Kentucky & Tennessee 2-8-2 "Mikado" Locomotives in the USA

The Southern Railway sold a "Mikado" type locomotive to the Kentucky & Tennessee Railroad in October 1948. This locomotive was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works and was the first 2-8-2 to arrive on the Southern Railway. The locomotive was Southern road number 4501 and was assigned K&T number 12. Number 12 was used to pull coal trains from the mines at Oz to the Southern Railway interchange at Stearns. In 1964, this locomotive was sold to Paul H. Merriman, who brought it to Chattanooga, TN where it underwent an overhaul at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. It was renumbered back to 4501 and painted in the Virginian green and gold similar to the livery used on the Southern "Pacific" type passenger locomotives. Number 4501 survives and is located at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.


K&T 2-8-2 Roster
Road NumbersYear BuiltBuilderConstruction #Notes
704/1908Baldwin32763Scrapped 1951
1004/1920Baldwin53182To the TVRM in 1964; Renumbered 6910
1110/1922ALCO (Brooks)63271Sold to Stearns Coal & Lumber on 09/1963
121908Baldwin37085Now at the TVRM as SRS 4501

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 10 (Locobase 13817)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Vol 59, p. 404+. Works number was 53182 in April 1920.

Compared to Baldwin Mikado #7 of 1908 (Locobase 4201), this was a scaled-up, superheated upgrade that rolled on much taller drivers, had much greater cylinder volume fed by 12" (305 mm) diameter piston valves, and weighed commensurately more.

The 10 was sold in 1964 to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.

Class 7 (Locobase 4201)

Data from "Mikado Locomotive for the Kentucky & Tennessee Railway", Railroad Gazette, Volume 44, No. 22 (29 May 1908), pp. 731-732; and DeGolyer, Volume 31, p. 204.. See also Big South Fork Scenic Railway site at [], especially its reprint of the Louisville Post's celebratory 1922 article: Ralph Coghlan, "City of Stearns Became a Coal and Timber Center," Louisville Post, 6 December 1922, last accessed 3 February 2012. Works number was 32763 in April 1908.

RA points out that this Mikado was designed specifically for short runs with heavy trains over a line that had 4% grades and curves of up to 20 deg, uncompensated. Hence the six axles (four driven) to spread the weight, small drivers to grind the most out of the adhesion, and the small (11 ft 6 in/3.51 m) rigid wheelbase. The leading truck was equalized with the first two driving axles while the latter two driving axles were equalized with the rear truck of Rushton design.

RG also noted that this design used a large number of flexible staybolts between the outer and inner firebox sheets. As the report outlined the distribution, there seems to have been few surfaces that weren't connected by flexible staybolts.

"The Route of the Painted Rocks" short line served several coal mines owned by the Stearns Coal and Lumber Company of Stearns, Ky (near the Kentucky-Tennessee line). The Big South Fork site notes that it was one of the few "natural resource" roads to haul empty cars down a considerable grade and loaded cars up.

Coghlan reports that the promise of coal revenue sparked the 1902 start of railroad construction. He writes vividly:

"The railroad was begun, pushed through hills, and smashed through rock. It became apparent that the time for thinking about lumber was past and that coal, lots of coal, must be dug to make the railroad pay. Its cost for the first 15 miles was $50,000 a mile. For the first four miles it dropped 500 feet. That meant heavy, expensive locomotives. So about ten years ago the company changed its policy, refinanced itself, and became the Stearns Coal and Lumber Company; object, divorce from wood and matrimony with coal."

Observing that some would have considered the effort an example of throwing good money after bad, Coghlan says that the results spite the saying:

"From that time forward the penetration of Stearns into McCreary fastnesses has been progressive and fruitful. Today, the railroad, which was christened the Kentucky and Tennessee, reaches from Stearns to Exodus; a distance of 20 miles ... In the weight of its rails and the size of its equipment the K. and T. is a full-grown husky railroad, with three passenger trains each way daily and any amount of freight."

Predictions that it would eventually cover 50 miles (81 km) failed to be borne out. The line eventually measured 21 miles (33.8 km) and wound its way through Paunch Creek and up the South Fork of the Cumberland River. Some of its trains took miners back and forth on the 13 mile (21 km) section between Stearns- where the K & T met the Southern Railway - and the mines at Cooperative. Coal and lumber trains went further down the line to Bell Farm.

The 7 was retired and scrapped after 40 years in 1951.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID13817 4201
RailroadKentucky & TennesseeKentucky & Tennessee
Number in Class11
Road Numbers107
Number Built11
BuilderBaldwinBurnham, Williams & Co
Valve GearWalschaertWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)15.50 / 4.7211.50 / 3.51
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)33.50 / 10.2125.42 / 7.75
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.46 0.45
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)63.98 / 19.5051.83 / 15.80
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)204,000 / 92,533140,050 / 63,526
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)264,000 / 119,749180,400 / 81,828
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)124,000 / 56,246100,000 / 45,359
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)388,000 / 175,995280,400 / 127,187
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)6000 / 22.735000 / 18.94
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)10 / 96 / 6
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)85 / 42.5058 / 29
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)55 / 139744 / 1118
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)190 / 13.10200 / 13.80
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)24" x 30" / 610x76221" x 24" / 533x610
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)50,740 / 23015.3040,893 / 18548.77
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.02 3.42
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)219 - 2" / 51315 - 2" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)36 - 5.375" / 137
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)19.50 / 5.9415.42 / 4.70
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)204 / 18.95148 / 13.75
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)56.40 / 5.2441.20 / 3.83
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)3440 / 319.582677 / 248.70
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)858 / 79.71
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)4298 / 399.292677 / 248.70
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume218.97278.27
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation10,7168240
Same as above plus superheater percentage12,8598240
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area46,51229,600
Power L113,5055210
Power MT583.79328.06

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Wes Barris