New Orleans Great Northern 2-6-2 "Prairie" Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 1 (Locobase 12771)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Volume 27, p. 233. See James H Lemly, The Gulf, Mobile and Ohio - Chapter XXI, The New Orleans Great Northern

Railroad Company - 1905-33, published on the web at [], last accessed 25 June 2011; and "Engage in Huge Reforestry Plan--Perpetual Timber Supply Until Eternity at Great Southern Co.'s Tract at Bogalusa - A Local Reforestation Project", McKean County Democrat (12 February 1925), as archived at [], last accessed 15 December 2016. Works numbers were 25740 in May 1905 and 26281-26282 in August.

This trio was ordered by the 50-mile East Louisiana Railroad, which was built to open up timberlands north of Lake Ponchatrain. In addition to a 24-mile main line between Covington and West Pearl City, the EL also operated a 12-mile branch from Mandeville Junction to Mandeville and had extended the line from Covington 13 miles to Folsom. The EL was the line on which Homer Plessey decided to test the Jim Crow laws in 1892, a case that resulted in the establishment of "separate but equal" as a legal doctrine governing de jure segregation by race for the next 60 years.

The specifications for the five locomotives in the order described the maximum grade as 8% (!) and curve radii as tight as 25 degrees. Within a month of the 1's production and before that of 2 and 3, the EL was bought by the Nogan in June 1905.

Although they remained with the NOGN until 1916, their low drivers suited them more to logging work and the trio was sold the Great Southern Lumber Company. There they joined at least two more Prairies bought from other loggers in 1910; see Locobase 12772 for a discussion of this large timber harvester.

The 1 was later sold to Alexandria Gravel.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Middle Run Media

Locobase ID12771
RailroadNew Orleans Great Northern (GM&O)
Number in Class3
Road Numbers1-3
Number Built3
BuilderBurnham, Williams & Co
Valve GearStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m) 8.33 / 2.54
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)23.83 / 7.26
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.35
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)84,000 / 38,102
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)110,000 / 49,895
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)80,000 / 36,287
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)190,000 / 86,182
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)4000 / 15.15
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)47 / 23.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)45 / 1143
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)200 / 13.80
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)17" x 24" / 432x610
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)26,203 / 11885.50
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.21
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)240 - 2" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)11.54 / 3.52
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)116 / 10.78
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)16 / 1.49
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1556 / 144.61
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1556 / 144.61
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume246.59
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation3200
Same as above plus superheater percentage3200
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area23,200
Power L15078
Power MT399.82

All material Copyright ©
Wes Barris