Galveston, Houston & Henderson 4-4-0 "American" Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 82 (Locobase 10779)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works, Record of Recent Construction ((1903), No. 35, p. 172-173. See also Fred W Westing, The Locomotives that Baldwin Built (New York: Bonanza Books, 1966), p. 50 ; and DeGolyer, Volume 24, p. 82. Works number was 20316 in April 1902. See also Handbook of Texas Handbook of Texas Online, George C. Werner, "GALVESTON, HARRISBURG AND SAN ANTONIO RAILWAY," last accessed May 13, 2020, [] . The Galveston, Houston & Henderson connected the first two cities for the first time in 1860. From Virginia Point opposite Galveston Island to Houston, the railroad had just two curves (both around Harrisburg) in the 50 miles (80 km) of line. George Werner noted that the line was active in the Civil War, but its later history was checkered with bondholder disputes, Jay Gould depredations, and a dustup between the International Great Northern and the Missouri-Kansas-Texas. That last was finally resolved in 1895 in a sharing agreement and the road operated the GH&H for 25 years before ending all train service on the main line in 1920.

Once the dust had settled, the Old Reliable Short Line bought an Eight-wheeler from Baldwin that was one of the biggest to be delivered at the turn into the 20th Century. Fred Westing's long caption accompanying the builder's photograph notes that this was the first Baldwin to be built as an oil-fired engine. 82 was fitted with the Best oil-burner, but the oil tank was designed to be convertible to coal burning should the company "abandon use of oil in the future". In line with the novelty of oil fuel, the spec also says: "In designing the cab, provide for the fireman a clear unobstructed view of the top of the stack as this is necessary in burning oil."

Baldwin's estimated weights (described as "limited") in the specifications--75,000 lb (34,019 kg) on the drivers, and 105,000 lb (47,627 kg) for the engines--are quite a bit lower than the data that appeared in the other sources.

In those pre-FRA days, the railroad could muster a train of "open platform wooden coaches" as consist, string 15-18 of these behind the 82, and call it the GH&H's version of the Sunday "Sea Wall Special". Competing with trains of the other three lines that ran between Galveston and Houston, 82 would glide along at speeds of 70-80 mph (113-129 kph) on the mostly tangent track. The goal was to reach the 2-mile-(3.2 km) long trestle between the mainland and Galveston Island first; results would be posted in Monday's newspaper.

82 also handled the weekday newspaper train that expressed 4-5 baggage cars loaded with the morning edition of the Galveston Daily News (then regarded as the best newspaper in the state) up to Houston. It traveled the 50-mile route in 50 minutes, a time that included a slow order and stops at five unprotected grade crossings in Houston.

Although the GH&H gave up its passenger service in 1920, the 82 remained active through World War II, although Westing does not say with whom. Alas, it was scrapped in 1949 in Galveston.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID10779
RailroadGalveston, Houston & Henderson
Number in Class1
Road Numbers82
Number Built1
BuilderBurnham, Williams & Co
Valve GearStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m) 7.50 / 2.29
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)21.92 / 6.68
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.34
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)49.87 / 15.20
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)82,770 / 37,544
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)125,670 / 57,003
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)99,330 / 45,055
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)225,000 / 102,058
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)5000 / 18.94
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)1800 / 6813
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)69 / 34.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)72 / 1829
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)200 / 13.80
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)19" x 22" / 483x559
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)18,752 / 8505.77
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.41
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)324 - 2" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)12 / 3.66
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)149 / 13.84
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)31.50 / 2.93
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2170 / 201.67
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2170 / 201.67
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume300.55
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation6300
Same as above plus superheater percentage6300
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area29,800
Power L19690
Power MT516.20

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