Chicago & Eastern Illinois 2-8-2 "Mikado" Locomotives in the USA

The Chicago and Eastern Illinois linked Chicago to Southern Illinois, St. Louis, and Evansville. It was founded in 1877. In the beginning the C&EI hauled coal from mines in Central Illinois and Western Indiana to Chicago. Its growth was closely associated with the growth of Chicago. At the same time, the C&EI was developing itself as a bridge-route between the southern states and Chicago. In the longer run, as the demand for coal dwindled, bridge traffic would prove more economically important to the road.

The Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railway bought its first "Mikado" type locomotives from the American Locomotive Company and they were delivered in 1912. These locomotives were designated as Class N-1 and assigned road numbers 1900 through 1924. They had 63" diameter drivers, 28" x 30" cylinders, a 175 psi boiler pressure, exerted 55,533 pounds of tractive effort and each weighed 300,000 pounds. The firebox was 256.5 square feet and the evaporative heating surface was 4,259 square feet and with the superheater the combined heating surface was 5,343 square feet.

In 1918, the USRA allocated fifteen ALCO-built "Mikado-Light" locomotives to the C&E1. They were designated as Class N-2 and assigned road numbers 1925 through 1939. These locomotives had 63" diameter drivers, 26" x 30" cylinders, a 200 psi boiler pressure, they exerted 54,723 pounds of tractive effort and each weighed 290,000 pounds.

A final group of twenty 2-8-2s came from ALCO during 1922 and 1923. These locomotives were designated as Class N-3 and assigned road numbers 1940 through 1959. They had 63" diameter drivers, 28" x 30" cylinders and each weighed 317,500 pounds. The firebox was 241 square feet and the evaporative heating surface was 4,051 square feet and with the superheater the combined heating surface was 5,161 square feet. Later the boiler pressure was raised to 190 psi which increased the tractive effort to 60,293 pounds.

There are no surviving C&EI 2-8-2 "Mikado" type locomotives.


Roster

ClassQty.Road NumbersYear BuiltBuilderNotes
N-1251900-19241912ALCO1
N-2151925-19391918ALCO2
N-3201940-19491922ALCO3
N-3101950-19591923ALCO4
Notes:
  1. Numbers 1900-1924 scrapped between years 1947 and 1950.
  2. USRA allocated "Mikado-Light" locomotives. Numbers 1925-1939 scrapped between the years of 1940 and 1950.
  3. Number 1943 sold to the Sydney & Louisburg in 1950 and became S&L number 101 then scrapped in 1960. All the others scrapped during years 1949 and 1950.
  4. Numbers 1950-1959 scrapped in 1949-1950.

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class K-55/N-1sa, N-4 (Locobase 1039)

Data from 1949 C&EI locomotive diagram book supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. Works numbers were 51845-51869 in September 1912.

Compared to other North American 2-8-2s of the time (ca 1910-1915), the N-1s specs put them in the top 15% in heating surface area and the top 25% in grete and firebox areas. They had 13" (330 mm) piston valves.

Charles Kratz in Drury (1993) says of these 25 engines : "They were fast and powerful and they changed the C&EI did business.". A suggestive figure in the C&EI's 1913 Annual Report appears in the table presented on page 31. The class comprised 7.27% of the railroad's motive power, but generated 12.56% of the starting tractive effort.

The 1949 diagram includes one for the N-4, which were rebuilt N-1s. Their new boilers now used a 190 psi setting, the firebox heating surface area included either arch tubes or thermic syphons, and coal entered the firebox through a Standard BK mechanical stoker.. Adhesion weight increased to 228,290 lb (103,551 kg), new appliances in the firebox shifted the distribution of weights on the non-powered trucks toward the trailing truck, and engine weight grew to 308,352 lb (139,866 kg). Seventeen N-1s went through the update:1900-1903, 1905-1906, 1908-1911, 1914, 1916, 1919-1921, and 1923-1924.

All 25 remained on the roster through the end of World War II. They were sold for scrap between 1947 and 1950.


Class N-2 (USRA) (Locobase 7)

Data from C&EI 5 -1949 locomotive diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. (Many thanks to Chris Hohl for his 22 September 2017 email reporting unlikely boiler pressure values for 177 entries. A Locobase macro caused the error .) Works numbers were 59503-59517 in September 1918.

Based on the light USRA design (Locobase 40), but there are some small, slight differences.

1930 blew up on 4 January 1940 and was scrapped in the next month. The others all retired August 1949 to August 1950.


Class N-3 (Locobase 7176)

Data from C&EI 5 -1949 locomotive diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. Works numbers were 63568-63577 at Brooks in November 1922 and classed N-1sa, 64524-64533 at Schenectady in July 1923 and classed N-1sb.

These Mikes represent the difficulty in sustaining any effort at standardization as represented by the USRA series. Although they had very similar tube and flue layouts, their grates were considerably smaller because the firebox was 12" (305 mm) shorter. At the same time, cylinder volume increased when the diameters grew by 2" (51 mm). The cab's roof included a clerestory.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Middle Run Media

ClassK-55/N-1sa, N-4N-2 (USRA)N-3
Locobase ID1039 7 7176
RailroadChicago & Eastern Illinois (C&EI)Chicago & Eastern Illinois (C&EI)Chicago & Eastern Illinois (C&EI)
CountryUSAUSAUSA
Whyte2-8-22-8-22-8-2
Number in Class251520
Road Numbers1900-19241925-19391940-1959
GaugeStdStdStd
Number Built251520
BuilderAlco-BrooksAlco-SchenectadyAlco-Schenectady
Year191219181922
Valve GearWalschaertWalschaertBaker
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)16.50 / 5.0316.50 / 5.0316.50 / 5.03
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)34.92 / 10.6436.08 / 1136.25 / 11.05
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.47 0.46 0.46
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)67.0271.38 / 21.7670.87 / 21.60
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)60,600 / 27,488
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)220,500 / 100,017220,000 / 99,790232,500 / 105,460
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)300,000 / 136,078292,000 / 132,449317,500 / 144,016
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)171,300 / 77,700185,400 / 84,096192,000 / 87,090
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)471,300 / 213,778477,400 / 216,545509,500 / 231,106
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)9000 / 34.0910,000 / 37.8810,000 / 37.88
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)14 / 1316 / 1516 / 15
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)92 / 4692 / 4697 / 48.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)63 / 160063 / 160063 / 1600
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)175 / 12.10200 / 13.80190 / 13.10
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)28" x 30" / 711x76226" x 30" / 660x76228" x 30" / 711x762
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)55,533 / 25189.3854,724 / 24822.4260,293 / 27348.48
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.97 4.02 3.86
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)237 - 2.25" / 57207 - 2.25" / 57208 - 2.25" / 57
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)36 - 5.5" / 14040 - 5.5" / 14043 - 5.5" / 140
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)21 / 6.4021 / 6.4020.75 / 6.32
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)256.50 / 23.84240 / 22.30241 / 22.40
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)57 / 5.3066.70 / 6.2057 / 5.30
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)4259 / 395.824000 / 371.754051 / 376.49
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)1084 / 100.74962 / 89.411110 / 103.16
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)5343 / 496.564962 / 461.165161 / 479.65
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume199.20216.92189.48
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation997513,34010,830
Same as above plus superheater percentage11,97015,87513,213
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area53,86557,12055,864
Power L113,14715,78214,226
Power MT525.79632.61539.58

  • 1912 (H. K. Vollrath Collection)
  • 1915 (H. K. Vollrath Collection)
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