Great Northern 2-4-0 "Porter" Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 6000 (Locobase 16539)

Data from Great Northern 1918 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive collection. See also Kenneth R Middleton and Norman C Keyes, Jr., The Great Northern Railway Company: Predecessors and Fully Controlled Subsidiaries, Railroad & Locomotive Historical Society Bulletin No. 143. (Autumn 1980), p. 114. (Many thanks to Charlie Vlk, whose 12 May 2021 email inquiring about steam motor cars on US railroads led to Locobase's discovery of this diagram and Chris Hohl for his 30 June 2021 email reporting the axle loading.)

Charlie Vlk's email traces the career of this one-off. Locobase decided to let his words start this entry:

"James J. Hill sent GN Civil Engineer Max Tolz to Europe to study such cars and he designed and had the CB&Q Aurora Shops to build in 1905 an 0-4-0 steam car articulated with a coach which was tested on the CB&Q and sent to the GN. After testing there it was sent back to Aurora, rebuilt as 0-4-0T without the coach section and sent back to the GN. It was further rebuilt by the GN as a 2-4-0T and last was used in late 1910 but survived long enough to have a diagram sheet made of it as part of the Valuation in 1915."

Locobase notes how much bigger this steam motor than virtually all others, especially in its rebuilt configuration. Firebox, grate, and boiler all supplied plenty of steam, which was delivered to the cylinders through piston valves.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID16539
RailroadGreat Northern
Number in Class1
Road Numbers6000
Number Built
Valve GearWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)8 / 2.44
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)14.36 / 4.38
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.56
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)14.36 / 4.38
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)28,000
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)46,100 / 20,911
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)53,000 / 24,040
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)1180 / 4.47
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)500 / 1893
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)38 / 19
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)42 / 1067
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)170 / 11.70
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)13" x 17" / 330x432
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)9884 / 4483.31
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.66
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)167 - 2" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m) 6.98 / 2.13
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)62 / 5.76
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)16 / 1.49
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)674 / 62.62
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)674 / 62.62
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume258.24
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation2720
Same as above plus superheater percentage2720
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area10,540
Power L14486
Power MT429.06

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Wes Barris