Chicago Great Western 2-10-4 "Texas" Locomotives in the USA

Needing new motive power in the late 1920s, the Chicago Great Western Railroad placed orders with the Lima Locomotive Company and the Baldwin Locomotive Works for "Texas" type locomotives.

The first to arrive were fifteen of the 2-10-4s (road numbers 850 through 864) from Lima in 1930. Another three (road numbers 880 through 882) came from Lima in the same year. These eighteen locomotives were designated as Class T-1 and had 63" diameter drivers, 29" x 32" cylinders, a 255 psi boiler pressure, a tractive effort of 84,600 pounds and each weighed 462,900 pounds.

Another nine, "Texas" type locomotives were received from Baldwin in 1930. These locomotives were built to the same basic specifications as the T-1s, but weighed 463,980 pounds. They were designated as Class T-2 and were assigned road numbers 865 through 873.

All thirty-six of the coal burning CGW "Texas" type locomotives were retired between 1948 and 1950, and today there are no surviving examples


ClassQty.Road NumberYear Built Builder Notes
T-1 3880-8821930Lima2
T-2 9865-8731930Baldwin3
T-3 6874-8791930Baldwin4
T-3 3883-8851931Baldwin5
  1. Numbers 850-864 scrapped between 1948 and 1950.
  2. Numbers 880-882 scrapped between 1948 and 1950.
  3. Numbers 865-873 scrapped between 1948 and 1950.
  4. Numbers 874-879 scrapped in 1948-1949.
  5. Numbers 883-885 scrapped in 1948-1949.

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class T1/T2/T3 (Locobase 1187)

Data from tables and diagrams in 1930 Locomotive Cyclopedia and from CGW 1 -- 1938, 1943, - 1946, and - 1948 locomotive diagram books supplied in March 2004 and August 2013 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. See also DeGolyer, Volume 82, pp. 186+. See also "Chicago Great Western Freight Power Improved", Baldwin Locomotive Magazine, Volume 19, No. 4 (November 1941), pp. 11-14. (Many thanks to Chris Hohl for his 28 April 2019 email and attached builder's cards accompanying comments on the class's boosters.) Baldwin's works numbers for road numbers 865-879 were 61573-61587 in December 1931. Lima works numbers were 7501-7515 in April 1930, 7569-7571 in December.

The most massive of all of the Corn Belt Route's (aka the Maple Leaf Route) motive power. (Artwork outlining the tri-lobal route pattern superimposed a maple leaf to illustrate the claim.) Drury (1993) claims that these were duplicates of the Texas & Pacific 600-series locomotives -- and in terms of basic power, they were. He notes the few differences: "coal instead of oil fuel, a second sand dome behind the steam dome, and Coffin or Worthington [Type S] feedwater heaters."

The 1943 diagram book suggests a very different origin. Alone among the American and Canadian 2-10-4s, these locomotives retained the 5 1/2" flues for the superheater. The areas are considerably smaller than those of the T&P engines. All of the engines were delivered with a connection to an auxiliary water tank car available. (Locobase suspected as much when he considered the relative sizes of water and coal fuel in the tenders.)

Firebox heating surface included 91 sq ft (8.45 sq m) from the combustion chamber and 21 sq ft (1.95 sq m) of arch tubes. Baldwin's engines were delivered with 98 sq ft in two thermic syphons (9.1 sq m), while Lima's locomotives's three thermic syphons (two firebox, one combustion chamber) totalled 106 sq ft (9.85 sq m)--the specs show the latter data as Baldwins were later brought up to that level. All had 14" (356 mm) piston valves.

Batch summaries:

T-1 850-864 Lima 1930, Franklin C-23 trailing-truck 13,300 lb (6,033 kg or 59.16 kN) boosters. In January 1938, engine #855 was refitted with Walschaert valve gear and two thermic syphons in the combustion chamber.

T-2 865-873 Baldwin 1930 - Worthington feedwater heaters

T-3 874-879 Baldwin 1931, 880-882 Lima 1931 (Baldwin works numbers came in a batch 61573-61587 in December 1930) - Coffin feedwater heaters, Bethlehem tender booster engines in 874-879 providing 18,000 lb (8,165 kg or 80.07 kN) of additional tractive effort.

883-885 Lima 1931. Also with Bethlehem tender boosters.

An interesting vignette on the impact of these "Big Hogs" comes from Rail Data Exchange of stories about the CGW put up on [] by Jim L. Rueber (visited 11 August 2004):

"To help pay for these huge engines" Rueber says, "a lot of employees lost their jobs. The shop force at Oelwein, Iowa was reduced. The Terminals at East Stockton, Illinois and Conception, Missouri were closed. These bigger engines resulted in fewer trains so the trainmen and enginemen took a hit. Even the operators at the various coal chutes were reduced to just one man."

Rueber adds that when a superintendent asked engineer Frank Anderson whether he liked the new engines, Anderson replied, "I don't". When Foster, the super, followed with "Why not?", Anderson said, "They pull too many cars."

Baldwin's 1941 article noted that when they were delivered "[t]he wheels were statically balanced, and approximately 50% of the reciprocating weight was balanced in accordance with the accepted practice of the time." But all of the reciprocating balance was placed on the wheels in axles 1, 2, 4, and 5. Because the main drivers (the third set) took all of the load and whirling weight of the main rod, but were not balanced, increased speeds induced vibrations that "resulted in rough riding and proved hard on the track."

So in 1937 the CGW began replacing the original spoke wheels with Baldwin disc centers that had "triangular sections in the rim and adjacent to the hub.". In addition to strengthening the drivers, the change reduced the size of axle and crank pin hubs. This reduced the amount of weight to be counterbalanced even as it provided more space to add what was needed. The new discs and counterbalance also reduced dynamic augment to a striking degree, especially at higher speeds.

In 1939, Baldwin supplied lighter-weight main rods and tandem connecting rods. When installed, the weights on the main pin dropped from 1,385 lb to 1,076 lb, a reduction of 22%.

By 1943, the CGW had removed all the Bethlehem

All left service in 1948-1950.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID1187
RailroadChicago Great Western (CGW)
Number in Class36
Road Numbers850-885
Number Built36
Valve GearBaker
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)21.50 / 6.55
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)46.67 / 14.23
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.46
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)87.50 / 26.67
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)304,190 / 137,978
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)455,310 / 206,525
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)311,700 / 141,385
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)767,010 / 347,910
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)14,000 / 53.03
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)25 / 23
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)101 / 50.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)63 / 1600
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)255 / 17.60
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)29" x 32" / 737x813
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)92,590 / 41998.17
Booster (lbs)13,300
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.29
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)216 - 2.25" / 57
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)50 - 5.5" / 140
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)21.50 / 6.55
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)502 / 45.89
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)100 / 9.29
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)4777 / 443.05
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)1325 / 123.10
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)6102 / 566.15
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume195.30
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation25,500
Same as above plus superheater percentage31,110
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area156,172
Power L121,030
Power MT762.08

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