Brooklyn City 0-4-0 "Switcher" Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 1 (Locobase 16614)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Volume 8, p. 177; and ""Sayelsville" - Number 4" on the Moshassuck Valley Railroad website at []; and "Two Mile Railroad with Two Locomotives and One Bridge" published in the Boston Globe, 26 June 1904; both last accessed 19 December 2022.. See Locobase 16366 for a skeptical 1877 view of steam dummies and Locobase 11577 for a supporting 1889 discussion of the problems associated with running steam dummies on urban street railways. Baldwin works numbers were 4231-4232 in January 1878.

These steam dummies had coach bodies that rode high over the two-axle running gear. A vertical boiler wrapped around its "furnace", which measured 27" (686 mm) around, stood 25" (635 mm) high, and burned anthracite coal. A 7" (179 mm) diameter straight stack exhausted the steam. When delivered to the BCRR, a line frieze over the windows read "Cypress Hills and East New York". Below the windows, the street railroad further stated: "Connecting with Cars to Fulton and South Seventh Street Ferries."

Although the 1 disappeared from the BCRR roster by May 1888, the "Saylerville" (#2) apparently remained in service until 1896. Its new owner was th Moshassuck Valley Railroad, a very short line that saw it as an economical means to move downtown Pawtucket, RI residents along the 2-mile (3.2 km) main line. Built primarily to build the Sayler Bleacheries, its freight business proved lucrative.

The 1904 Boston Globe article profiled James Andrews, the Saylesville's lone engineer, who covered the MVRR's schedule of thirteen runs per day in each direction. Travel time amounted to 9-10 minutes. By 1904, electric trolleys on Smithfield Ave had siphoned off much of the patronage, but the Saylesville remained on the line until 1916.

In a Dickensian aside, the Globe also noted the condition of the Moshassuck River or canal, " which was once a beautiful, bubbling stream with water as clear as crystal, but now it is dark and forbidding with all the murky dies that come from factory and tanyard. There are days when the little car runs beside a green stream, and other days when the waters are red or blue. Sundays the water is said to be very clear, and with the lack of noisse in the factories the scene and surroundings are quite inspiring from a landscape point of view."

[Locobase imagines the next paragraph beginning: "It was on a Sunday that unsuspecting Elizabeth and James first encountered their new home, a comely cottage hard by the crystal flow ...."]

NB: Boiler pressure is an estimate.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID16614
RailroadBrooklyn City
Number in Class2
Road Numbers1-2
Number Built2
BuilderBurnham, Parry, Williams & Co
Valve GearStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m) 7.50 / 2.29
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m) 7.50 / 2.29
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase1
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m) 7.50 / 2.29
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)15,000 / 6804
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)15,000 / 6804
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)102 / 0.39
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)13 / 6.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)31 / 787
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)130 / 9
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)8" x 10" / 203x254
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)2281 / 1034.65
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 6.58
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)120 - 1.25" / 32
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m) 3.92 / 1.19
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)14.73 / 1.37
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)4 / 0.37
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)169 / 15.70
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)169 / 15.70
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume291.38
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation520
Same as above plus superheater percentage520
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area1915
Power L12810
Power MT826.00

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Wes Barris