Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific 2-6-6 Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class K-17/27-A/F-16 (Locobase 6546)

Data from CRI&P Locomotive Diagram book from 1903 supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. See also E E R Tratman, "Tank Locomotives", Official Proceedings of the Western Railway Club (Chicago: W F Hall Printing Company, 1905), pp. 351; and DeGolyer, Volume 18, p. 146; and "Enforcement of the Smoke Ordinance" in Report of the Department of Health of the City of Chicago for the Year 1893, pp. 88- 95; and J N Barr, "Report on Smoke Prevention", Locomotive Engineers' Monthly Journal, Volume XXVII [27], No 9 (September 1893), pp. 802-804. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 22 March 2018 email noting the coal capacity and boiler pressure setting.) Works numbers were 13237-13238, 13245, 13261 in February 1893; and 13267, and 13297 in March.

Described in the diagram book as a "Forney", this is a classic commuter tank locomotive of the late 1890s. Baldwin's spec contains a 27 February 1893 addition showing the addition of a fuel rack to raise the locomotives' coal capacity to four tons.

They served the Chicago-Blue Island run of 17 miles (27.4 km/h) as well as limited trains to Joliet (40.4 miles/65 km/h). Pulling 3-8 cars and making between 18 and 20 stops, the engines would make the Blue Island run in 45 minutes.

Although the class arrived on the railroad with safety valve set at 180 psi (as Hohl reported), the setting had been reduced to 160 psi (11.03 bar) by 1903. To comply with Chicago smoke-abatement ordinances, the class was delivered with Barnes smoke burners. According to the city's Department of Health, they were six of the 2,704 locomotives that had been fitted with such devices. In listing the different railroads, the DoH named the Barnes (used on the Wabash), Dickson, Farr, Hutchison, Kunzer, Nutting (IC), Walker (CM&StP), and Western (CB&Q) devices.

Steam engines could be filthy beasts indeed, but they were far from alone in consuming the 4,247,174 tons of soft coal that they brought into Chicago in 1893. The DoH report provided a round-up of the various smoke preventers in use in stationary furnaces to underscore the city-wide commitment to suppressing smoke.

The consensus among many of the Master Mechanics attending a meeting in the same year was that the best smoke preventer was a good fireman. Smoke preventing devices could be useful when the engine was at rest or just starting, but they also increased coal consumption.

They ran for more than 30 years before being scrapped in 1926-1927.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Middle Run Media

Locobase ID6546
RailroadChicago, Rock Island & Pacific (CRI&P)
Number in Class6
Road Numbers1001-1006/601-606/1051-56
Number Built6
BuilderBurnham, Williams & Co
Valve GearStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)13.33 / 4.06
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)35.75 / 10.90
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.37
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)35.75 / 10.90
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)107,000 / 48,534
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)194,700 / 88,315
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)194,700
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)2600 / 9.85
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)4 / 4
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)59 / 29.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)63.75 / 1619
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)160 / 11
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)18" x 24" / 457x610
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)16,589 / 7524.65
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 6.45
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)240 - 2" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)11.08 / 3.38
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)158 / 14.68
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)23.26 / 2.16
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1551 / 144.09
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1551 / 144.09
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume219.38
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation3722
Same as above plus superheater percentage3722
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area25,280
Power L15629
Power MT347.94

  • 1051 (Blue Island, Il 1930s R. Graham photo courtesy Maryland Rail Heritage Library)
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