Bessemer & Lake Erie 2-10-2 "Santa Fe" Locomotives in the USA

The Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad took delivery of twenty "Santa Fe" type locomotives from the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1916. These locomotives were designated as Class D1A and they had 60" diameter drivers, 30" x 32" cylinders, a 210 psi boiler pressure, they exerted 85,608 pounds of tractive effort and each weighed 404,000 pounds. These locomotives were assigned road numbers 501 through 520 and were equipped with Vanderbilt tenders.

The Class D1As as built performed well for the B & LE l. However, it was modifications to include a large combustion chamber that contributed 129 square feet to total firebox heating surface. In addition, 3 thermic siphons added 99 square feet of direct heating surface; two of these served the firebox, one the combustion chamber. The firebox also retained its 27 square feet of arch tubes.

In 1919, the USRA allocated the B&LE five "Santa Fe-Heavy" locomotives. These locomotives were designated as Class D2A and were assigned road numbers 521 through 525. They had 63" diameter drivers, 30" x 32" cylinders, a 190 psi boiler pressure, they exerted 73,825 pounds of tractive effort and each weighed 354,000 pounds.

Of the two Classes of 2-10-2s the B&LE seemed to favor the D1As over the USRA Class D1Bs probably due to the 16" piston valves, the Baker valve gear and almost 20 tons more weight on the drivers.

There are no surviving B&LE 2-10-2 "Santa Fe" type locomotives.


ClassQty.Road NumbersYear BuiltBuilderNotes
D1A20501-5201916BaldwinNumbers 501-520 scrapped between 1948 and 1951.
D2A 5521-5251919BaldwinUSRA allocated .Santa Fe.-Heavy locomotives. Numbers 521-525 scrapped in 1947.

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class D1A (Locobase 5435)

Data from a table in January 1917 RME and DeGolyer, Volume 55, pp.137+ See Locobase 7655 for a later upgrade of this design. Also consulted was the text of a 1954 booklet prepared by the B&LE's General Manager Roy C Beaver prepared for the Annual Meeting of the Veteran Employees Association at Conneaut Lake Park on August 21, 1954. It was published in place of the September 1954 Bessemer Bulletin employees magazine. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 6 March 2018 email noting the 505's tender truck boosters.) 43950-43951, 43994-43997 in August 1916; 44100-

44104, 44134-44136, 44156-44157 in September; 44205-44206 in October; 44207-44208 in November

This very large Santa Fe greatly increased the B&LE's hauling power. Much of the data is similar to that of the CB&Q and C & IM engines of contemporary vintage and builder. Locobase notes the enormous quantity of flexible stays such a large, mobile coal furnace required: "1,000 in number ...four top horizontal rows of each outside side sheet, in throat sheet throughout, in back head, throughout except at fire door frame. Three vertical rows at each end of side sheet diagonally across (at ends of side sheets from said horizontal rows to said vertical rows." The combustion chamber was braced by 380 additional flexible stays.

Firebox heating surface included 129 sq ft (11.98 sq m) in the combustion chamber and 43 sq ft (3.99 sq m) from five arch tubes. Fifteen-inch (381 mm) piston valves served for steam admission. The trailed cylindrical Vanderbilt tenders. Other upgrades included aWorthington 5-S and the Chambers 10" throttle upgrades

Beaver's commemorative booklet described an attempted innovation tested by the B&LE in 1930. The shops turned out a tender with two tender boosters and fitted it behind the 505. Each of the two six-wheel trucks had its own booster, whose power turned two of the three axles (the rear two in the front truck, the front two in the rear truck). Together with the 505's own power, the power system--placed in its own class D1B--generated 111,900 lb (50,757 kg or 497.75 kN) or of starting tractive effort. It proved too much of a good thing for a road-service engine, so the 505 pushed trains on the Conneault Branch and was the only D1A to be converted.

Relatively high-drivered for their arrangement, the class lasted until the end of steam and entered retirement in 1948-1951.

Class D1A - syphons/D1B (Locobase 7655)

Data from B&LE 1 - 1944 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. See the "ovefire jets" thread begun on by "grande473" on 24 March 2003 at [],589090, last accessed 9 June 2018. See also Eugene L Huddleston, "Smoke Consumers" in Uncle Sam's Locomotives: The USRA and the Nation's Railroads (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2002), pp. 112-113. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 21 April 2018 email noting the tender boosters and larger tender on the D1B, and the incorrect driver diameter on all of the class.)

Although the B&LE liked its Santa Fes as they came off the production line (Locobase 5435), the design wasn't allowed to stand completely still. Later modifications included a large combustion chamber that contributed 129 sq ft (12 sq m) to total firebox heating surface. In addition, three thermic syphons added 99 sq ft (9.2 sq m) of direct heating surface; two of these served the firebox, one the combustion chamber. Other upgrades included a Worthington 5-S feed water heater and Chambers 10" (254 mm) throttle. The firebox also retained its 27 sq ft (2.5 sq m) of arch tubes.

The single D1B was fitted in 1930 with a larger tender fitted with two Franklin reversible engines with side rods driving the last two axles of each three-axle truck The installation supplied an additional 33,000 lb (14,969 kg) of starting tractive effort. Hohl notes that the tender's greater water (22,000 US gallons/ 83,270 litres) and coal (23 tons/20.87 metric tons) capacity increased loaded weight to a hefty 401,150 lb (181,959 kg) and overall wheelbase to 91 ft 3 1/2" (27.83 m).

At least three (505, 518-519) were also fitted with "overfire steam jets", similar in concept to the earlier "combustion tubes" and likewise intended to reduce smoke by pulling outside air through tubes under the brick arch and over the grate.

In the train orders thread, edselinsky wrote that the purpose of the four to ten 2" (50.8 mm) tubes on each side was to provide more oxygen to help burn all of the coal fuel on the grate. "LLW8673" added that in some installations, the left side tubes were offset from their right side counterparts "to create further swirling motion inside the firebox from the cross action flow of air." Using steam to pull in the air heated it so that cold air wouldn't drop the firebox's overall temperature.

Overfire steam jets were most often used to fix mid-trip smokiness or to improve combustion during station stops, although they were quite noisy. Also known as "smoke consumers", they can be recognized by the small canisters or "hats" fitted to the outside tube ends.. Because the tubes lay parallel to the grate about 18" above it, the outer fixtures can be seen as a rising set of circles or canisters from front to back of each side.

Perhaps one reason the B&LE liked these Santa Fes better than those designed by the USRA (See Locobase 9030) was the provision of Baker valve gear instead of the less widely used Southern setup. The D1As also put 20 more tons (18,144 kg) of adhesive weight on the rails than did the USRAs.

These differences meant that most of the class saw steam out on the B & LE.

Class D2A (USRA) (Locobase 9030)

Data from B&LE 1 - 1944 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange.

Although the 1919 quintet of engines from Baldwin were USRA Santa Fes (Locobase 90) when they came on the road, later modifications added considerably to their direct heating surface as shown in this entry. A similar program was applied to the D1As (this modification is described in Locobase 7655).

The 104 sq ft (9.65 sq m) combustion chamber received one of three thermic syphons; the other two were placed in the cavernous firebox, which retained its 27 sq ft (2.5 sq m) of arch tubes. In addition, the thermic syphons contributed 110 sq ft (10.2 sq m) of firebox heating surface. 14" (356 mm) piston valves actuated by Southern valve gear let the steam into the cylinders.

Drury (1993) comments that these engines weren't as well liked as the pre-Great War D1As and were retired in 1947, before those engines were withdrawn. (There were four times as many of the D1As, which may have had something to do with it.)

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Middle Run Media

ClassD1AD1A - syphons/D1BD2A (USRA)
Locobase ID5435 7655 9030
RailroadBessemer & Lake ErieBessemer & Lake ErieBessemer & Lake Erie
Number in Class20205
Road Numbers501-520501-520521-525
Number Built205
Valve GearBakerBakerSouthern
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)21.33 / 6.5021.33 / 6.5022.33 / 6.81
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)40.58 / 12.3740.58 / 12.3742.17 / 12.85
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.53 0.53 0.53
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)77.70 / 23.6877.71 / 23.6982.83 / 25.25
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)67,950 / 30,82261,475 / 27,885
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)332,700 / 150,910334,250 / 151,613294,475 / 133,572
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)404,250 / 183,365407,550 / 184,862384,225 / 174,282
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)180,750 / 81,987190,750 / 86,523207,100 / 93,939
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)585,000 / 265,352598,300 / 271,385591,325 / 268,221
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)10,000 / 37.8810,000 / 37.8812,000 / 45.45
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)16 / 1520 / 1816 / 15
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)111 / 55.50111 / 55.5098 / 49
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)60 / 152460 / 162663 / 1600
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)200 / 13.80210 / 14.50190 / 13.10
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)30" x 32" / 762x81330" x 32" / 762x81330" x 32" / 762x813
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)81,600 / 37013.1885,680 / 38863.8473,829 / 33488.31
Booster (lbs)11,500
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.08 3.90 3.99
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)269 - 2.25" / 57267 - 2.25" / 57271 - 2.25" / 57
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)48 - 5.25" / 13348 - 5.5" / 14050 - 5.5" / 140
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)21 / 6.4021 / 6.4020.50 / 6.25
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)431 / 40.06514 / 47.77524 / 48.68
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)88 / 8.1888 / 8.1888.20 / 8.19
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)5191 / 482.435252 / 488.105251 / 487.83
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)1237 / 114.961237 / 114.961230 / 114.27
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)6428 / 597.396489 / 603.066481 / 602.10
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume198.28200.61200.57
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation17,60018,48016,758
Same as above plus superheater percentage20,94421,99119,942
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area102,578128,449118,476
Power L114,11715,20514,434
Power MT467.73501.44540.31

  • 514 (Bud Laws Photo)
  • 521 (Bill Navari Photo)
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Wes Barris