CNW Class E-4

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CNW class E-4
C&NW 400 Locomotive 1942.jpg
An E-4 at Chicago in 1942.
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Builder American Locomotive Company
Serial number 68982–68989, 69028
Build date 1937
Total produced 9
Configuration 4-6-4
UIC classification 2′C2′ h2
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver diameter 84 in (2,134 mm)
Length 101 ft 9 34 in (31.03 m)
Weight on drivers 216,000 lb (98.0 tonnes)
Locomotive and tender
combined weight
791,500 lb (359.0 tonnes)
Fuel type Coal
Water capacity 20,000 US gal (76,000 l; 17,000 imp gal)
Boiler pressure 300 lbf/in2 (2.07 MPa)
Firegrate area 90.7 sq ft (8.43 m2)
Heating surface:
– Total
3,958 sq ft (367.7 m2)
Superheater area 1,884 sq ft (175.0 m2)
Cylinders Two
Cylinder size 25 in × 29 in (635 mm × 737 mm)
Performance figures
Tractive effort 36,050 lbf (160.36 kN)
Operator(s) Chicago and North Western Railway
Number(s) 4001–4009
Retired 1953–1956
Scrapped 1953–1961
Disposition All scrapped

The Chicago and North Western Railway's Class E-4 comprised nine coal-burning streamlined 4-6-4 "Hudson" steam locomotives built in 1937 by Alco.

They were built to haul the road's famous "400" express passenger trains, but before they were even delivered the railroad's management decided that streamlined steam was the wrong direction and instead placed orders with General Motors Electro-Motive Division for new diesel locomotives. The displaced E-4s instead worked other trains until they were withdrawn from service in 1953. All were scrapped.

The nine E-4s were almost identical in specification and purpose to the Milwaukee Road's six class F7 locomotives, and they were built by the same builder at the same time, yet they were different in almost every detail of design.

In fiction[edit]

  • Speedy from the animated children's television series Chuggington is based on the CNW Class E-4 minus the tender.[citation needed]

Other CNW steam locomotives[edit]

  • CNW Class D 4-4-2 – A major workhorse of the C&NW, some were used on the Minnesota 400.
  • CNW Class E 4-6-2 – Some converted to "ES" class with similar shrouding to the E-4. The ES engines succeeded Class D locomotives on the Minnesota 400.
  • CNW Class E-2 4-6-2 – Twelve locomotives, four of which were converted to "E-2-a" class and were the original locomotives for the Twin Cities to Chicago 400 before being replaced by EMD E3 diesel units. The remaining eight were converted to "E-2-b" locomotives.[1]


  1. ^ Scribbins, Jim (2008) [1982]. The 400 Story. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 9780816654499. OCLC 191760067.