RENFE 2-8-2 Locomotives in Spain

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 141-2101 (Locobase 3395)

Data from [] and Lavagoneta, p. 202.

The first batch came from North British (2100 series -- 25 locomotives) in 1953. After NBL delivered the first 25, later contracts--the 2201-2417-- went to Euskalduna (58), MTM (53), Babcock & Wilcox (53), Macosa (53). These were delivered between 1953 and 1960.

See also Justo Arenillas in "La material ingles en las pequenas companias", Lineas Del Tren (as reproduced on [], viewed 28 April 2003) explains that as Spain surfaced from the long depression of the 1940s, increased rail traffic demands led to orders for larger locomotives, including the few Mikados that would operate in Spanish service.

Arenillas says that this design was versatile (and numerous -- this was the largest single class of steam locomotives to be procured by RENFE ). Its relatively tall drivers, while reducing tractive effort, suited it for all kinds of passenger and freight traffic. Limited to a maximum of 90 km/h (56 mph), these Mikes could top 115 km/h (70 mph).

According to Angel Maestro, also writing in Lineas Del Tren (#290, 5 May 2003) [Por que llegaron a Espana las 1-4-1 Mikados francesas? reproduced on [], accessed 7 Dec 2005], the designers took note of the success of the 141.R 2-8-2s that France had purchased from North American builders. Moreover, the RENFE 4-8-0s were thought to be hampered by the need to move the fourth coupled axle back to support a large firebox, which led to a serpentine motion (i.e., a wiggle) that was hard on the track.

Built as simple-expansion engines in large part because the operating personnel didn't want to have to maintain a compound design, this class showed considerable power compared to other contemporary Spanish locomotives. Over the El Escorial-La Canada line, which featured a ruling grade of 2.1%, the Mikes handled 370 tonnes (coal-fired; oil-fired could pull more). Only the RENFE 4-8-0s had a higher tonnage rating. On an easier profile, (e.g. Venta de Banos to Valladolid), the Mikes managed 800 tonnes.

The last of this large class left service in 1975, the engine sheds at Castejon de Ebro closing in April, in Salamanca in May, and in Ciudad Real in June.

Mestro credits an engineer from the Zaragoza-Sepulcro district -- Francisco Andreu - with modifications that allowed the 2100s to operate at speeds and with trains equivalent to those pulled by the larger 2200 4-8-2 Mountains with their 69" drivers. Reaching the speeds described by Justo Arenillas above, however, required careful handling, according to Mestro. If the regulator (throttle) was closed at 100 km/h (62 mph), the back pressure set up a pulse that caused the tender to bang repeatedly into the locomotive and upset the crew. Running the engine with an open throttle relieved that back pressure and allowed the locomotive to maintain 80-90 km/h (50-56 mph) if it was in good condition.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID3395
Number in Class242
Road Numbers2101-2125,2201-2417
Number Built242
Valve GearWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)16.81 / 5.12
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)35.60 / 10.85
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.47
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)64.21 / 19.57
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)39,022 / 17,700
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)158,733 / 72,000
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)227,076 / 103,000
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)139,993 / 63,500
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)367,069 / 166,500
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)7128 / 27
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)4756 / 18,000
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)66 / 33
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)61.40 / 1560
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)217.60 / 15
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)22.44" x 27.95" / 570x710
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)42,397 / 19230.98
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.74
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)125 - 1.969" / 50
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)34 - 5.236" / 133
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)18.01 / 5.49
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)220.66 / 20.50
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)51.67 / 4.80
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2234 / 207.50
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)775 / 72
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)3009 / 279.50
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume174.61
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation11,243
Same as above plus superheater percentage14,167
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area60,500
Power L117,948
Power MT997.11

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