2-10-4 "Texas" Locomotives in the USA

When the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad purchased its last group of 2-10-2 locomotives it had the Baldwin Locomotive Works equip one of them (number 3829) with a four-wheel trailing truck to see what difference there would be between a 2-10-2 and a 2-10-4. This experimental locomotive, delivered in 1919, was the first ever of this wheel arrangement. The experiment ended without any conclusive results or any name given to this wheel arrangement, and number 3829 was kept in service as a 2-10-4 until it was retired in 1955.

Six years later, in 1925, the Lima Locomotive Works designed a new locomotive by adding a fifth set of drivers and increasing the cylinders of its "Berkshire" and created a .true. 2-10-4. The first railroad to take delivery of this new .super power. locomotive was the Texas & Pacific Railway in 1925. Because the AT&SF design was merely an experiment no name had been attached to the 2-10-4 wheel arrangement in 1919. After the delivery, in 1925, the 2-10-4 was given the name "Texas" for the Texas & Pacific.

Like the "Berkshires", Lima kept the drivers on the "Texas" type locomotive low (63.5 inches) to provide good traction, but it caused counterbalancing problems. The ten-coupled drivers required huge piston thrusts, which necessitated massive rods and valve gear. These heavy rods and valve gear required large counter-balance weights on the wheels. The 60 to 63.5 inch diameters of the early classes of the "Texas" locomotive were too small to carry enough weight and that caused them to ride rough.

The Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad was one of the railroads that served as a member of the .Advisory Mechanical Committee.. This committee was made up of motive engineers from the Van Sweringens owned: C&O, Erie, Nickel Plate and Pere Marquette railroads. In need of a new freight locomotive design, this group put an Erie "Berkshire" with 70-inch diameter drivers through a series of test. After careful evaluation of the results it designed a new high driver 2-10-4, which essentially was a stretched Erie "Berkshire" with 69-inch diameter drivers.

The introduction of this high driver locomotive set a new standard for the "Texas" locomotive and all new orders for the 2-10-4s included high drivers. Even the Pennsylvania Railroad, when in dire need of motive power during World War II and not allowed to build its own designs, turned to the C&O's design and built 125 of them.

One exception to this was the Santa Fe 2-10-4s. They were built with 74-inch diameter drivers. The C&O 2-10-4s were heavier and could exert more tractive effort. However, the Santa Fe 2-10-4s were faster. No other 2-10-4s were built with drivers this large.

There were eleven North American railroads that used 430 of the "Texas" 2-10-4 locomotives. There are nine examples of this locomotive that survive today and are on display as shown below.

The USA also built "Texas" type locomotives for other countries. Both Baldwin and ALCO built about 20 2-10-4s for the EdF (Estrada de Ferro) Central do Brazil Railroad. They were 1 meter gauge with 48 inch drivers. They weighed about half of their standard gauge counterparts. They were last used around 1990 on the EdF Donna Therisa Christina Railroad in Brazil. The EdF Donna Therisa Christina Railroad was one of the last places in the world to regularly run mainline steam. It is on the southern coast of Brazil, centered on Tubearo south of Puerto Alegri. See this page for a photo.

"Madam Queen" - AT&SF No. 5000

Specifications for No. 5000 "Madam Queen"
Wheel Arrangement:2-10-4
Length:111' - 11"
Drivers:69" dia.
Weight on Drivers:350,400 lbs
Locomotive Weight:502,600 lbs
Locomotive & Tender Weight:877,600 lbs
Grate Area:121.7 sq ft
Cylinders:(2) 30" dia. x 34" stroke
Boiler Pressure:300 psi
Tractive Effort:95,584 lbs (using c=0.7 in the TE equation)
Tender Capacity:20,000 gals. of water and 7,107 gals. of oil.
Note: The locomotive and tender weighed 602,500 lbs without water and coal.
The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad flirted with the 2-10-4 wheel arrangement for 19 years before it placed an order for more than one locomotive. The flirting began in 1919, with experimental number 3829, the 2-10-2 that was fitted with a four-wheel trailing truck. The second flirtation occurred with the delivery of number 5000, a single 2-10-4 locomotive in 1930. This Baldwin built, 502,600 pound "Texas" type locomotive had 69" dia. drivers which were larger than most freight motive power at the time.

From the very beginning, number 5000 was nicknamed "Madam Queen". It was this single locomotive that proved the value of the four-wheel trailing truck and high drivers on 2-10-4s and led the AT&SF to order 35 of them starting in 1938. "Madam Queen" operated heavy freight and ran up 1,700,000 miles before it was retired in 1953.

"Madam Queen" was donated to the City of Amarillo, Texas by the AT&SF in 1957. It received little upkeep and was deteriorating badly when, in 1992, a small group of railroad enthusiasts formed the Texas Panhandle Railroad Historical Society of Amarillo, Texas. The TPRHS, with the aid of the City of Amarillo, undertook a project to restore number 5000. The cosmetic restoration was completed in the summer of 1996 and the society continues to maintain the locomotive.

This one-of-a-kind locomotive is on display at the Santa Fe Park near the AT&SF Depot in Amarillo, TX.

Builders of 2-10-4 "Texas" Type Locomotives (by Richard Duley)

RailroadNumber of Locomotives by BuilderFrom Other Railroads
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe 37
Bessemer & Lake Erie1037
Canadian Pacific1 CPR 36-MLW
Central Vermont10
Chesapeake & Ohio40
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy18
Chicago Great Western1818
Duluth Missabe & Iron Range 18 B&LE
Kansas City Southern10
Pennsylvania Railroad125 PRR
Texas & Pacific 70

Number of 2-10-4 "Texas" Type Locomotives Built by Year (by Richard Duley)

*DM&IR bought 18 2-10-4s from Bessemer in 1951

Railroads that used 2-10-4 "Texas" Locomotives in the USA (data provided by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media)

Surviving Examples of 2-10-4 "Texas" Locomotives in the USA

No.ClassF.M. WhyteGaugeRailroad LineLocationStatusBuilder InfoNotes
50002-10-44'-8½"AT&SF Railroad Artifact Preservation Society, Amarillo, TXdisplayBaldwin #61524, 1930 Named Madame Queen. Possible candidate for restoration to operation.
501750112-10-44'-8½"AT&SF National Railroad Museum, Green Bay, WIdisplayBaldwin #70823, 1944
610I1a2-10-44'-8½"T&P Texas State Railroad, Palestine, TXdisplayLima #7237, 1927 American Freedom Train Pulled the American Freedom Train in 1976 and ran excursions from 1977 to 1982 for the Southern Railway.
502150112-10-44'-8½"AT&SF Old Sacramento, Sacramento, CAstoredBaldwin #70827, 1944
503050112-10-44'-8½"AT&SF Salvador Perez Park, Santa Fe, NMdisplayBaldwin #70836, 1944
501150112-10-44'-8½"AT&SF Museum of Transportation, St. Louis, MOdisplayBaldwin #70817, 1944
643H-1-G2-10-44'-8½"B&LE Age of Steam Roundhouse, Sugarcreek, OHprivate storedBaldwin #70057, 1943 Once owned by Glenn Campbell (no relation to the singer). Previously stored at the P&LE yard, McKees Rocks, PA. Acquired by the Age of Steam Roundhouse, Sugarcreek, OH on August 5, 2019. Moved to the Age of Steam Roundhouse as of 2022.

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