New York, Chicago & St Louis 4-6-2 "Pacific" Locomotives in the USA

The New York, Chicago & St. Louis was not a major passenger carrier. Its major passenger corridor was from Buffalo to Chicago. With 28 scheduled and 12 conditional stops, plus numerous meets with freight trains on its single track main line, there was no way the Nickel Plate could compete with the parallel four-track mainline of the mighty New York Central.

Yet, by 1922 the Nickel Plate's six rather ordinary daily passenger trains had grown to about ten cars in length, and these trains were taxing the limits of the railroad's 4-6-0's. The railroad received four K-1a Pacifics from Lima in December, 1922, and ordered six more very similar K-1bs from Alco, Brooks soon thereafter. The six Brooks locomotives were all delivered by August, 1923.

These locomotives came from the factory with few of the appliances that were normal for new steam locomotives in the 1920's. Between October, 1924 and August, 1925 all ten K-1s had Nicholson thermatic syphons installed in their fireboxes. In November 1924, K-1a #161 had a Worthington BL-3 feedwater heater applied, but the Nickel Plate concluded the other nine K-1s did not warrant the additional expense of feedwater heaters. In 1926, all ten K-1s had Automatic Train Stop equipment added, and their drivers were fitted with thicker tires, increasing the driver diameter by one inch. The K-1s were hand fired, although the K-1bs belatedly received BK stokers in 1947. The Nickel Plate scrapped all their 4-6-2s between August, 1952 and June, 1954.


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class K-1A/K-1B (Locobase 1385)

Data from NKP 5 - 1950 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. Lima delivered four K-1A (works numbers were 6317-6320 in December 1922), Alco-Brooks six K-1B (works numbers were 64631-64636 in August 1923).

George Drury (1993) wrote that these were smaller and lighter than the USRA designs. All had 14" (356 mm) piston valves. The K-1As had slightly less evaporative heating surface and the firebox heating surface, which eventually included both arch tubes and thermic syphons and measured 239 sq ft (22.20 sq m) altogether, also amounted to less than the K-1Bs.

Boilers in three of the K-1Bs lost their Type As in favor of Type Es; this variant appears in Locobase 15630.

The other seven remained on the roster into the early 1950s when they were sold for scrap.


Class K-1B - Type E superheater (Locobase 15630)

Data from NKP 5 - 1931 and 2 - 1944 Locomotive Diagrams supplied in August 2013 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange.

The Nickel Plate took three of its Schenectady K-1B Pacifics and substantially altered the boiler by replacing the original Type A superheater with a Type E design that nominally offered 76% more superheater area.

Serving the NKP throughout the 1940s, the trio was disposed of in the early 1950s. 168 went to the ferro-knacker in August 1952, 164 followed in February 1953, and 169 closed the ledger when it was sold for scrap in June 1954.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

ClassK-1A/K-1BK-1B - Type E superheater
Locobase ID1385 15630
RailroadNew York, Chicago & St Louis (Nickel Plate)New York, Chicago & St Louis (Nickel Plate)
CountryUSAUSA
Whyte4-6-24-6-2
Number in Class103
Road Numbers160-169164, 168, 169
GaugeStdStd
Number Built10
BuilderseveralNKP
Year19221929
Valve GearWalschaertWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)13 / 3.9613 / 3.96
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)34 / 10.3634 / 10.36
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.38 0.38
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)69.15 / 21.0869.15 / 21.08
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)52,480 / 23,80552,480 / 23,805
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)157,250 / 71,327157,250 / 71,327
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)255,320 / 115,811255,320 / 115,811
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)212,100 / 96,207212,100 / 96,207
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)467,420 / 212,018467,420 / 212,018
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)11,000 / 41.6711,000 / 41.67
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)18 / 1618 / 16
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)87 / 43.5087 / 43.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)73 / 185474 / 1854
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)215 / 14.80215 / 14.80
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)22.5" x 26" / 572x66022.5" x 26" / 572x660
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)32,951 / 14946.3432,506 / 14744.49
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.77 4.84
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)208 - 2" / 5144 - 2.25" / 57
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)32 - 5.375" / 137132 - 3.5" / 89
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)20 / 6.1019.50 / 5.94
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)250 / 23.23303 / 28.15
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)50.23 / 4.6750.23 / 4.67
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)3313 / 307.902852 / 264.96
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)768 / 71.381350 / 125.42
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)4081 / 379.284202 / 390.38
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume276.78238.26
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation10,79910,799
Same as above plus superheater percentage12,85114,255
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area63,96385,991
Power L125,07736,589
Power MT1054.731538.92

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