Helena Motor Railway 0-4-2 Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class Capitalist (Locobase 8154)

Data from 1944 Northern Pacific Locomotive Diagram book supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. The steam class list on the NPRHS website -- [][] -- says that this was built by the Brainerd shops in 1903. See also DeGolyer, Vol 15, p. 57. Works numbers were 9928 in April 1889 and 10231 in September.

This stubby little "shop switcher" clearly was a special-purpose machine. The diagram shows a large cab, large, possibly oil-fired headlight, and the trailing axle under the forward edge of the rear bunker. As delivered, the engines had snow plows front and back.

The trippingly named Helena Hot Spring & Smelter was a 5-mile-long street railway running on 35-50-lb (17 1/2 to 25 kg/yd) rail. As of 1890, the line had 3 "steam motors" and 6 cars.

The Capitalist was later sold to the Pe Ell Sawmill. Crystal Springs was sold to the Elliston & Southern, also in Montana, in 1897. The E&S sold it to the Edgar Wood Company in 1908, which sold it to the Northern Pacific who placed it in class H-2. The NP scrapped it in April 1936.

NB: The direct heating surface (including the firebox heating surface) is an estimate calculated by subtracting the calculated tube heating surface from the reported total evaporative heating surface.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID8154
RailroadHelena Motor Railway
Number in Class2
Road Numbers2-3 / 12
Number Built2
BuilderBurnham, Parry, Williams & Co
Valve GearStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)5 / 1.52
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m) 9.25 / 2.82
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.54
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m) 9.25 / 2.82
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)17,060 / 7738
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)34,000 / 15,422
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)40,500 / 18,371
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)40,500
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)500 / 1.89
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT) 0.80 / 1
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)28 / 14
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)40 / 1016
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)130 / 9
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)12" x 18" / 305x457
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)7160 / 3247.73
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.75
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)133 - 1.5" / 38
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m) 5.53 / 1.69
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)44 / 4.09
Grate Area (sq ft / m2) 9.84 / 0.91
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)333 / 30.94
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)333 / 30.94
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume141.10
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation1279
Same as above plus superheater percentage1279
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area5720
Power L12031
Power MT263.39

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