Chesapeake Beach 4-4-0 "American" Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 3 (Locobase 16417)

Data from D&SL 1 - 1932 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange collection. See also "The Chesapeake Beach Railway", an Abandoned Rails entry last accessed 18 March 2019 at []; and George H Drury, Guide to North American Steam Locomotives--revised edition (Waukesha, WI: Kalmbach Publishing Company, 2015), p. 166. Works numbers were 1951-1952 in May 1899.

After a false start in 1871 when the Southern Maryland graded only a few miles near the capital, a notion to build a railway from Washington, DC to a Chesapeake Bay day-trip attraction to be called Chesapeake Beach began construction as the Washington & Chesapeake Railway in 1891. But once again financing the dream proved impossible and the venture stumbled. After a tour in receivership, the new Chesapeake Beach Railroad completed the 28 miles in 1899.

These two Eight-wheelers were part of a small set of five engines intended to serve the Chesapeake Bay resort, which finally opened in 1901. They were delivered with 68" (1,727 mm) drivers. The passenger locomotives were allowed a 30 mph (48 kph) speed while mixed trains could only go at 25 mph (40 kph).

But the CBR were sued by the successors of the Southern Maryland. As the Washington, Potomac & Chesapeake Railway, the company complained that the CBR had illegally taken over the roadbed in 1898. The final verdict from the US Supreme Court upholding the lower courts came in 1905, but by then the CBR had sold these two engines to the Denver, Northwestern & Pacific, where they took road numbers 390-391. (The CBR would limp along, providing many beachfront memories, but never making any money until automobile travel killed the railway in the late 1930s.)

George Drury reported that two of the CBR's backers were the DNW&P's George Moffat and Otto Mears. Apparently, they envisioned a better use for these engines on their not-quite-finished Railway and bought this pair. On the Northwestern and on the Denver & Salt Lake after the D&SL's acquisition of the DNW&P, these were the only two 4-4-0s.

But their 68" drivers didn't suit them for heavy duty, according to Drury. "One day one of the 4-4-0s was assigned to the construction train. It reached the bottom of the 4% grade and would go no farther." After its driver diameter was cut to 60" (as shown in the specs), wrote Drury, they were "moderately useful on light trains, usually the local passenger train runs between Denver and Tolland."

They served the Colorado road until 1937.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID16417
RailroadChesapeake Beach
Number in Class2
Road Numbers3-4
Number Built2
Valve GearStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m) 9.08 / 2.77
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)23.33 / 7.11
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.39
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)47.33 / 14.43
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)70,000 / 31,752
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)108,000 / 48,988
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)87,200 / 39,553
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)195,200 / 88,541
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)4000 / 15.15
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)7 / 6
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)58 / 29
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)60 / 1524
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)175 / 12.10
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)18" x 24" / 457x610
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)19,278 / 8744.36
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.63
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)264 - 2" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)11 / 3.35
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)127 / 11.80
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)18.10 / 1.68
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1648 / 153.10
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1648 / 153.10
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume233.10
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation3168
Same as above plus superheater percentage3168
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area22,225
Power L15651
Power MT355.95

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Wes Barris