Tremont & Gulf 2-8-2 "Mikado" Locomotives in the USA

In 1901 Robert Jenks acquired land in Louisiana and established the Tremont Lumber Company and built a saw mill at Tremont, LA to process the timber on the land. He quickly realized that a railroad would be needed to get the timber to the mill. It took timber from forty acres to keep the mile operating for 24 hours.

Jenks named his railroad the Tremont & Gulf and established it just west of Monroe on the Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific Railroad. He built nine miles of track into the woods south of the saw mill

The mill at Tremont could only handle logs less than 22 feet. Logs up to 40 feet in length would be more efficient so another sawmill was built at Eros, 10.2 miles from Tremont in 1904. Eros quickly became the center of T&G operations. By 1905, the Tremont & Gulf rail line was complete to Chatham, 6.7 miles further south, and most of the timber for the new Eros sawmill was cut in the woods around Chatham.

Construction of the T&G main line continued south in pursuit of the timber and the track was completed into Winnfield in 1907. In 1908, the company reorganized into the Tremont& Gulf Railway, improved the property and continued to construction branch lines to bring in timber from distant forests and serve company sawmills at temporary locations. Lumbering operations were beginning to moderate. While T&G tracks stretched in four directions through the woods, Winnfield was the only real town of any size on the line, the main shops were removed from Eros to Winnfield in 1918. The Eros sawmill closed in 1926. The railroad closed track reducing from 98.5 miles in 1915 to 66.6 by 1920. In 1959, the Tremont & Gulf Railway Company was sold to the Illinois Central Railroad.

The Tremont and Gulf Railway purchased its one and only "Mikado" locomotive from the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1917. It was assigned road number 30. This locomotive had 54" diameter drivers, 21"x 28" cylinders, a 185 psi boiler pressure, it exerted 36,000 pounds of tractive effort and it weighed 164,000 pounds.

The T&G sold number 30 to the Magma Copper Mine in Magma, Arizona in 1954. It was assigned road number 7 on the MA. The locomotive was utilized in the 1962 epic M.G.M. movie "How the West was Won". In 1974 it was sent to the Texas State Railroad.


Qty.Road NumbersYear BuiltBuilderNotes
1301917BaldwinSold to The Magma Arizona Railroad in 1954

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 30 (Locobase 12896)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Volume 53, p. 353+. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 28 March 2016 email noting the 30's original tender data and boiler setting and information about the Magma Arizona #7's restoration. See the Texas State Railroad's description at [], last accessed 25 June 2016.) Works number was 46491 in September 1917.

Months after the US entered World War One as an associated power, but before the railroads were nationalized, the T&G met the increased demand on its shortline with an order for a single small Mikado. Unusually for an engine of this latter-day vintage, the two sand domes and single steam dome had collars at their bases and tops that gave a 19th-Century flair to the profile. It was, on the other hand, superheated and fitted with 11" (279 mm) piston valves.

Later in its T&G, the 30 was converted to oil-firing that required Vanderbilt tender that held 6,500 US gallons (24,603 litres) of water and 2,400 gallons (9,084 litres) of oil. Boiler pressure was reset to 185 psi (12.76 bar).

Of a handy size for small, basic-materials sized shortlines, the 30 was sold in 1954 to the Magma Arizona as their #7. It served the MA's copper mines until retired in June 1967. Sold in 1969 to Steve Bogen, the 7 was then passed on to Trans North of Superior, Ariz in 1972.

The Texas State Railroad bought the engine in 1974 and volunteers restored it to operating condition in 1978 as #400. The locomotive was idled in 2002. Its later restoration began with its name--Magma Arizona #7--and a complete makover. It returned to service in April 2014.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID12896
RailroadTremont & Gulf
Number in Class1
Road Numbers30
Number Built1
Valve GearWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)14.50 / 4.42
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)30.58 / 9.32
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.47
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)62.25 / 18.97
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)140,000 / 63,503
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)182,500 / 82,781
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)126,500 / 57,380
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)309,000 / 140,161
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)6000 / 22.73
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)14 / 13
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)58 / 29
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)54 / 1372
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)185 / 12.80
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)21" x 26" / 533x660
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)33,389 / 15145.01
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.19
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)157 - 2" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)24 - 5.375" / 137
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)18.50 / 5.64
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)163 / 15.14
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)41.50 / 3.86
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2299 / 213.58
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)518 / 48.12
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2817 / 261.70
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume220.63
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation7678
Same as above plus superheater percentage9059
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area35,583
Power L112,425
Power MT782.64

All material Copyright ©
Wes Barris