2-10-2 "Santa Fe" Locomotives in the USA

The Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad bought a pair of "Decapod" type locomotives for use as pushers on the Raton Pass over the mountains to and from California. These locomotives did a good job of ascending the steep grade. After they reached the summit and were relieved from pusher duty there was no facility to turn them around. They had to back down the mountain and with their long ridged wheelbase they had difficulty negotiating the tight curves of this twisting line.

In 1903, the AT&SF asked the Baldwin Locomotive Works to build it several 2-10-0 locomotives with a pair of tailing wheels that could be used to guide the drivers when the locomotives were operated in reverse. With this modification to the "Decapod" type a new wheel arrangement was born and the new type of locomotive was named "Santa Fe" for the railroad that first used it.

These first "Santa Fe" types were just 2-10-2 design locomotives on a 2-10-0 frame. Locomotives on subsequent orders for this new type of locomotives had vastly improved boilers. Because of the addition of the trailing truck a deeper and wider firebox could be placed behind the rear driving wheels instead of between them as was the case in the 2-10-0 wheel arrangement.

The "Decapod" type locomotive with its five coupled axles had excellent adhesion, but lacked the power needed for heavy freight service. With the larger firebox and a centering device on the trailing truck the "Santa Fe" had more power and began to be used on heavy-duty freight. Over time, other improvements were made to the design of the 2-10-2. Super heaters and stokers were incorporated and internal motion devices were added.

The reciprocating masses of the big piston and the heavy main rods on the "Santa Fe" could not be properly counterbalanced because there was not enough room for counter weights on the relatively small driving wheels. This problem damaged the tracks and caused misalignment of the locomotive frame and became increasingly more pronounced when the locomotive ran at speeds over 30 mph.

The development of the 2-10-4 and articulated locomotives resolved the counterbalance problems and these locomotives replaced the 2-10-2s in mainline use. The "Santa Fe" type locomotives were relegated to dragging coal and ore trains or used in isolated pusher roles.

There were 44 North American railroads that owned and operated a total of 2,179 "Santa Fe" type locomotives. The B&O produced the ultimate 2-10-2s. They were more powerful and faster than most other 2-10-2s. The B&O called them "Big Sixes" because they were numbered in the 6000s.

A few words about the Baldwin Locomotive Works, Baldwin had been forced by hard financial times to take on a series of partners between 1839 and 1846, and the firm's name changed repeatedly as a result. It was known as Baldwin, Vail & Hufty from1839 to1842, Baldwin & Whitney from1842 to 1845, M. W. Baldwin form1846 to1853, and M. W. Baldwin & Co.from1854 until the death of Baldwin in 1867. After Baldwin's death the firm was known as M. Baird & Co. until1873. Then the name became Burnham, Parry, Williams & Co. from1873 to1890 and then Burnham, Williams & Co. from 1891 to1909. The company was finally incorporated as the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1909.

Through out this work and others for brevity the reference to The Baldwin Locomotive Works or simply Baldwin would mean the "Baldwin Locomotive Works" after 1909 or any of the predecessor names prior to 1909.

Builders of 2-10-2 "Santa Fe" Type Locomotives (by Richard Duley)

RailroadNumber of Locomotives by BuilderFrom Other Railroads
Alabama & Vicksburg 5
Algoma Central 2 CLC
Ann Arbor 4
Atkinson Topeka & Santa Fe 332 20 AT&SF
Atlanta, Birmingham & Coast 3
Atlantic Coast Line 20 3 AB&C
Baltimore & Ohio 10650
Bessemer & Lake Erie 25
Boston & Albany10
Boston & Maine30
Canadian National 10 38 CLC, 35 MLW10 B&A
Canadian Pacific 15 CPR
Central of Georgia 10 2 C&EI, 7 IC
Chesapeake & Ohio 7 C&EI, 10 LV, 17 PM
Chicago & Eastern Illinois7 2 Wabash
Chicago & Illinois Midland 44 9 Wabash, 9 ACL
Chicago & Western Indiana 5
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy1076
Chicago Great Western 7
Chicago, Indianapolis & Louisville8
Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific35
Chicago, St. Paul, Mnpls. & Omaha2
Colorado & Southern 15
Denver & Rio Grande Western10
Duluth Missabe & Northern106
Erie Railroad69199
Great Northern 30 15 GN
Illinois Central7 125 5 A&V
Kansas City Southern 4 Ann Arbor, 6 Wabash
Kansas, Oklahoma & Gulf5
Lehigh Valley 76
Maine Central 8 B&M
Missouri Pacific1410 5 Wabash
National Railway of Mexico 6 T&P
New York, New Haven & Hartford50
New York, Ontario & Western12
Pennsylvania Railroad13555
Pere Marquette152 HV
Reading 10 11Reading
St. Louis - San Francisco 60
Seaboard Air Line 25
Southern Pacific2414315
Southern Railroad7060
Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad4
Texas & Pacific1826
Union Pacific188937
Utah Railway9

Number of 2-10-2 "Santa Fe" Type Locomotives Built by Year (by Richard Duley)

A&V 2111 5
AC 2 2
AA 4 4
AT&SF4343252524 1616 55 73152415151515151511 352
AB&C 3 3
ACL 20 20
B&O 31 3738 50 156
B&LE 20 5 25
B&A 10 10
B&M 20 10 30
CN 10 10 25 5 1518 83
CP 87 15
CofGa 10 10
C&O no new
C&EI 7 7
C&IM 2 2 48
C&WI 5 5
CB&Q 5 26101020 411 86
CGW 7 7
CI&L 5 3 8
CRI&P 10 15 10 35
C&S 5 5 5 15
D&RGW 10 10
DM&N 6 10 16
Erie 92637 25 97
GN 30 15 45
IC 3 4 100 25 132
KCS no new
KO&G5 5
LV 40 36 76
MEC no new
MoPac 14 10 24
NdeM no new
NYNH&H 50 50
PRR 16174 190
Reading 5331021
SL-SF 202020 60
SAL 1015 25
SP 101342 15502626 182
Southern 4882 130
T&P 68 30 44
UP 106525 1078 10 144
Utah Rwy6219
Wabash 25 25
Total4343252524 211662411202402464111231428122284458523183218142204

Railroads that used 2-10-2 "Santa Fe" Locomotives in the USA (data provided by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media)

Surviving Examples of 2-10-2 "Santa Fe" Locomotives in the USA

No.ClassF.M. WhyteGaugeRailroad LineLocationStatusBuilder InfoNotes
9409002-10-24'-8½"AT&SF Bartlesville AT&SF Depot, Bartlesville, OKdisplayBaldwin (Burnham) #23237, 1903 From Johnstone Park, Bartlesville, OK.
506E-12-10-24'-8½"DM&IR National Railroad Museum, Green Bay, WIdisplayAlco (Brooks) #60075, 1919
982 (3651)F-12-10-24'-8½"SP (T&NO) Texas Railway Preservation Association, Houston, TXrestorationBaldwin #52053, 1919 From Hermann Park, then Minute Maid Baseball Park. Donated to the Texas Railway Preservation Association on April 9, 2021 for restoration to operation. The tender is to be used behind Heber Valley 2-8-0 618. The new tender will come from GN 2-10-2 2100.
2008 (7040)QJ2-10-24'-8½"Central Kentucky Lines RJ Corman's Buchanan St yard, Lexington, KYstoredDatong, 1985 RJ Corman From China.
6988QJ2-10-24'-8½"Iowa Interstate (Ji-Tong) Iowa Interstate Railroad, Newton, IAout of serviceDatong, 1985 From China, then Houston, TX. Taken out of service in late October 2021. Awaiting mandated 1,472-day inspection and overhaul. To eventually be placed in service by a tourist railroad. Temporarily located at the RRHMA, Silvis, IL.
7081QJ2-10-24'-8½"Iowa Interstate (Ji-Tong) Iowa Interstate Railroad, Newton, IAout of serviceDatong, 1986 From China, then Houston, TX. Taken out of service in September 2013. Awaiting major maintenance. To eventually be placed in service by a tourist railroad.
5511TTT632-10-24'-8½"UP (LA&SL) Railroading Heritage of Midwestern America, Silvis, ILrestorationBaldwin #56999, 1923 Appeared in Last of the Giants. Only surviving steam locomotive in the US equipped with Young Valve Gear. Donated to RRHMA, Silvis, IL on April 28, 2022. To be restored to operation by RRHMA after the restoration of UP 3985 is complete.
502E2-10-24'-8½"DM&N Museum of Transportation, St. Louis, MOdisplayBaldwin #43411, 1916
975F-12-10-24'-8½"SP (T&NO) Illinois Railway Museum, Union, ILrestorationAlco (Brooks) #57978, 1918 Cosmetic restoration only.

Web Pages

All material Copyright © SteamLocomotive.com
Wes Barris