East Fifth Street Railway 0-4-2 Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class Hugh Lynch (Locobase 11577)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Volume 15, pp. 15 and 82. Works numbers were 9818-9820 in February 1889 and 9974-9975 in May..

In the brief heyday of the steam-powered street railway, Kansas City's company bought five of these small "dummies". Each was named: Hugh Lynch, Martin Regan, D. A. Harrington, E. L. Martin, and James Kelly. They ran on 60-lb/yard (30 kg/metre) rail for five miles. In the same year, the American Street Railway Association's Committee on Street Railway Motors Other than Animal, Cable and Electric rendered its verdict on the suitability of steam dummies in city settings.

As the 1878 article in the Engineer had predicted (summarized in Locobase 16366), the Committee's judgement was, to say the least, not favorable.

H H Windsor, reading a report from the Committee on Street-Railway Motors Other than Animal, Cable and Electric to the Eighth Annual Meeting of the American Street Railway Association, held 16-17 October 1889, page 92.

Henry Windsor's committee report acknowledged that Porter and Baldwin steam dummies were "practical, serviceable machines" that had "done and are still doing good work." The committee continued with a series of "buts":

"they require a separate motor car, a skilled engineer, a self-cleaning rail

"their repair account increases and general usefulness decreases in proportion

as the line grades from suburban one to the business of a city street"

"dust and grit seam to take the life out of any motor with exposed machinery"

An example of the unfortunate result of these condition, "several new standard steam motors" bought by an unidentified street railroad "...had been entirely used up, and one thrown on the scrap heap all within the past fourteen months--simply ground to pieces by the peculiar dust and mud incident to that city." These same engines "[o]n a country line ...would have run for years."

Another paragraph hammered the point home:

"The use of the dummy is every year becoming more and more restricted. For extensions, dummies may answer for a time and for strictly suburban business are sometimes very popular, but as the territory begins to fill up, and the roadway becomes a traveled thoroughfare, the objections rapidly increase. They scatter ashes, belching smoke, if soft coal is used, and gas and fumes, if steamed from hard coal, which coal also is expensive. Petroleum emits more or less odor. The unpopularity of the dummy cannot be better illustrated than by a line three miles long, in Chicago, which had been in operation sixteen years, paying expenses only during the last three. This was replaced by a cable line, running at the same speed at which the motor had run for years, and the first Summer of its operation repeatedly carried as high as 50,000 passengers during a single Sunday afternoon. This, too, with absolutely no more attractions than had existed for years. People would not ride for pleasure behind the " dingle-dongle," as they termed it."

During the discussion of the committee report, Mr. John G. Jenkins of the Broadway Railroad Company, of Brooklyn gave his 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."

Abandoned at some point, the EFSR was revived as an electric railway at the turn of the Century.

Gene Connelly could find only sketchy information about the dummies' subsequent use, but he was able to determine that the 13 went to the Grand Haven Street Railway in Michigan as their #5. Grand Haven is located on Lake Michigan almost due west of Lansing. According to the [] website, the GHSR "...shuffled resorters and day trippers out to the Park where the Company also built a dance pavilion and public beach house."

The 5 was later sold to the Ludington & Northern, also in Michigan. Presumably this occurred in or just after 1903 when the GHSR was merged with the Grand Rapids, Grand Haven & Muskegon Railway. According to janeofwisconsin's blog ([]), she and her fellow travelers would ride a two-mile line to the Epworth Hotel in Epworth (north of Ludington) on the "ping pong Dummy Train"

See the highly informative Michigan Railroads website at []

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

ClassHugh Lynch
Locobase ID11577
RailroadEast Fifth Street Railway
Number in Class5
Road Numbers5, 7, 9, 10, 13
Number Built5
BuilderBurnham, Parry, Williams & Co
Valve GearStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m) 4.50 / 1.37
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m) 9.67 / 2.95
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.47
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m) 9.67 / 2.95
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)23,000 / 10,433
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)30,000 / 13,608
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)300 / 1.14
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)19 / 9.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)35 / 889
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)130 / 9
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)10" x 14" / 254x356
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)4420 / 2004.88
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 5.20
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)100 - 1.5" / 38
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m) 6.03 / 1.84
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)35 / 3.25
Grate Area (sq ft / m2) 8.70 / 0.81
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)269 / 24.99
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)269 / 24.99
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume211.81
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation1131
Same as above plus superheater percentage1131
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area4550
Power L12651
Power MT508.21

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