Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2-8-0 "Consolidation" Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 1 (Locobase 3198)

Data from "Consolidation Freight Compound Locomotive for the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railway", Locomotive Engineering, Volume 9, No 9 (September 1896), p. 733; and "Pittsburgh Compound Locomotives for the Lake Superior and Ishpeming", Railroad Gazette, Volume 28 (4 September 1896), p. 617. McShane (1899). Works numbers were 1615-1620 in June-July 1896. (Builder information from B Rumary list supplied by Allen Stanley in March 2004.)

The LE report described a growing problem for many of the smaller railroads as traffic and weight increased: "When engines of this clas come to be used on level roads, or roads that are comparatively level, the people in charge of the building of freight cars will have to change some of their methods and some of their materials, for such engines will haul more than will hang together." The RAG's account noted that one of the key grades on the way to the port of Marquette was one that climbed at 86 feet/mile ( 1.6%) with those heavy loads.

Less common was the two-cylinder cross-compound favored by several of the locomotive builders that would soon amalgamate as the American Locomotive Company. The HP cylinder sat on the right side of the smokebox and the larger LP cylinder appeared on the left side. It wouldn't be long before the LS&I converted the class to simple-expansion locomotives with two 20 x 28 cylinders.

LS&I 1, 2, & 4 went to the Marquette & Southeastern in 1905 as their 35,33, & 34, respectively. The other three were renumbered twice by the LS & I. The 8 ( ex-6) was sold in 1934 to the Wabash as their 2390. The 9 (ex-7, ex-5) wound up at the Cleveland Cliffs Iron scrapyard.

Class 18/SC-1 (Locobase 3295)

Data from table in January 1917 issue of RME and Railway Age, 13 May 1921. See also DeGolyer, Volume 53, pp. 408+. See also "Powerful Consolidation Locomotives for the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railway", Railway and Locomotive Engineering, Volume 29 , No 6 (June 1916), p. 188; and Aurele A Durocher, The Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad Company, Railway & Locomotive Historical Society Bulletin No 98, March 1958 (Boston, Mass: R&LHS, Baker Library, Harvard Business School), pp. 7-. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 5 April 2015 email reporting the tender's fuel and water capacities and the retrofit of a tender booster on 35.) Works numbers were 43105-43107 in March 1916.

This class came from Baldwin as a batch. The trio exerted hefty tractive efforts through a large cylinder volume fed by sizable 14" (356 mm) piston valves) from a very large boiler. The firebox heating surface included 29 sq ft (2..69 sq m) in four arch tubes. Its relatively high axle loading reflects a 1909 LS&I program to relay all track with 80 lb/yard (40 kg/metre) rail. Minimum curve radius was a relatively gentle 5 deg and maximum grade was a mild 1.6%.

The class more than lived up to its designers' aspirations. Aurele Durocher wrote in 1958 that the locomotives' great bulk dictated two flat domes on top of the boiler and the displacement of the bell to an unusual setup on the boiler's flank. The burly beasts quickly and permanently became known as "hogs". They weren't very fast, but they could "pull the longest string of hoppers up to Negaunee than any LS&I engine had done before--60 cars."

"I recall their exhaust as being heavy and 'boomy'", Durocher added,"they even sounded powerful when moving."

Boiler pressure later rose to 200 psi with a commensurate tractive effort increase to 60,484 lb (27, 435 kg). The 35 was later fitted with a side-rod booster on the tender's front truck.

After long careers with the LS&I, all three were sold to the Marquette & Huron Mountain tourist railroad that operated on the recently abandoned Big Bay branch line. 34-35 went in July 1963, 32 in December 1963.

34 ultimately wound up on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad as its 734 and 35 was adopted by the Illinois Railway Museum.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
Locobase ID3198 3295
RailroadLake Superior & IshpemingLake Superior & Ishpeming
Number in Class63
Road Numbers1-6/12, 7-918-20/32, 34-35
Number Built63
Valve GearStephensonBaker
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)15.50 / 4.7216 / 4.88
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)23.50 / 7.1626 / 7.92
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.66 0.62
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)52.85 / 16.1160.96 / 18.58
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)132,800 / 60,237238,000 / 107,955
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)147,600 / 66,950268,000 / 121,563
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)76,200 / 34,564167,000 / 75,750
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)223,800 / 101,514435,000 / 197,313
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)4000 / 15.158500 / 32.20
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)13 / 12
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)55 / 27.5099 / 49.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)56 / 142257 / 1448
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)180 / 12.40185 / 12.80
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)20" x 28" / 508x711 (1)26" x 30" / 660x762
Low Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)31" x 28" / 787x711 (1)
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)21,607 / 9800.7855,948 / 25377.62
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 6.15 4.25
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)240 - 2.25" / 57300 - 2" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)45 - 5.375" / 137
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)14.58 / 4.4415.50 / 4.72
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)148.60 / 13.81245.20 / 22.78
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)31.78 / 2.9558.70 / 5.45
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2198 / 204.203643 / 338.44
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)844 / 78.41
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2198 / 204.204487 / 416.85
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume431.83197.56
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation572010,860
Same as above plus superheater percentage572012,923
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area26,74853,981
Power L1404011,880
Power MT268.27440.18

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