Valley/Knox & Kane/New York, Susquehanna & Western 2-8-2 "Mikado" Locomotives in the USA


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 58/142/3075 (Locobase 16631)

Data from Duncan Cotterilll, "SY Class 2-8-2s" on his Railography : Chinese Steam Locomotive Profiles website at [], last accessed 4 November 2020. For the railroads, see

"Knox & Kane Raliroad"--[]-- and several 2008 articles in the Bradford Sun--[], Kane Republican--[][], and Braford Sun--[], all last accessed 6 February 2023.And "The Bel-Del Line: A History for Passengers"on the Liberty Historic Railway of New Jersey at [], last accessed 7 February 2023. (Thanks to Ellis Tammelleo for his 30 January 2023 email providing details of the 3075 and prompting Locobase to prepare this unusual entry.)

Valley Railroad: Ron Amberger, "Chinese SY Type 2-8-2 Steam Locomotive for the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad", archived on the NYS&W Historical Society website at [] - 2018, last accessed 5 February 2023;

Works numbers were 1647 and 1658 in 1989.

From 1989 to 1991, the Chinese steam locomotive builder Tangshan sold three of its SY 2-8-2s to US railroads.The first two arrived safely.

1647 entered service on Connecticut's Valley Railroad in 1989 as their 142. As will be seen below, 142's first tour of duty on the VR proved discouraging.

1648 was delivered to the Knox & Kane, a Baltimore & Ohio subdivision in northwestern Pennsylvania. In the late 1980s, the K&K operated a hybrid freight and tourist railroad from Knox to Marienville on a line that included the famous Kinzua Bridge. The bridge spanned 2,052 ft (625.4 m) and soared 301 ft (91.7 m) over Kinzua Creek.To allow turnarounds for its stud of locomotives, the K&K built a turntable that the relatively light-footed 58 could also use.

The K&K prospered until 2003, when a tornado squatted down over the Kinzua Bridge and rendered it useless and interest in riding the train plummeted. By 2008, all equipment including the 58 had lain idle for years. The Bradford Sun reported on the March 15 arson fire that ripped through the Biddle Street structure, causing $1,000,000.

In October, an auction resulted in the 58 being rescued by the Valley Railroad, which adopted the 58, restored it as a New Haven J-1a Mikado, and returned it to service in 2011as 3075. The 3075 thus becam the second SY the Valley Railroad would own.

In 1990, the New York, Susquehanna & Western decided to buy an SY from Tangshan. Ron Amberger visited the works and reported on the progress of the 141. He noted with approval the extensive testing of a variety of appliances including a traction booster. He returned to the US eagerly anticipating its arrival.

It wasn't to be. The 141 occupied a spot in the holds of the MV Braut Team as she sailed from Hsingkang on 16 May 1991. Three weeks later the Braut Team encountered a "horrible storm" in the Bay of Bengal. Although the crew struggled to save the ship, the Braut Team capsized and sank in 6,000 ft (1,829 m) of water. Thankfully, none of the crew went with her.

Meanwhile, the Valley Railroad found they had bought in the 142 perhaps too much engine that cost by one estimate $6,000 a month to run. The timing isn't clear to Locobase, but not long after the 141 took its death ride, the Valley Road sold the 142 to Suzy Q.

Operating in western New Jersey and New York, the 142 initially pulled trains over much of the system. After the NYS&W purchased Conrail's Belvidere line in northwestern New Jersey, the new railroad--dubbed Belvidere & Delaware River--took over freight operations on a 16-mile segment anchored in Phillipsburg.

A 2005 article highlighted the expense of maintaining a steam locomotive on the NYS&W. When they wore out the 142's second set of grates, they benefited from an earlier display of initiative by the Knox & Kane. The K&K used the original Chinese blueprints to make wooden patterns of SY grates when they owned the 142. Transferring the dimensions to more-durable aluminum patterns at Brasser Aluminum Casting in Greene, New York, Catskill casting of Bloomfield, NY, used the green sand method to create the new cast-iron grates.

When the 142 reached its 1,472-day limit, it went out of service. A complete overhaul proved time-consuming, its length prolonged by the COVID 19 shutdowns and precautions. In 2022, tthe 142 was still reported to making progress toward service re-entry.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class58/142/3075
Locobase ID16631
RailroadValley/Knox & Kane/New York, Susquehanna & Western
CountryUSA
Whyte2-8-2
Number in Class3
Road Numbers58, 141,142,3075,
GaugeStd
Number Built3
BuilderTangshan
Year1989
Valve GearWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)14.47 / 4.41
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)31.27 / 9.53
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.46
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)154,323 / 70,000
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)194,007 / 88,000
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)6600 / 25
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)64 / 32
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)53.90 / 1370
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)198.70 / 13.70
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)20.87" x 27.95" / 530x710
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)38,147 / 17303.21
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.05
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)187.29 / 17.40
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)48.44 / 4.50
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1851 / 172
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)461 / 42.80
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2312 / 214.80
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume167.21
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation9625
Same as above plus superheater percentage11,550
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area44,657
Power L111,185
Power MT639.14

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