Union Construction / Union Cypress 4-6-0 "Ten-Wheeler" Locomotives in the USA

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 4 (Locobase 14288)

Data from DeGolyer, Volume 52, p. 315. See also , presented at [] . Works number was 43393 in May 1916.

"Marsh Bunny" (aka PEB) tells us that consultation with local historian Ed Vostatka brought out the history of the UCRR, which opened Melbourne, Fla on Central Florida's Atlantic coast to the rest of the state. Before the long trestle built in the early 1900s, she says, "to get to the interior from Melbourne travelers had to cross a 6-mile wide floodplain and ford the river or use a hand-operated ferry."

Union Cypress opened its mill in 1912 to process the hardwood in the Hopkins Tract: "vast areas of marshland, grassland, and timber." Of particular interest to loggers was the Jane Green Swamp, which provided huge virgin cypress trees. A 2,850 ft (870 m) trestle across the swamp, built, naturally, on cypress pilings, was the best way to move the logs to the mill. "Some men we know talk about their dads working on it years ago, " Marsh Bunny tells us, "...stories of working chest deep in swampwater, snakes and alligators to build a railway across the marsh."

Ultimately an 18 1/2-mile short line crossed the St John to Deer Park on 50 lb/yard (25 kg/metre) rail. This small, wood-burning Ten-wheeler was a true mixed-train locomotive, not a logger. It was bought to move the trains of people and goods that supplied the fast-growing town of Melbourne and the mill town of Hopkins.

Hopkins had many of the amenities found in the more prosperous mill towns: "They had a post office, a boarding house, medical facilities, a church, a theatre, and a park with a swimming pool. Mill workers were paid in company script or coin and could purchase food and clothing at the company store (which eventually became Kempfers)."

But like many mill towns, Hopkins and Melbourne were vulnerable to two devastating events: large fires and economic downturns. The fires hit in February 1919, which burned Melbourne to the ground, and August of the same year, which destroyed the mill. Although Union Cypress began rebuilding the mill, they never finished it. In 1928, Foshee Manufacturing acquired the company and rebuilt the railway, including the trestle. The Great Depression finished off the business, leading to its closure in 1932 and, says Marsh Bunny, "the mill, buildings, and railway were all torn down and sold."

Class 8 (Locobase 12162)

Data from Baldwin Locomotive Works Specification for Engines as digitized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University Volume 20, p. 24. Works number was 14418 in September 1895.

This medium Ten-wheeler encountered difficulties settling into a career. Originally ordered by the Cincinnati, New Orleans & Texas Pacific, it was sold before delivery to the Wisconsin & Michigan as their 504. But the W&M found it was too heavy and rejected it. Even though it had a Pullman vestibule tender (royalty to be paid by the railroad), 504 wound on the Union Construction roster as their #8. Before long, the 8 was sold to the Randsburg Railroad, which served a mining network in California's Mojave Desert and given #1. The RR was absorbed by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, which renumbered 1 as their 856 by 1898.

The Santa Fe gave it number 856, but renumbered it twice in four years before selling the 260 to the Tonopah & Tidewater, which gave it back #1. For a detailed and fascinating timeline of the building of the T&T (which never reached the second T), see John Brabyn et al's [] . (One could spend days reading the history and accompanying documents.)

Just one vignette: building the railroad through the desert and up and down impossible grades was so arduous that the contractor ran through several construction gangs. In June 1906, he hired 100 Japanese laborers. "After a few days, there are only 17 men 'working' out of the 100 in the crew," Brabyn relates. "Eight are using picks & shovels, nine are 'spraying ' the eight with water!"

Despite the onerous conditions, the T&T's #1, which may by that time have adopted 62" drivers, continued for four decades until the railroad was scrapped.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID14288 12162
RailroadUnion CypressUnion Construction
Number in Class11
Road Numbers48/1/856/641/260/1
Number Built11
BuilderBaldwinBurnham, Williams & Co
Valve GearWalschaertStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)12.83 / 3.9114.50 / 4.42
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)22.98 / 726.37 / 8.04
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.56 0.55
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)47.73 / 14.5552.33 / 15.95
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)75,000 / 34,019
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)104,000 / 47,174
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)80,000 / 36,287
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)184,000 / 83,461
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)4000 / 15.154000 / 15.15
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)42 / 21
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)56 / 142268 / 1727
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)185 / 12.80180 / 12.40
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)16" x 24" / 406x61019" x 24" / 483x610
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)17,253 / 7825.8419,494 / 8842.34
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.35
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)178 - 2" / 51244 - 2" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)12.23 / 3.7313.17 / 4.01
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)91 / 8.45150.44 / 13.98
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)15.20 / 1.4118.60 / 1.73
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1223 / 113.621822 / 169.33
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1223 / 113.621822 / 169.33
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume218.78231.22
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation28123348
Same as above plus superheater percentage28123348
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area16,83527,079
Power L151836664
Power MT457.06

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