Broadway Railroad / Bushwick Railroad 0-4-0 "Switcher" Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 1 (Locobase 13468)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Volume 8, p. 220 and Volume 9, p. 3. 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 4322, 4324-4328 in May 1878; 4364-4365 in June; 4403 in August; 4510 in December; 4605-4606 in April 1879.

Note: Two more -- 13-14 (works numbers 5152-5155 in June 1880) -- had vertical boilers like the rest, but used 124 tubes that measured 4 feet even.

During the discussion of the 1889 committee report, Mr. John G. Jenkins of the Broadway Railroad Company, of Brooklyn gave a strongly negative review of the use of steam dummies. At the time of their adoption, Jenkins reported, "Along the line of one mile of our road in Broadway it was densely populated ; the other three miles and threequarters were sparsely settled."

They decided to use the dummies on the more sparsely populated section, walking the cars out to the dummy station, then hooking two to the dummies and taking them the rest of the way to East New York. "This method was found to be impracticable; entirely so. The cars were too light, and would go wriggling all about the track; so that people who desired exercise had only to take our cars in the morning"

Heavier cars meant more horses on the one-mile segment, but despite the expense of bi-modal motive power, the road still made money, "... but we could not pick up a paper in the morning but we would have the fear that we might have killed some one; in fact, there was not a block in the fifteen or twenty blocks but that we killed or cut the legs off of somebody the whole distance."

The BRR found that it simply cost too much to meet the cost of accidents. As a result: "we consider it a death-blow to motors of that kind where the population is dense."

Jenkins also poured scorn on the dummies themselves: "We also, during the use of the dummies, instead of having a repair shop, had to maintain a machine shop, which we found very expensive."

Part of the expense came from the way in which the dummies had to operate: "We did not have any regular stations, but stuck tip red posts at the distance of every two blocks, and these were called the stations; the cars stopped there down and up. The engineers would drive them up to the posts and stop quickly, and everybody would go backward. They ground the wheels off and shook up things so, that in two years the dummies would have to be renewed, and they were expensive."

The problem of operating a rapid transit system remained, he said, but he could say for sure:"I would discourage any gentleman connected with any road where there is a dense population from using a steam motor of any kind."

The Broadway sold most of its dummies to a variety of buyers. Some went to other street railways such as the Cypress Hills Railroad, the Bushwick (also in Brooklyn), two to the Brooklyn City Railroad, the Wheeling & Elm Grove, and the Cape May Delaware Bay & Sewells Point. Others went into quarry or industrial use: Belvedere Stone Co, Cape Breton Collieries, Bullis Brothers, Singer Manufacturing Co, H B Rathbeen & Son.

NB: Boiler pressure is an estimate.

Class 1 (Locobase 16615)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Volume 8, p. 208. See also John Roberts, "The Lutheran Line" posted on the Juniper Park Civic blog at [], last accessed 20 December 2022. Locobase 16366 offers a skeptical 1877 view of steam dummies and Locobase 11577 contains a supporting 1889 discussion of the problems associated with running steam dummies on urban street railways. Works numbers were 4299-4301 in April 1878 and 4366-4367 in June.

John Roberts's account describes these steam dummies as "small enough to fit into a garage." They clearly were based on the Broadway's twelve dummies shown in Locobase 13468. Baldwin's specs included the comment that the water capacity was to be sufficient to allow 5 miles (8 km) of run. Given that the line's length came to 1 1/2 miles (2.4 km), the amount probably allowed for one round-trip before refilling. The two dummies delivered in June had larger water tanks carrying 175 US gallons (662 litres) and rolled on 31" (787 mm) wheels.

Above the windows of all five, the Bushwick railroad spelled out their service area: "Cypress Hills, Union Field & Evergreen Cemetery" on the canary-colored carbody. Under the windows added "Ridgewood Park".

Roberts wrote that the Lutheran Line dated back to 1852, when the Lutheran Cemetery opened and visitors asked for a better way to get there. But it wasn't until the Bushwick had opened a depot at Wycoff and Palmetto and aquired a right of way to the cemetery's gates that the line opened.

By then, these steam dummies had begun operating in suburban Brooklyn out to Ridgewood Cemetery, away from the city itself and where it "was suitable ...for service where cinders were not a problem", Roberts wrote, and didn't pose problems of heat stress or disease that frequently felled horses pulling tramcars. "[B]est of all, [they] could pull two or three coaches with just one operator."

After its opening on 3 September 1881, the line quickly gained such ridership that "three coaches were often required during peak load periods." Gene Connelly's Baldwin production list states that both the 1 and 2 (Cypress Hills and Union Field) "burned" in February 1886, most likely after being caught in a car barn fire.

Roberts turns a nice phrase when he reports that "the age of lilliputian steam railroading was short-lived." Electric trolleys began operation on 17 December 1887, began replacing steam dummies in August 1895 and took over entirely on 27 October, at which point "a colorful era of Disney like steam railroading in Western Queens had passed."

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Middle Run Media

Locobase ID13468 16615
RailroadBroadway RailroadBushwick Railroad
Number in Class125
Road Numbers1-121-5
Number Built125
BuilderBurnham, Parry, Williams & CoBurnham, Parry, Williams & Co
Valve GearStephensonStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m) 5.67 / 1.73 5.50 / 1.73
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m) 5.67 / 1.73 5.50 / 1.73
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase11
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m) 5.67 / 1.73 5.67 / 1.73
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)15,000 / 680415,000 / 6804
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)15,000 / 680415,000 / 6804
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)200 / 0.76153 / 0.76
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)13 / 6.5013 / 6.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)31 / 78731 / 787
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)130 / 9130 / 9
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)10" x 12" / 254x30510" x 12" / 254x305
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)4277 / 1940.024277 / 1940.02
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.51 3.51
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)110 - 1.5" / 38110 - 1.5" / 38
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m) 3.67 / 1.12 3.67 / 1.12
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)17.40 / 1.6217.40 / 1.62
Grate Area (sq ft / m2) 5.89 / 0.55 5.89 / 0.55
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)166 / 15.42166 / 15.42
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)166 / 15.42166 / 15.42
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume152.29152.29
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation766766
Same as above plus superheater percentage766766
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area22622262
Power L115591559
Power MT458.27458.27

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