New York, New Haven & Hartford 4-8-2 "Mountain" Locomotives in the USA

When the New York, New Haven & Hartford received its first ten 4-8-2s (road numbers 3300 through 3309) they were "Light Mountains" assigned by the USRA and delivered by the American Locomotive Company in 1919. These Class R-1 "mountains" performed very well, pulling up to 20 car passenger trains with few problems. The NYNH&H ordered thirty more 4-8-2s (road numbers 3310 through 3339 and designated Class R-1a) from ALCO and took delivery of them in 1920. Nine more (road numbers 3340 through 3348 and designated Class R-1b) arrived from ALCO in 1924. These 49 locomotives had 27 x 30 cylinders, 69" drivers, a 200 psi boiler pressure and exerted 53,900 lbs of tractive effort. Each weighed about 334,000 pounds.

Also, in 1924, a single heavier 4-8-2 was delivered by ALCO. This first of a new class had 27 x 30 cylinders, 69" drivers, a 250 psi boiler pressure a resultant tractive effort of 63,390 pounds. This locomotive Classified R-2 was nicknamed "The Mayflower" and was put to work in passenger service. In 1926, seven more (road numbers 3501 through 3507) Class R-2a "Mountains" were added to the roster. These last seven had 27 x 30 cylinders, 69" drivers, a very high boiler pressure of 265 psi and a tractive effort of 71,400 lbs. Later, the cylinders were reduced to 25 inches which changed the tractive effort to 61,200 pounds.

Three 4-8-2s were delivered by ALCO in 1926 and were given road numbers 3550, 3551 and 3552. They bore a similarity to the Class R2a locomotives, but had three cylinders and were designated Class R-3. Another ten (road numbers 3553 through 3562) three cylinder locomotives (Class R-3a) arrived in 1928. Each of the 13 "Mountains" had a total weight of 374,000 lbs, (3) 22 x 30 cylinders, 69" drivers, a 265 psi boiler pressure, and exerted 71,000 lbs of tractive effort.

All seventy of the NYNH&H Mountains were retired by 1951 and were scrapped shortly after.


Roster

ClassRoad NumberYr. BuiltBuilderLocomotive Weight
R-13300 - 33091919ALCO333,280 lbs
R-1a3310 - 33391920ALCO334,000 lbs
R-1b3340 - 33481924ALCO334,000 lbs
R-235001924ALCO360,700 lbs
R-2a3501 - 33071926ALCO374,700 lbs
R-33550 - 35521926ALCO374,600 lbs
R-3a3553 - 35621928ALCO374,600 lbs

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class R-1 (Locobase 16587)

Data from tables in 1930 Locomotive Cyclopedia, "Two More Standard Locomotives," Railway Mechanical Engineer, Volume 93, No 1 (January 1919), pp. 25-30, and No 8 (July 1919) and from American Locomotive Company, Standardized Locomotives, US Railroad Administration (Alco Pamphlet 10049, 1918), pp. 28-29, reprinted by (Ocean, NJ: Specialty Press , 1973) and DeGolyer, Volume 58, pp. 108+. Works numbers were 59790-59799. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 9 March 2022 email noting the differences among the R-1s varieties, which indicated a need for a separate entry of the original USRA batch.)

See also "Standard Equipment Specialties," Railway Mechanical Engineer, Volume 93, No 3 (March 1919), pp. 137-138 for a list of all the "special equipment" by manufacturers--everything from air brakes to lubricators to rolled steel wheels--and the USRA designs on which they appeared.

The boiler contained the same tube and flue count as the USRA's Heavy Pacifics and Heavy Mikados (Locobases 173 and 41). Firebox heating surface included 105 sq ft (9.75 sq m) in the combustion chamber and 28 sq ft (2.60 sq m) in arch tubes. Cylinders were served by piston valves measuring 14" (356 mm) in diameter.

Standard light "Mountain" design as conceived for mass production during World War I. Four railroads bought 47 locomotives, 25 going to the Southern. Baldwin built 15 (for the Southern), Alco-Richmond supplied 15, and Alco-Schenectady delivered 17 to the MoPac and the Southern. Most later Mountains had a higher superheater to evaporative heating surface ratio and a higher boiler pressure.


Class R-1-a (Locobase 15995)

Data from "Mountain Type Locomotives for the New Haven", Railway Mechanical Engineer, Volume 94, No 11 (November 1920), pp.685-688. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 9 March 2022 email noting the differences among the R-1s varieties.) Works numbers were 62205--62234 in August-September 1920 from Schenectady.

The United States Railroad Administration's Mountain design proved an excellent fit for the New Haven's fast freight requirements, so in addition to the ten supplied during the USRA's administration, the railroad bought 30 more in 1920. The boiler was little changed, although superheater area increased by 53 sq ft (4.92 sq m). The five-foot long combustion chamber added 106 sq ft (9.85 sq m).

The last five locomotives in this order were among the first to be built with feed water heaters installed. They were type E-1s from Locomotive Feedwater Heater Company; the pump could move 7,500 gallons (28,388 litres) per hour. RME's report compared the average monthly fuel consumption of the first 10 USRA Light Mountains and the R-1-as. From 135 lb of coal per ton-mile (38.03 kg per ton-km), three R-1-as (one delivered with an Elesco) recorded a combined average of 62 lb (17.46 kg per ton-km).

RME focused on the feed water heater,, about which the railroad appeared to have adopted an "open-minded" because its coal situation was "acute". The report contended that feed water heaters "of the exhaust steam type appear to offer possibilities for a very large fuel saving particularly on the long level pulls where the locomotives will be continuously exhausting steam."


Class R-1-b - syphons (Locobase 8122)

Data from NH 1962 St Locomotive Diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 9 March 2022 email noting the correct year for these locomotives.) Works numbers were 64937-64945 in February 1924.

The United States Railroad Administration's Mountain design (Locobase 231) proved an excellent fit for the New Haven's fast freight requirements, so in addition to the 10 supplied during the USRA's administration, the railroad bought 39 more - 30 in 1920 (Locobase 15995) and 9 in 1924. Over time, the class (R-1, R-1-a, R-1-b) was updated with 95 sq ft (8.83 sq m) of syphons. To accommodate a proposed trailing-truck booster, Schenectady lengthened the R-1 and R-1-as 10-foot (3.05 m) distance between the last coupled axle, adding 10" (254 mm) in the R-1-bs delivered in 1924.

Maximum water evaporation rate was calculated at 56,555 lb/hour of which 22,825 lb/hour (40.4%) came from direct heating surfaces. As calculated by the New Haven, maximum steam consumption of 54,580 lb/hour yielded a 104% boiler factor.

To stave off the need to replace the class, the New Haven replaced the class's Southern valve gear with Baker gear in 1940, installed an "LT-1" conversion stoker, and fitted them with mechanical lubricators.

All of them operated into the late 1940s and early 1930s.

Thus equipped, all served the New Haven throughout World War II. Retirements occurred from the end of the war to the end of steam (1946-1951).


Class R-2 (Locobase 16073)

Data from NH 1962 Steam Locomotives supplied in August 2013 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. See also "McClellon Watertube Type Locomotive Boiler,", The Boiler Maker (March 1926), pp. 65-70, 82. (Many thanks to Chris Hohl for his 4 April 2015 email noting the absence of the 3500 and supplying information and data on this locomotive.) Works number was 64946 in December 1924.

Although the specifications describe this locomotive after it was rebuilt as a conventional locomotive in 1929, it entered service as a test vehicle for a revised design of the McClellon watertube boiler. The Boiler Maker report says that the first two boilers built to this design were mounted on 2-8-2s in 1916, but "met with indifferent success." Troublesome weaknesses could be corrected and the design was "fundamentally sound", but McClellon died soon thereafter and it was only in 1920 that the New Haven's mechanical manager W L Bean could make the changes to the original boilers.

Bean doubled-down on this considerable variation of the conventional firebox by asking Schenectady to modify the 49th R-1 to a revised design. Numbered 3500 and designated R-2, the new locomotive appeared in 1924. Locobase recommends that those interested in all the details consult the long article cited above.

Here are the basic elements of the design, however. In place of side and back sheets in the firebox and side sheets in the combustion chamber, a picket line of vertical watertubes carried around all three sides. A photo shows that the backhead was framed in channel beams to provide a template for a heavy plate cross member that was bolted on pads on the two side channel beams. Two tubes on either side of the firedoor structure were significantly bowed--e.g. ()-- at the level of the firedoor. 43 tubes in the side sheets and 15 more in the combustion chamber had 4" (101.6 mm) diameters swaged to 3" (76.2 mm) at the ends; the back head tubes had constant 2" (50.2 mm) diameters.

As with other watertube boiler designs, the tubes conveyed water from the foundation ring at the bottom of the firebox to drums above the firebox proper. In the McClellon design, two 23" (584 mm) drums flanked the 30"' center drum as the three ran longitudinally from back head to the front sheet of the combustion chamber. The drums were open at the front.

Despite all the assurances that the problems with leaks in a watertube firebox had been addressed, the system proved leaky enough. Bean had already ordered seven more R-1a, which differed from the 3500 in having Type E superheaters; see Locobase 216. Three more were ordered as three-cylinder engines; see Locobase 217.

Like the others, the 3500's watertube firebox was replace in 1929 by a conventional furnace. In addition to the firebox itself, the direct heating surface area included 101 sq ft (9.4 sq m) in the combustion chamber and 95 sq ft (8.8 sq m) of thermic syphons in the firebox and combustion chamber. Feed water was heated through an Elesco installation. Steam entered the cylinders through 14" (356 mm) piston valves actuated by Baker gear, which replaced the original Southern gear installation.


Class R-2a (Locobase 216)

Data from tables in 1930 Locomotive Cyclopedia and NH 1962 Steam Locomotives supplied in August 2013 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 16 April 2015 email supplying the tender's weight.) Works numbers were 64945-64946 in 1924; 66545-66551 in June-July 1926.

This was a quirky mixture of new ideas such as the Type E superheater and auxiliary equipment that in many cases was unsatisfactory. Specified by the New Haven's mechanical manager, WL Bean, the McClellon boiler had a water-tube firebox that leaked and let in cold air. See Locobase 16073 for a longer description of this design.

Ultimately all New Haven engines originally delivered with the McClellon boiler had a conventional boiler fitted in 1929. The specs refer to the later boiler, whose firebox heating surface area included 101 sq ft (9.38 sq m) in the combustion chamber and 95 sq ft (8.83 sq m) of thermic syphons. Other problems included a balky DuPont-Simplex mechanical stoker (replaced by an HT-2 in the 1930s) and Southern valve gear replaced by Walschaerts or Baker gear. The design also came equipped with feedwater heater and a valve motion with limited cutoff. 14" (356 mm) piston valves supplied steam to the cylinders.

The R-2s ran until 1949-1951.


Class R-3 (Locobase 217)

Data from tables in 1930 Locomotive Cyclopedia and NH 1962 Steam Locomotives supplied in August 2013 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. See also "New Haven Acquires Ten Three-Cylinder Locomotives," Railway Age, Volume 84, No 8 (25 February 1928), pp. 452-454; (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 16 April 2015 email commenting on the Gresley system as used in the Alco three-cylinder engines.) Works numbers were 66552-66554 in 1926, 67227-67236 in January 1928.

Boiler had feedwater heater. Unusual three-cylinder variant of earlier R-2 that also came with the McClellon watertube firebox boiler design. (See Locobase 16073 for a more detailed description of the McClellon boiler.) .Note relatively small number of tubes and flues. But heating surfaces abounded. In addition to the tubes and flues, drums contributed 96 sq ft (8.92 sq ), combustion chamber tubes another 95 sq ft (8.83 sq m). In the firebox, side tubes yielded 145 sq ft (13.47 sq m), back tubes 35 sq ft (3.25 sq m), back section 2 sq ft (0.19 sq m), tube sheet and throat 51 sq ft (4.74 sq m), and arch tubes 27 sq ft (2.51 sq m). To think of it another way, all those seams and joints offered leakage opportunities.

RA's 1928 report told of a change in the firebox to separate constuction of the watertube section and join it to the boiler's outer ring through a riveted joint. "This form of construction will ...provide for the necessary flexibility between the tube section and the barrel of the boiler, and also greatly facilitate the renewal of the back tube sheet."

Another change was the installation of Bean's cast-steel smokebox. Eliminating all of the plate seams that resulted from the usual construction would make the section airtight. Also, attaching the cylinders to the smokebox through a system of lugs and flanges would, the NH expected, "positive and constant alinement [sic] of the frames and the maintenance of the correct position of wheels, axles, boxes, guides, valve motions, etc., thus tending to reduce maintenance costs."

In spite of all the claims for the novel design, within a year the class had been reboilered. Locobase 16348 describes the conversion and includes positive comments about the Gresley conjugated gear and a favorable view of the three-cylinder Mountain's power in service.


Class R-3a (Locobase 16348)

Data from NH 1962 Steam Locomotives supplied in August 2013 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. See also "mp15ac" in a 27 March 2006 post to the Trains forum at [], last accessed 8 May 2016 and Richard Marsden's summary at his LNER Encyclopedia, [], also last accessed 8 May 2016; and Jack W Swanberg and Alvin F Staufer, New Haven Power, 1838-1968: Steam, Diesel, Electric, MU's, Trolleys, Motor Cars, Buses & Boats (Medina, OH: Alvin Staufer, 1988), pp. 184-185. (Thanks to Chris Hohl for his 12 March 2020 comment on the description of the valve gear.)

In spite of all the claims for the novel design of the McClellon boilered R-3s (Locobase 217), within a year the class had been reboilered, but retained the Bean cast-steel smokebox. Firebox heating surface included 101 sq ft (9.38 sq m) in the combustion chamber and 95 sq ft (8.83 sq m) from two thermic syphons. Feed water heating came through an Elesco installation.

Although the middle cylinder's buried location presented a maintenance headache, financial stringency prevented conversion to a two-cylinder layout (as other railroads had done). "Stuart" -- "mp15ac" -- summarized the positive values of the Gresley conjugated gear: "Alco used the Gresley three cylinder valve gear system on all of the three cylinder locomotives that they built. The beauty of the Gresley system is that with the exception of the mainrod for the center cylinder all other parts were outside of the frames. This made servicing easier than the double Walschaets system used by Baldwin. "

In a dialogue about the R-3s in [] , "Paul3" from Massachusetts, in a 23 May 2006 post, quoted Jack Swanberg's New Haven Power as part of a dissent from the contention that the third cylinder's maintenance demands rendered them unpopular. Citing Swanberg, Paul3 wrote: "The operating dept. loved the R-3's"

He quoted an assessment by Jack Swanberg from his New Haven Power: "Listen to retired General Road Foreman Bill Copeland as he lights up when he thinks of his many years on these locomotives: 'The three cylinder engines had a terrific draft; the sound was chickety-chick, chickety-chick; one strong and two light ...They could run like a scared cat, and pull an awful train at high speed. They could take 5000 tons up the Shore Line while an R-2a might take 3500 tons at best ...and coming west out of Boston with 125 empties, how they would come!'"

They ran until 1949-1951.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Middle Run Media

ClassR-1R-1-aR-1-b - syphonsR-2R-2a
Locobase ID16587 15995 8122 16073 216
RailroadNew York, New Haven & Hartford (NYNH&H)New York, New Haven & Hartford (NYNH&H)New York, New Haven & Hartford (NYNH&H)New York, New Haven & Hartford (NYNH&H)New York, New Haven & Hartford (NYNH&H)
CountryUSAUSAUSAUSAUSA
Whyte4-8-24-8-24-8-24-8-24-8-2
Number in Class10304917
Road Numbers3000-30093310-33393340-334835003501-3507
GaugeStdStdStdStdStd
Number Built1030917
BuilderAlco-RichmondAlco-SchenectadyAlco-SchenectadyAlco-SchenectadyAlco-Schenectady
Year19181920192419241926
Valve GearBakerSouthernBakerBakerBaker
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)18.25 / 5.5618.25 / 5.5618.25 / 5.5618.25 / 5.5618.25 / 5.56
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)40 / 12.1940 / 12.1940 / 12.1940.83 / 12.4440.83 / 12.44
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.46 0.46 0.46 0.45 0.45
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)75.70 / 23.0775.62 / 23.0575.62 / 23.0583.67 / 25.5083.92 / 25.58
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)56,500 / 25,62858,200 / 26,39958,200 / 26,35461,300 / 27,80561,700 / 27,987
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)224,500 / 101,832229,000 / 103,873230,500 / 104,553244,500 / 110,903246,500 / 111,811
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)327,000 / 148,325328,500 / 149,005334,000 / 151,500360,700 / 163,611363,200 / 164,745
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)193,700 / 87,861182,500 / 82,781184,800 / 83,824286,000 / 129,728288,500 / 130,862
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)520,700 / 236,186511,000 / 231,786518,800 / 235,324646,700 / 293,339651,700 / 295,607
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)10,000 / 37.8810,000 / 37.8816,000 / 60.6116,000 / 60.6116,000 / 60.61
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)16 / 1516 / 1510 / 918 / 1618 / 16
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)94 / 4795 / 47.5096 / 48102 / 51103 / 51.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)69 / 175369 / 175369 / 175369 / 175369 / 1753
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)200 / 13.80200 / 13.80200 / 13.80250 / 17.20265 / 18.30
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)27" x 30" / 686x76227" x 30" / 686x76227" x 30" / 686x76227" x 30" / 686x76225" x 30" / 635x762
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)53,883 / 24440.9553,883 / 24440.9553,883 / 24440.9567,353 / 30550.8461,209 / 27763.97
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.17 4.25 4.28 3.63 4.03
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)216 - 2.25" / 57216 - 2.25" / 57216 - 2.25" / 57201 - 2.25" / 5733 - 3.5" / 89
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)40 - 5.5" / 14040 - 5.5" / 14040 - 5.5" / 14040 - 5.5" / 140172 - 3.5" / 89
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)20.50 / 6.2520.50 / 6.2520.50 / 6.2520.50 / 6.2519.67 / 6
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)348 / 32.34348 / 32.33415 / 38.57421 / 39.11421 / 39.11
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)70.30 / 6.5370.30 / 6.5370.30 / 6.5370.20 / 6.5270.20 / 6.52
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)4121 / 382.994121 / 382.854188 / 389.224011 / 372.633989 / 370.59
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)966 / 89.781009 / 93.741009 / 93.771009 / 93.741818 / 168.90
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)5087 / 472.775130 / 476.595197 / 482.995020 / 466.375807 / 539.49
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume207.29207.29210.66201.76234.10
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation14,06014,06014,06017,55018,603
Same as above plus superheater percentage16,73116,87216,73121,06024,370
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area82,82483,52098,770126,300146,150
Power L116,83917,28717,75221,97840,161
Power MT661.44665.70679.16792.691436.75

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Middle Run Media

ClassR-3R-3a
Locobase ID217 16348
RailroadNew York, New Haven & Hartford (NYNH&H)New York, New Haven & Hartford (NYNH&H)
CountryUSAUSA
Whyte4-8-24-8-2
Number in Class1313
Road Numbers3550-35623550-3562
GaugeStdStd
Number Built1313
BuilderAlco-SchenectadyAlco-Schenectady
Year19271927
Valve GearWalschaert & GresleyWalschaert & Gresley
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)19.75 / 6.0219.75 / 6.02
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)42.25 / 12.8842.25 / 12.88
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.47 0.47
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)85.33 / 26.0185.33 / 26.01
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)65,300 / 29,62065,300 / 29,620
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)261,000 / 118,388261,000 / 118,388
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)379,000 / 171,912379,000 / 171,912
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)288,500 / 130,862288,500 / 130,862
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)667,500 / 302,774667,500 / 302,774
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)16,000 / 60.6116,000 / 60.61
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)18 / 1618 / 16
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)109 / 54.50109 / 54.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)69 / 175369 / 1753
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)265 / 18.30265 / 18.30
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)22" x 30" / 559x762 (3)22" x 30" / 559x762 (3)
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)71,101 / 32250.9171,101 / 32250.91
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.67 3.67
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)29 - 2.25" / 5732 - 2.25" / 57
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)184 - 3.5" / 89184 - 3.5" / 89
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)19.67 / 619.67 / 6
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)451 / 41.90421 / 39.11
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)70.80 / 6.5870.20 / 6.52
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)4085 / 379.514091 / 380.06
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)1756 / 163.141756 / 163.14
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)5841 / 542.655847 / 543.20
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume206.31206.62
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation18,76218,603
Same as above plus superheater percentage24,39124,184
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area155,370145,035
Power L134,08333,861
Power MT1151.571144.07

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