US Army 2-8-2 "Mikado" Locomotives in the USA

In a 28 April 2017 email, Stephen Low provided the following information about the US Army Mikados...

In 1941 the British Government approached the US Government about supplying locomotives for use in the Middle East. A light 2-8-2 was proposed by the USATC and after approaching ALCO, Lima and Baldwin seeking a suitable prototype, Baldwin produced drawings of a class of 16 that had been built for the Montana, Wyoming & Southern railroad in 1924 (MW&S Class 20 Locobase 15304). Their performance and reliability were reported to have been satisfactory. Modifications to this design were incorporated into outline drawings and forwarded to Washington. However, many features did not appear to be suitable for the strict requirements of war zone service and it was rejected, especially the loading gauge and axle weight. A new design was prepared with boiler modifications, a tractive effort of 35,000lbs, weight 144,000lbs and a driving wheel axle weight of 16 tons. It reached Washington four days later, and was approved in the US and accepted by the Ministry of Supply in London. So the design can thus be largely attributed to the Montana, Wyoming & Southern railroad Mikes of 1924 and a comparison of the Locobase data confirms the similarity. The MW&S mikado was heavier than the USATC S200 with smaller drivers, larger cylinders and boiler.

Another book by R. Tourret titled "United States Army Transport Corps Locomotives" of 1977 (ISBN 0-905878-01-9) provides further information as follows: order of 200 and describes their allocations and service in the Middle East. Harry Wright's book details the origins and full specifications of the NSW Government Railways D59 Class 2-8-2s (Locobase 2418) which stem from the USATC Mikado design of WWII - Class S200 MacArthur (Locobase 958).

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class S118 Dual-Gauge - African (Locobase 434)

Locomotive Cyclopedia 1947 for data and locomotive diagram. Also see MRS US Locomotives Equipment Data Book supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange.

Narrow-gauge Mikado built by Alco, Baldwin, and Davenport Locomotive Works (inter alia) for the US Army in World War II. The official designation was 2-8-2 Dual-Gauge - African Theatre - 42" and 39 3/8" Meter Gauge." High-boilered, starkly appointed and very reliable design. Oil-burners had a 1,600-gal capacity. Firebox heating surface included 8 sq ft of firebrick tubes. name=News&file=artilec&sid=41&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0 (visited 11 August 2005) contains a detailed discussion of this class by Mike Peltier. See also Cy Crumley's photos and notebook as edited by Kenneth Riddle at [], last accessed 1 March 1912.

Baldwin supplied 253 MacArthur dual-gauge engines -- in three gauges. The order originally specified 60 Metre-gauge engines for India in 1942. Instead, the White Pass & Yukon received 11 (works #69425-69435) built for the 3-foot (36") gauge. These were immediately followed by

15 metre-gauge for India (69436-69450),

20 Cape-gauge (42") locomotives for Australia's Queensland Railway (69451-69470) -- see Locobase 4390 --

and 14 metre-gauge for India (69471-69484).

Alco produced 338 of this class for a variety of railways in the Gold Coast (later Ghana), Nigeria, and the Philippines in the Cape gauge as well as North Africa and India in metre gauge. United Fruit also received engines for operation in Costa Rica and Honduras.

In addition to the nearly 600 from these two builders, other orders from companies such as Lima brought the final count (including post-war) to nearly 800 locomotives.

Frank Coffey, famed restorer of narrow-gauge power for the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina (aka the Tweetsie) is quoted by Johnson as saying the Yukon Queen (as the 201 was known because of its White Pass & Yukon Railroad origins) was "the finest damned little engine a man could want on a narrow-gauge railroad."

Class S200 MacArthur (Locobase 958)

Data from the US Military Railway Service's Locomotive Diagram book supplied in 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. The book shows both the oil-burning and coal-burning variants -- other than the fuel there was little difference. When used for oil, the tender's capacity was 2,500 gallons.

Standard Mikado/MacArthur built by Alco, Baldwin (works numbers were 64503-64572), and Lima for the US Army's Transportation Corps in World War II and operated in the Mediterranean and Iran. The first 13 (works numbers 64503-64515 in February 1941) were sent to Egypt to be operated by the British MOD; WD 1006-1007 and 1012 were lost at sea and the rest were turned over to the Turkish Railways in 1944. WD 1028, 1037-1038 also were delivered to Egypt; WD 1035 was lost at sea.

Operated on the Iranian State Railways (WD 1025-1027, 1029, 1039, 1041-1045, 1048-1081)to support Lend-Lease to Russia. A few went to Iraq (WD 1030, 1040, 1046-1047).

Baldwin produced 225 of this design for US operations in India; these ran on the 5' 6" broad gauge. 1944 saw works numbers 71761-71925 head for South Asia; a later batch -- 72113-72172 were supplied in 1945. All of them were turned over to the Indian Railways.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media
ClassS118 Dual-Gauge - AfricanS200 MacArthur
Locobase ID434 958
RailroadUS ArmyUS Army
Number in Class
Road Numbers
Number Built800748
Valve GearWalschaertWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)13.50 / 4.1115.75 / 4.80
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)28.25 / 8.6132.75 / 9.98
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase 0.48 0.48
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)54.25 / 16.5458.50 / 17.83
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)80,000 / 36,287143,000 / 64,864
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)119,000 / 53,978200,000 / 90,719
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)99,600 / 45,178123,000 / 55,792
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)218,600 / 99,156323,000 / 146,511
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)5000 / 18.946500 / 24.62
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / ML/MT)9 / 8.209 / 8.20
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)33 / 16.5060 / 30
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)48 / 121960 / 1524
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)185 / 12.80200 / 13.80
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)16" x 24" / 406x61021" x 28" / 533x711
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)20,128 / 9129.9234,986 / 15869.40
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.97 4.09
Heating Ability
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)115 / 10.69179 / 16.64
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)27.70 / 2.5747 / 4.37
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1371 / 127.422164 / 201.12
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)374 / 34.76623 / 57.90
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1745 / 162.182787 / 259.02
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume245.48192.79
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation51259400
Same as above plus superheater percentage620111,468
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area25,74343,676
Power L114,07615,441
Power MT1551.61952.21

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Wes Barris