Central Pacific 4-10-0 "El Gobernador" Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class El Gobernador (Locobase 2559)

Data from "The Giant Locomotive 'El Gobernador', Locomotive Engineers Journal, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (U.S.), Volume XVIII [18], #4 (April 1884), pp 204-206. See also Edward Bates Dorsey, "English and American Railroads Compared", Supplementary Paper, read 5 May 1886, Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Volume XV [15], No 343 (November 1886), pp. 773-775. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 11 November 2017 email and spreadsheet detailing differences between Locobase's specs and those found in the April 1884 article.)

Note on the specifications: Chris Hohl's detailed table of differences compared the April 1884 data with data Locobase had obtained from another source that, regrettably, he didn't record. Responding to Hohl's comments, Locobase discovered the November 1886 discussion which included specifications furnished by direct communication from A J Stevens. The information included the comment that earlier specifications were based on blueprints and the set given in 1886 were "actual dimensions,weights, etc". Steven's data is used in Locobase's specs.

2nd Note on the specs: The tube heating surface area usually given (1,154 sq ft/107.21 sq m) seems to be based on the tubes' internal diameter. Although most North American railroads used the larger external (or "water side") figure, this "fire side" measurement wasn't completely unheard of in North America, but was much more common on European railways. Strong arguments could and were made in favor of either method.

Not a very successful engine and badly proportioned, but certainly big for her time. Master Mechanic AJ Stevens sought to get still more adhesive weight on the track by adding another axle. He installed valve gear of his own design -- the so-called monkey motion -- that included two valves for each cylinder. The Locomotive Engineers Journal article described the layout:

"Each cylinder of the engine is fitted with two rotary-balanced valves, placed as near each end of the cylinder as possible, to save clearance of space that would otherwise be filled and exhausted uselessly by live steam. The valves are driven by the A. J. Stevens valve gear, employing but one eccentric on a side and reversing from the rocker."

The author then reported on the merits of this layout: "The Stevens valve motion has given great satisfaction where it has been used. For freight service especially it is greatly superior to the old link motion in the economical manner in which it handles steam at the shorter points of cut-off."

To give the long-wheelbase engine any hope of negotiating CP curves, the journal reported, "The engine truck is of the "swing-beam" order, allowing the center pin of the saddle to play an inch and a half each side of the center. The back pair of drivers have also a transverse play of one-half inch each way from the center line of the engine, which

reduces the rigid wheel base to the first and fourth axis. This allows the engine to take, a fifteen-degree curve, which is shorter than the maximum curve on the Central Pacific. The first, fourth and fifth pair of drivers have 'flanged tires, the second and third being blind."

Although it was steamed up and paraded in front of passengers, the engine simply was too big to be of much use at the time. Boiler tubes were much too short and total evaporative heating surface laughably meager. Possessed of one of the longest cylinder strokes ever put into a conventional steam locomotive, the engine's cylinder volume overwhelmed the boiler.

She was scrapped, it is believed, in July 1894.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

ClassEl Gobernador
Locobase ID2559
RailroadCentral Pacific (SP)
Number in Class1
Road Numbers237/2050
Number Built1
Valve GearStevens
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)19.58 / 5.97
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)28.92 / 8.81
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.68
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)52.65 / 19.94
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)26,750 / 12,134
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)130,000 / 58,967
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)154,000 / 69,853
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)63,000 / 28,576
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)217,000 / 98,429
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)3000 / 11.36
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)5 / 5
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)43 / 21.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)57 / 1448
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)135 / 9.30
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)21" x 36" / 533x914
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)31,961 / 14497.28
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.07
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)178 - 2.25" / 57
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)12 / 3.66
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)197 / 18.30
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)29.75 / 2.76
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1455 / 135.17
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1455 / 135.17
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume100.83
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation4016
Same as above plus superheater percentage4016
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area26,595
Power L12169
Power MT183.92

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