Lehigh & Susquehanna 2-8-0 "Consolidation" Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 52 (Locobase 16298)

Data from "Locomotive for Heavy Goods Traffic", Engineering, Volume 8 (27 August 1869), p. 146. Works numbers were 1719-1720 in May 1868 and 1829 in January 1869. See also Burnham, Parry, Williams & Co, Baldwin Illustrated Catalogue -2nd Edition (Philadelphia: J B Lippincott & Co, 1881), p. 110-111.

The Consolidation ten-wheel arrangement introduce in 1866 for heavy freight engines (Locobase 2556) caught on quickly in the anthracite coal region of northeastern Pennsylvania. Among the interested parties was L C Brastow, Superintendent of Machinery on the L&S, who purchased at least three in 1868.

Engineering's report contains inaccuracies, apparently including an incorrect inference from the range of road numbers and reporting that the L&S had bought four from Baird. (54 was a 2-4-0.) But the data are certainly consistent with that reported for the original and the differences--greater weight, more tubes-- reflect reasonable modifications. 214 tubes consisted of 199 1 3/4" tubes and 15 2" tubes. Baird used steel in the inside firebox, tires, crosshead guides, tires, etc. The firebox could burn either anthracite or bituminous coal.

The class went to work on the 13-mile (21 km) Nanticoke Junction-Penobscot section according to the 1869 report. Two of them moved 65 cars (pulling and pushing) up the 8 miles of 1 in 56 (1.75%) grade and 4 more miles of 1 in 94 (ca. 1%) that had "frequent" curves. Running four round trips per day (104 miles/167 km total), they average 58 minutes per run up the gradients. On a "fine dry day", said Brastow, one locomotive averaged better than 13 mph (21 kph) over that same profile hauling 40-45 loaded cars.

Brastow's 20 September 1871 report to M Baird waxed even more enthusiastic. "Although these engines are very heavy, the weight is so evenly distributed throughout their length that we consider it perfectly safe to run them at their maximum speed over all our bridges, and ...we find them easy on the rail or road-bed." Moreover, "They are unsurpassed for their steaming qualities, and have never experienced a failure in this respect ...Our experience with these engines [5 by the time of the report] is that they are economical both in the consumption of fuel and cost of repairs."

Each could pull 1,600 tons on the level at 10-15 mph. They had been run at 20 mph (32 kph).

The L&S was amalgamated with other railroads as the Central of New Jersey in 1871; this class added 200 to their road numbers. In 1899, 252 gave up its leading truck to work as an 0-8-0, but regained it in 1903 and was renumbered 290 at the same time. 253 was scrapped in October 1900. 291 (ex-255) was sold to Continental Equipment Company in August 1903. 290's departure from the rolls followed in 1907 with a sale to scrap-dealer J E Bowen.

NB: The direct heating surface (including the firebox heating surface) is an estimate calculated by subtracting the calculated tube heating surface from the reported total evaporative heating surface.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Middle Run Media

Locobase ID16298
RailroadLehigh & Susquehanna (CNJ)
Number in Class3
Road Numbers52-53, 55/252-253, 255, 290-291
Number Built3
BuilderM. Baird & Co
Valve GearStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)21.83 / 6.65
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)80,000 / 36,287
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)88,000 / 39,916
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)2000 / 7.58
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)33 / 16.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)49 / 1245
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)130 / 9
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)20" x 24" / 508x610
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)21,649 / 9819.83
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.70
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)214 - 1.75" / 44
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)11.92 / 3.63
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)139 / 12.91
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)26.50 / 2.46
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1320 / 122.63
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1320 / 122.63
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume151.20
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation3445
Same as above plus superheater percentage3445
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area18,070
Power L12450
Power MT270.07

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