Lake Street Elevated 0-4-4 "Forney" Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 1 (Locobase 15373)

Data from Barnes, p. 275. See also "Compound Locomotive for the Lake Street Elevated", Railroad Gazette, Volume 25 (4 August 1893), pp. 583, and 11 August 1893, p. 600, Charles McShane, Classic American Locomotives (Griffin & Winters, 1899; reprinted 2003 by Lyons Press), p. 399 and William D Middleton, Metropolitan Railways: Rapid Transit in America (Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press, 2003), p. 170. Works numbers were 2934-2943 in July 1893; 2954-2955 in September; 2956-2968 in 1893, 2997-3001 in November 1894; 3002-3004 in 1895, 3005-3006 in October 1895.

These were the biggest Forneys built to work on an American elevated urban rail line. Its two-cylinder compound layout was touted not only for its economy but also for its softer exhaust. According to Charles McShane, the Lake Street L's profile featured a virtually flat road over which traveled a constant stream of trains at various times of the day.

The first 25 were named after important stockholders (or members of families) as follows: Elizabeth W, Harriet E, Maretta T, Louisa C, Lizzie A, John A, Gilbert B, John H, Charles H, Clarence A, Hiram P, Daniel W, Harry L, William Z, Paul B, Willard R, Frank L, William P, Carter H, Frank H, James G, Edwin W, Thomas P, Cassius McD, and Otis W.

At the time of writing, McShane claimed that the compounds had ruled the day: "The evidence is most tersely presented by saying that after the experience of several months with both types [simple and compound], no simple locomotive was used when there was a compound available for service."

Middleton pointed out, however, that "[h]owever well the Forneys performed, steam locomotive were far from an ideal choice for elevated railway motive power. They were inherently ill suited to the demanding requirements of the frequent stops and starts of elevated service, and their smoke, cinders, escaping steam and noise made them unpopular with residents and businesses along the elevated lines."

The 6-25 were rebuilt with 14" x 18" cylinders.

Underscoring Middleton's point was the rapid discarding of all of the Forneys. Connelly notes that the 1 went to the New Orleans & Western, 5 wound up on the Camden Hardwood Lumber Company, 9 to Delta Chemical in Wells, Mich as their #9, 10 to Ozone Lumber of Hampton, La as their 8., 12 to Farnsworth Lumber Company of Oconto, Wisc as their 3, and 14 to East Jordan Lumber Company of East Jordan, Mich.

Southern Iron & Equipment bought the 11 in 1904 and the ex-6 in 1915.

16-32 were all sold in 1898 to the Long Island as their 217-233 and 35 as LI 234. 33 was sold in the same year to Hand Lumber Company as their #1. 34 went to East Coast Lumber.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID15373
RailroadLake Street Elevated
Number in Class35
Road Numbers1-35
Number Built35
BuilderRhode Island
Valve GearStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)5 / 1.52
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)16.08 / 4.90
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.31
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)16.08 / 4.90
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)42,930 / 19,473
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)60,840 / 27,597
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)60,840
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)700 / 2.65
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)36 / 18
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)44 / 1118
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)180 / 12.40
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)13" x 18" / 330x457 (1)
Low Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)21" x 18" / 533x457 (1)
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)7647 / 3468.62
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 5.61
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)184 - 1.5" / 38
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m) 6.50 / 1.98
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)17 / 1.58
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation3060
Same as above plus superheater percentage3060
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area
Power L1
Power MT

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Wes Barris