Philadelphia, Washington & Baltimore 4-4-0 "American" Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class America (Locobase 9689)

Data from J Snowden Bell, "The New Castle Manufacturing Company", Railway and Locomotive Engineering , Vol XXXV, No 1 (January 1922), pp. 1-4.

As part of his discussion of this Delaware-based locomotive builder, Bell mentions this engine, which pulled the Philadelphia-Baltimore "Lightning" train. It was a relatively old=-fashioned design when it appeared. A Bury hemispherical firebox fed the slightly inclined cylinders positioned above the closely spaced truck axles. It also featured the enormous wide-mouthed spark-arresting stack.

Bell emphasizes the close connection between the New Castle Manufacturing Company and the P W & B by noting that as late as 31 October 1861's report "...almost the entire locomotive equipment of the Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore Railroad was supplied by the NCMC.

"These locomotives were the "Victory," 1847; "Boston," 1848; "Delaware," 1851; "Philadelphia," 1852; "New Castle," 1852; "Wilmington," 1852; "Cincinnati," 1853; "Maryland," 1853; "Samson," 1853; "Golish," 1853; "Pennsylvania," 1853 ; "America," 1854 ; "Constitution," 1854; "C. W. Morris," 1854; "Virginia," 1854; "William Penn," 1855; "Thomas Clayton," 1857; and "Princess Anne," 1858. Investigation of the old reports of the Philadelphia, Wilmington &= Baltimore R. R. Co., develops five more locomotives that were built by the New Castle Manufacturing Company, and were in service on that road, these being the "Orion," 1846; "Meteor," 1849; "Minerva," 1849; "Union," 1851, and "United States," 1851.

"It will, therefore, appear that 25 of 28 locomotives which which the P., W. & B. R. R, had in service prior to 1858, were built by the New Castle Manufacturing Company. Two of the other three, the "Empire" and "Magnolia," were built by the P., W. & B. R. R. Co., and were in substantial accordance with the standard design of the New Castle Company, as embodied in the 20 locomotives specified above. The characteristic features of this design will be recalled to those who were familiar with it by reference to Fig. 3, which is a reproduction of a hand sketch, made by the writer many years ago, of the P., W. & B. R. R. locomotive "America."

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID9689
RailroadPhiladelphia, Washington & Baltimore
Number in Class1
Road Numbers
Number Built1
BuilderNew Castle Manufacturing Co
Valve GearHook
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)35,500
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)51,000
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)35,510
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)86,510
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)30 / 15
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)66
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)100
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)17" x 22" / x
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)8188 / 3714.02
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.34
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation
Same as above plus superheater percentage
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area
Power L1
Power MT

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Wes Barris