the firebox. BobYuill from Historic Machinery Services, did most of the mechanical work on the locomotive. A local auto body shop was responsible for the excellent paint job and other cosmetic work.


NB: Both the evaporative heating surface area and the direct (firebox) heating surface area are estimated. The specs do not state either, but the virtually identical firebox dimensions of the Aguas Blancas Consolidation shown in Locobase 13621 suggest that the values given in the specs would be correct within a square foot or two.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Middle Run Media

Locobase ID13643
Number in Class4
Road Numbers11-14
Number Built4
Valve GearBaker
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m) 9.83 / 3
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)17.67 / 5.39
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.56
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)74,400 / 33,747
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)83,000 / 37,648
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)50,000 / 22,680
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)133,000 / 60,328
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)2500 / 9.47
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)31 / 15.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)36 / 914
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)160 / 11
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)15" x 20" / 381x508
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)17,000 / 7711.08
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.38
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)126 - 2.25" / 57
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)14.58 / 4.44
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)75 / 6.97
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)13.70 / 1.27
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1147 / 106.56
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1147 / 106.56
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume280.44
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation2192
Same as above plus superheater percentage2192
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area12,000
Power L13572
Power MT423.38

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