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Author Topic: What Can You Do With A 2-6-6-2?  (Read 6909 times)
J3a-614

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« on: May 17, 2010, 10:34:26 PM »

Bachmann’s new model of a Chesapeake & Ohio H-4 2-6-6-2 is notable for not only for being a model of a common C&O locomotive, but this engine can also be the basis of a number of other locomotives that were apparently based on it.

The first of the these engines was a single prototype, numbered 734 (?) (later numbered 1300 after 1924), delivered from Alco in 1911.  This engine was notable in having a firebox behind the drivers, a first for a 2-6-6-2, and an outside radial trailing truck, also a first for the wheel arrangement.  Earlier Mallets of this type had the firebox partially over the drivers, as illustrated by this New York Central locomotive:

http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/nyc1933.jpg

C&O’s original engine was designed to replace double-headed 2-8-0s on the Allegheny climb between Hinton and Clifton Forge, which, while having a ruling grade of less than 1%, is still against the heaviest tonnage.  The design steamed and pulled well, and was almost immediately reordered with a number of improvements, including a superheater and a stoker (the initial prototype was hand-fired!)

Repeat orders followed for H-2 engines.  This was followed by a single locomotive in class H-3 that had been picked up second-hand and didn’t last very long, followed by the H-4 engines.  

In 1919 the C&O also received 20 of the 30 USRA 2-6-6-2s built, placing them in class H-5 (the other 10 went to the Wheeling & Lake Erie, and eventually were inherited by the Nickel Plate), but the C&O wasn’t terribly impressed with the design, and reverted to its own design of 2-6-6-2 in class H-6.  This engine did incorporate some improvements from the USRA engines, notably piston valve low-pressure cylinders.  Later, in 1930 and after the original second-hand H-3 had been retired, the C&O picked up a second class H-3 in a series of engines it inherited in a merger with the Hocking Valley Railway in Ohio; these were built to the same pattern as C&O’s own H-4s.

http://www.steamlocomotive.com/2-6-6-2/?page=co

New H-2, ca. 1911

http://www.cohs.org/repository/Archives/cohs/web/cohs-23974.jpg

H-2 photographed during a flood at Clifton Forge, ca. 1913:

http://www.cohs.org/repository/Archives/cohs/web/cohs-24019.jpg

Ex-Hocking Valley H-3:

http://www.cohs.org/repository/Archives/cohs/web/cohs-24228.jpg

http://www.yesteryeardepot.com/CO1276.JPG

http://www.yesteryeardepot.com/CO1285.JPG

H-4 ca. 1920; this is close to how the engines were in as-built configuration, with a bald-looking smokebox and air compressors on the left side:\

http://www.cohs.org/repository/Archives/cohs/web/cohs-687.jpg

This H-4 still had its original tender in 1953:

http://www.cohs.org/repository/Archives/cohs/web/cohs-1697.jpg

H-4 after rebuilding in the late 1920s; this is the general configuration of the Bachmann model:

http://www.cohs.org/repository/Archives/cohs/web/cohs-1749.jpg

H-6 as built, with left-mounted air compressor and USRA style tender.  Note also piston valve low pressure cylinders, and different crosshead and crosshead guide design.

http://www.cohs.org/repository/Archives/cohs/web/cohs-685.jpg

Rebuilt H-6 with single air compressor:

http://www.cohs.org/repository/Archives/cohs/web/cohs-2288.jpg

More typical early H-6 after rebuilding; except for the crossheads and guides and piston-valve low pressure cylinders, this looks a lot like Bachmann’s H-4:

http://www.cohs.org/repository/Archives/cohs/web/cohs-24346.jpg

http://www.yesteryeardepot.com/CO1512.JPG

The C&O went to a large rebuilding and renumbering program in the 1920s, and the rebuilding included changing many main line locomotives to what would be called the “flying pumps” look so associated with drag-era C&O power, including its 4-6-2s, 2-8-2s, 4-8-2s, 2-8-8-2s, and of course, the 2-6-6-2s.  This is the configuration of Bachmann’s models of the 2-6-6-2s and its C&O version of the USRA 4-8-2.  Exceptions were in the inherited Hocking Valley Mallets and 2-8-2s, which came into the fold in 1930, after much of the rebuilding was already done, and never got the flying pumps look.  

The 2-6-6-2s were bumped from main line service by “Chesapeake” simple-expansion 2-8-8-2s (the first large and successful application of a simple-expansion articulated on the Mallet hinged engine principle), and were found to be ideal for mine-run service, where grades were steep, curves sharp, and clearances often limited.  For comparison, these engines had the tractive effort of a later 2-8-4,  but a much shorter rigid wheelbase (about 10 feet over the three axles in either front or rear engine), and a power curve with maximum power in the 20 to 25 mph range, just right for mine service.  They performed this work so well that, in 1948, as many of the older engines were wearing out, the C&O ordered 25 new copies from Baldwin.  Financial problems, partially caused by coal strikes in the late 1940s, lead to the order being reduced to 10 engines, delivered in 1949.  These 10 engines would be the last steam locomotives built by Baldwin for a North American railroad, and the last for a common carrier by a commercial builder.  The last two, Nos. 1308 and 1309, survive today, the 1308 in Ritter Park in Huntington, W.Va., and the 1309 in the B&O Museum in Baltimore, Md.

http://www.cohs.org/repository/Archives/cohs/web/cohs-28703.jpg

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=65561&nseq=15

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=153160&nseq=13

http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/co1572.jpg

http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/tr_co1309.jpg

As noted earlier, this locomotive turned out to run very well, and one was borrowed by the Norfolk & Western for some tests on that road.  Supposedly, this engine “ran rings around” the N&W’s own early Y class 2-8-8-2s.  The N&W promptly ordered copies for themselves, with some detail changes they preferred, among them a different cab design and long-frame Baker valve gear.  These engines would be classed as Z1 and a number of subclasses.  Their primary dimensions and specifications--grate area, cylinder size, driver diameter, wheelbases, trailing truck design, boiler pressure, heating surface, and so on--were virtually identical to those of a C&O H-4.

http://www.steamlocomotive.com/2-6-6-2/?page=nw

http://nwhs.org/archivesdb/listdocs.php?index=rs&id=267&Type=Picture

http://nwhs.org/archivesdb/listdocs.php?index=rs&id=268&Type=Picture

Although not shown here, two of the N&W 2-6-6-2s would later be sold to the Denver & Rio Grande Western in WW II.

Judging from key dimensions--driver diameter and cylinder size, grate area, boiler pressure, wheelbases, and so on--the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh would also copy the design, in several groups of engines built between 1914 and 1923.  These engines would be inherited by the Baltimore & Ohio when the BR&P was merged into the larger road in 1930.  At least some were apparently later rebuilt with cast Delta trailing trucks.

http://www.steamlocomotive.com/2-6-6-2/?page=bo

http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/bo7528s.jpg

http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/bo7548s.jpg

http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/bo7517s.jpg

Delta trailer, Southern valve gear, reinforcing brace on low pressure cylinders, and !@#%$!! poles in the way!

http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/bo7529s.jpg

People wonder why we steam fans have never gotten over the loss of our engines, whether they be superpower, little kettles on short lines, trim passenger power, or old drag engines.  This photo helps to explain.  Note the effect of cold water in the tender, causing moisture in the air to condense on the sides of the tank, just like it does on your glass of  iced tea.  Has anyone attempted to duplicate this in model railroading?

http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/bo7547s.jpg

No photos were locatable, but it looks like the Western Pacific also copied the design, again based on key dimensions:

http://www.steamlocomotive.com/2-6-6-2/?page=wp

Two more such engines ran on the Southern Pacific.  These were second-handers, having originally been built for Verde Tunnel & Smelter, and purchased by the SP in the early 1940s.  They survived into the early 1950s, the last 2-6-6-2s and the last compounds on the SP.

http://www.steamlocomotive.com/2-6-6-2/?page=vts

Photos courtesy of Division Point Models:

http://www.divisionpoint.com/photos/SP_MM-3s/SP_3930a.gif

http://www.divisionpoint.com/photos/SP_MM-3s/SP_3931.gif

That tender looks familiar.

http://www.divisionpoint.com/photos/SP_MM-3s/SP_3930b.gif

These are just the engines that look, both in general appearance and proportion, and in specification, to be similar to a C&O H-4.  There may well be others.  In any event, we seem to have the potential to recreate quite a series of locomotives from around the country, and if you have better rebuilding abilities than I have, (primarily in coming up with a new smokebox front and moving air compressors around), you don’t have to wait for Bachmann to make them!

Have fun!
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 12:09:32 AM by J3a-614 » Logged
Williamson

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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2010, 11:55:47 AM »


As noted earlier, this locomotive turned out to run very well, and one was borrowed by the Norfolk & Western for some tests on that road.  Supposedly, this engine “ran rings around” the N&W’s own early Y class 2-8-8-2s. 

I believe the proper quote is "ran circles" Wink

This was against the primitive Y-1 class of 1910.


The N&W promptly ordered copies for themselves, with some detail changes they preferred, among them a different cab design and long-frame Baker valve gear.  These engines would be classed as Z1 and a number of subclasses. 


N&W had over 170 Z1 built in the mid to late teens. Many were later rebuilt into class Z1b, with the front slide valves being replaced by piston valves (among other things).



Although not shown here, two of the N&W 2-6-6-2s would later be sold to the Denver & Rio Grande Western in WW II.

A fair number of the N&W Zs were also sold to other roads (I don't have my library with me at the moment).

I should have waited for Bachmann to release the H4 for my Z1b project - I bought the USRA 2-6-6-2 for it when they came out. Perhaps I should look into getting a H4 boiler shell for this project since as you say, the dimensions are closer to the N&W Z class.

Cheers,

Mark
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 05:43:03 PM by Williamson » Logged
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