New York, Ontario & Western 2-10-2 "Santa Fe" Locomotives in the USA

The New York, Ontario & Western Railway was a regional railroad with origins in 1868, lasting until March 29, 1957 when it was ordered liquidated by a US bankruptcy judge. The O&W holds the distinction of being the first major U.S. railroad to be abandoned in its entirety. Its mainline ran from Weehawken, New Jersey in the greater New York City area to Oswego, New York, a port city on Lake Ontario. It had branch lines to Scranton, Pennsylvania; Kingston, New York; Port Jervis, New York; Delhi, New York; Utica, New York and Rome, New York. The part south of Cornwall, New York was operated over the New York Central Railroad's West Shore Railroad via trackage rights.

The New York, Ontario & Western Railway bought twelve "Santa Fe" locomotives from the American Locomotive Company, which were delivered in 1915. They were designated as Class X and given road numbers 351 through 362. These locomotives had 57" diameter drivers, 28" x 32" cylinders, a 190 psi boiler pressure, they exerted 71,083 pounds of tractive effort and each weighed 352,500 pounds.

There are no surviving NYO&W 2-10-2 "Santa Fe" type locomotives.


Class.Qty.Road NumbersYear BuiltBuilderNotes
X12351-3621915ALCONumbers 351-362 were scrapped by the end of steam on the MP

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class X (Locobase 5391)

Data from "Marked Improvements in Santa Fe Type Locomotives for the New York, Ontario & Western, and the Erie", Railway and Locomotive Engineering, (May 1916), pp. 146-149.. See also "New 2-10-2 Locomotives", Loco; a Technical Magazine, Volume 7, p. 16; "Recent Examples of 2-10-2 Type Locomotives", Railway Age Gazette, Volume 60, No 16 (21 April 1916), pp. 887-891;Mal Houck, "Ontario & Western Ramblings No. 4"., Mountaineer (February 2009) ([]), and NYO&W 1 - 1943 Locomotive Diagram books supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 18 August 2017 email pointing out the original grate area.) Works numbers were 55267-55278 in October 1915.

Although described by Wes Barris in [] (visited 17 February 2003) as "hard to maintain and hard to run -- they required two firemen", these Santa Fes nevertheless carried on until the 1940s. Known as the Bullmoose, the design had relatively small and short tubes and flues for the period. In fact, their length-to-diameter ratios were a nearly ideal 100:1 and contemporary articles celebrated the likely advantages of better heating and less back pressure.

Hohl pointed out the original grate area. Locobase originally used the 1943 figure (100 sq ft/9.29 sq m). Hohl's observation led to the 1916 articles, which describe a Gaines brick arch that included a short wall in the firebox that reduced grate area. Installing a Duplex stoker sometime after 1930 seems to have eliminated the Gaines wall and opened the entire floor of the firebox to fuel burning.

The Loco Magazine article goes into great detail about the lateral-motion assemblies and the hopes for improving the engine's ride. Success seems to have eluded the designers, however. Mal Houck refers to the "...cramped and rough riding Class X "Bullmoose" 2-10-2's (and with ride quality not at all aided by the lesser unsprung weight and running dynamics of engines with small drivers) .

Houck then notes the putative value of the trailing truck in freight designs: "Aside from supporting the fireboxes, bigger- and later-built locomotives with trailing trucks had an easier, if not softer (were such a thing possible in a machine of 200+ tons running steel on steel!) ride. Engines without trailer trucks rode hard due to the need for the suspension springing and qualization to be hard and stiff in order to provide support for the firebox."

Then Houck identifies the X-class's problem: The Bullmooses' "peculiar" inside-bearing two-wheeled radial stay trailing trucks provided "added stability in backing." Houck's comments on the Xs' derailing proclivity appear below. But he first pointed out that the truck's use in backing stability meant that the firebox's weight pressed on the last driving axle. As a result, the engines rode as stiffly as if they had no trailing truck at all.

Moreover, Houck's further description of the class in service shows that the trailing truck didn't always prevent problems. The Xs "were well known to be difficult and cantankerous tracking machines often prone to minor derailments; great care had to be exercised when negotiating crossovers and when turning then on the wyes at Poyntelle as they "cut off" from the pusher duties to which they so often assigned."

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID5391
RailroadNew York, Ontario & Western
Number in Class12
Road Numbers351-362
Number Built12
Valve GearBaker
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)20 / 6.10
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)36.75 / 11.20
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.54
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)66.83 / 20.37
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)61,000 / 27,669
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)293,000 / 132,903
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)352,500 / 159,892
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)168,700 / 76,521
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)521,200 / 236,413
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)9000 / 34.09
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)15 / 14
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)98 / 49
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)57 / 1448
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)190 / 13.10
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)28" x 32" / 711x813
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)71,083 / 32242.74
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.12
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)337 - 2" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)50 - 5.375" / 137
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)17 / 5.18
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)325 / 30.19
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)80.70 / 7.50
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)4498 / 417.87
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)1007 / 93.55
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)5505 / 511.42
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume197.19
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation15,333
Same as above plus superheater percentage18,093
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area72,865
Power L112,017
Power MT452.10

  • 353 (unknown photographer)
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Wes Barris