Kansas City Southern 2-10-4 "Texas" Locomotives in the USA

The Kansas City Southern Railroad ran from Kansas City, 786 miles south, to Port Arthur, TX on the Gulf Coast. In need of new motive power in the late 1930s KCS turned to the Lima Locomotive Company and purchased ten "Texas" type locomotives in 1937.

Five of them (road numbers 900 through 904) were oil burners and the other five (road numbers 905 through 909) burned coal. These Class J locomotives had 70" diameter drivers, 27" x 34" cylinders, a 310 psi boiler pressure and a tractive effort of 93,302 pounds. The oil burners weighed 509,000 pounds and the coal burners weighed 514,000 pounds.

All ten of the 2-10-4s were retired in 1952 and 1953 and were scrapped by 1954.


ClassQty.Road NumberYear Built Builder Notes
  1. Numbers 900-909 scrapped by 1954.

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class J (Locobase 97)

Data from tables in 1930 Locomotive Cyclopedia, supplemented by KCS 1942 - 2 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley. See also Albert F Stuebing, "The Advantages of Large Freight Locomotives, Particularly the 2-10-2 Type", Paper 1795 presented at the Spring Meeting, Chicago, Ill (23-26 May 1921), pp. 325 et seq, especially the comments of John E Muhfeld reporting the KCS's experience with Mallets beginning on p. 335; and Don G Campbell, "Modern Steam Locomotives of the KCS", National Railway Historical Bulletin, Volume 29, #2 (1964). (Many thanks to Chris Hohl for his 22 September 2017 email reporting unlikely boiler pressure values for 177 entries. A Locobase macro caused the error . Hohl also supplied the builder's card for an oil-burner that showed a slightly higher tender water capacity.) Lima works numbers 7660-7669 in August 1937.

The railway's John E Muhlfeld expressed in 1921 a strong preference for Mallets over the 2-10-2, claiming the following list of disadvantages burdening the Santa Fe layout:

"[e]normous concentrated stresses" on much of the running gear's components and their consequent liability of breakage and crushing,

"excessive bridge and rail loads",

"extraordinary" tire tread and flange wear,

difficulty in counterbalancing, and

complicating engine house maintenance because various component were of ' "extreme weight".

Although many railroads had already adopted the 2-10-2 arrangement and others would do so, the KCS waited until the much larger and more powerful 2-10-4 designs were available.

Five engines (900-904) burned oil, 5 (905-909) burned coal. (Don G. Campbell (NRHS Bulletin, 1964) speculates that splitting the fuel may have been done "to satisfy both the coal and petroleum industries along the line."). Oil-burner tenders carried 21,700 gal (82,135 litres) of water and 4,500 gallons (17,033 litres) of oil; these weighed 348,000 lb (157,850 kg) loaded. The engine's boiler began work with 46,000 lb (20,865 kg) or approximately 5,400 US gallons (20,439 litres) of water.

The firebox layout was relatively plain, using only 56 sq ft (5.2 sq m) of arch tubes to supplement the heating surface area provided by the basic furnace and combustion chamber.

Although originally intended for the Shreveport-KC run, World War II delayed upgrading the rail south of De Queen, Ark. to the 127-lb/yard (63.5 kg/metre) standard, so these engines worked on the Northern Division only. During World War II, these engines stepped in to pull troop trains and were able to meet passenger train schedules. Although not quite attaining the tonnage ratings of the road's "Big Mallies," these engines represented superpower in its most striking form.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID97
RailroadKansas City Southern (KCS)
Number in Class10
Road Numbers905-909, 900-904
Number Built10
Valve GearWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)24.30 / 7.41
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)48.70 / 14.84
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.50
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)98.42 / 30
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)75,000 / 34,019
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)353,300 / 160,254
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)509,000 / 230,879
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)359,690 / 163,153
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)868,690 / 394,032
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)21,000 / 79.55
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)25 / 23
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)118 / 59
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)70 / 1778
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)310 / 21.40
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)27" x 34" / 686x864
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)93,302 / 42321.13
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.79
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)73 - 2.25" / 57
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)183 - 3.75" / 95
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)21 / 6.40
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)502 / 46.64
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)107 / 9.94
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)5154 / 478.82
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)2075 / 192.77
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)7229 / 671.59
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume228.76
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation33,170
Same as above plus superheater percentage42,789
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area200,750
Power L142,281
Power MT1319.18

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