Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives, a 2-10-4 locomotive has two leading wheels, ten driving wheels (in other words, five driven axles), and four trailing wheels. These were referred to as the Texas type in most of the United States, the Colorado type on the Burlington Route and the Selkirk type in Canada.
Other equivalent classifications are:
- UIC classification: 1E2 (also known as German and Italian classifications)
- French classification: 152
- Turkish classification: 58
- Swiss classification: 5/8
- Russian classification: 1-5-2
The 2-10-4 originated and was principally used in the United States. The evolution of this locomotive type began as a 2-10-2 "Santa Fe" type with a larger four wheeled trailing truck that would allow an enlarged firebox. A subsequent development was as an elongated 2-8-4 "Berkshire" type that required extra driving wheels to remain within axle load limits. Examples of both of these evolutionary progressions can be found.
The Texas type was rare in Africa. One locomotive, numbered 801, was built for the CF du Bas-Congo au Katanga by Société Anonyme John Cockerill in 1939. It had 540 by 550 millimetres (21 by 22 inches) cylinders and 1,100 millimetres (43 inches) diameter driving wheels, with a working order mass of 107.8 tonnes (106.1 long tons; 118.8 short tons), a grate area of 5.4 square metres (58 square feet) and a tractive effort at 65% boiler pressure of 14,690 kilograms-force (144,100 newtons; 32,400 pounds-force). The locomotive is believed to have been built for the line between Bukama and Kamina and accumulated 1,200,000 kilometres (750,000 miles) during its service lifetime. Even with its large size, it was hand-fired and had two firebox doors, with two firemen being carried.
Outside North America, the 2-10-4 was rare. The Central Railway of Brazil, however, ordered seventeen narrow gauge (metre gauge) 2-10-4 locomotives, ten from Baldwin which were delivered in 1940, and another seven from the American Locomotive Company which were delivered in 1947.
In 1937 the South African Railways (SAR) placed one Class 21 steam locomotive with a Texas wheel arrangement in service, designed as a mixed traffic locomotive suitable for light rail. It was designed by A.G. Watson, Chief Mechanical Engineer of the SAR from 1929 to 1936, and built by the North British Locomotive Company in Glasgow. Only the one locomotive was built, at the time representing the maximum power obtainable on 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) from a ten-coupled non-articulated locomotive that was limited to a 15 long tons (15.2 tonnes) axle load on 60 pounds per yard (30 kilograms per metre) rail. To enable it to negotiate tight curves, the third and fourth sets of driving wheels were flangeless.
The tender was an unusual experimental type using six pairs of wheels in a 2-8-2 wheel arrangement, with the leading and trailing wheels in bissel type pony trucks and the rest of the axles mounted with a rigid wheelbase. The tender’s wheel arrangement did not prove to be very successful and, except for a similar tender built in the Salt River shops in Cape Town for test purposes, was not used again.
United States of America
The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway (ATSF) took delivery of locomotive no. 3829 from the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1919. It was used by Santa Fe as an experimental locomotive and was rostered as a member of ATSF’s 3800 class of 2-10-2s that was fitted with a four-wheel trailing truck. Nearly a hundred more 3800 class locomotives were delivered after no. 3829, but all with the 2-10-2 wheel arrangement. Photographs exist that show no. 3829 fitted with at least two different designs of four wheel trailing truck through the years. No other members of the 3800 class have been documented with four wheel trailing trucks. No. 3829 was scrapped in 1955, still equipped with a four-wheel trailing truck.
Santa Fe, who had originated the 2-10-4 type, adopted it again in 1930 with no. 5000, nicknamed "Madame Queen". This locomotive was similar to the C&O T-1, with the same 69 inches (1,753 millimetres) drivers but with 300 pounds per square inch (2.07 megapascals) boiler pressure and 60% limited cutoff. It proved the viability of the type on the Santa Fe railway, but the Great Depression shelved plans to acquire more.
In 1938, with the railroad's fortunes improving, Santa Fe acquired ten more 2-10-4 locomotives. These came with 74 inches (1,880 millimetres) drivers and 310 pounds per square inch (2.14 megapascals) boiler pressure, making these ATSF 2-10-4s the fastest and most modern of all.
Of the original order of ten, five were oil-burning and five coal-burning, but when Santa Fe ordered twenty-five more for delivery in 1944, all were delivered equipped to burn oil. The first of the 1944 batch produced 5600 drawbar horsepower on road test, the highest figure known for a two-cylinder steam locomotive.
Texas and Pacific
The 2-10-4 type was revived in 1925 by the Lima Locomotive Works. This time it was an expansion of the 2-8-4 "Berkshire" type that Lima had pioneered. A version of the Berkshire with ten driving wheels instead of eight was an obvious development and the first to be delivered were to the Texas and Pacific Railway, after which the type was subsequently named. The four-wheel trailing truck allowed a much larger firebox and thus a greater ability to generate heat, and thus steam. The Superpower design, as Lima's marketing department called it, resulted in a locomotive that could develop great power at speed while not running out of steam-generating ability.
Chesapeake & Ohio
The early Lima built Texas types were low-drivered, 60 to 64 inches (1,524 to 1,626 millimetres) in diameter, which did not leave enough space to fully counterweight the extremely heavy and sturdy side rods and main rods required for such a powerful locomotive's piston thrusts. That changed with the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O) in 1930, who stretched the design of an Erie Railroad high-drivered Berkshire type locomotive to produce forty of the C&O T-1, a Texas type with 69 inches (1,753 millimetres) drivers that was both powerful and fast enough for the new higher-speed freight services that the railroads were introducing. All subsequent Texas types were of this higher-drivered sort.
The Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) ordered few new locomotives after 1930, since electrification both consumed the railroad's resources and resulted in a supply of excess steam locomotives that eliminated any requirement for new power. It was not until World War II had begun that the PRR's locomotive fleet began to appear inadequate. Although the PRR urgently needed new and modern freight power, the War Production Board prohibited working on a new design, and since there was not enough time to trial a prototype in any event, the PRR cast around for other railroads' designs that it might modify for PRR use.
It settled on the C&O T-1. Some modifications were made to the design for these PRR "War Babies". These included PRR drop-couplers, sheet steel pilots, PRR style cabs, large PRR tenders, Keystone number plates up front, and other modifications. It still betrayed its foreign heritage by lacking the PRR trademark Belpaire firebox and by having a booster engine on the trailing truck. 125 locomotives were built between 1942 and 1944 and became the largest fleet of Texas type locomotives in existence. All were eventually sold as scrap as the Pennsylvania Railroad dieselized.
North American owners of Texas types
|Railroad (quantity; class name)||Class||Road numbers||Builder||Build year||Notes|
|Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe
|5011||5011–5035||Baldwin||1944||5011, 5017, 5021 & 5030 preserved|
|Bessemer & Lake Erie
18 of the B&LE's 2-10-4 locomotives
were sold to the Duluth, Missabe
& Iron Range (DMIR), who retained
the "Texas" class name on these
|T4a||8000||CP Angus Shops||1931|
|T1c||5930–5935||MLW||1949||Streamlined. 5931 & 5935 preserved|
|Chesapeake and Ohio
|Chicago, Burlington & Quincy
|Chicago Great Western
|Kansas City Southern
|J1||6450–6474||PRR Altoona Works||1942|
|PRR Altoona Works||1943|
|PRR Altoona Shops||1944|
|Texas & Pacific
Preserved Texas types in North America
|5011||Museum of Transportation, St. Louis, MO|
|5017||National Railroad Museum, Green Bay, WI|
|5021||California State Railroad Museum, Sacramento, CA|
|5030||Salvador Perez Park, Santa Fe, NM|
|B&LE||643||McKees Rocks, PA|
|CP||5931||Heritage Park Historical Village, Calgary, AB|
|5935||Canadian Railway Museum, Delson, QC|
|T&P||610||Texas State Railroad, Palestine, TX|
- Barris, W., The Texas Type Locomotive. Retrieved January 1, 2003
- Blanchart, De Deurwaerder, Nève, Robeyns & Van Bost (1999). Le Rail au Congo Belge, Tome II, 1920-1945. Brussels: G Blanchart & Cie. pp 294-295, 417. ISBN 2-87202-015-2.
- Holland, D.F. (1972). Steam Locomotives of the South African Railways, Volume 2: 1910-1955 (1st ed.). Newton Abbott, Devon: David & Charles. pp. 73–76. ISBN 978-0-7153-5427-8.
- North British Locomotive Company works list, compiled by Austrian locomotive historian Bernhard Schmeiser
- South African Railways and Harbours Locomotive Diagram Book, 2’0" & 3’6" Gauge Steam Locomotives, 15 August 1941, as amended
- Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. pp. 10–11, 74–75. ISBN 0869772112.
- Worley, E. D. (1965). Iron Horses of the Santa Fe Trail. Southwest Railroad Historical Society. p. 340. LOC 75-39813
- Carlson, Neil. (2010). "Toward the 2-10-4". Classic Trains Magazine (Fall 2010) (Kalmbach) 11 (3).
- Farrell, Jack W. (1989). North American steam locomotives: The Berkshire and Texas types. Pacific Fast Mail, Edmonds, WA. ISBN 0-915713-15-2.
- Westcott, Lynn. Ed. (1980). Model Railroader Cyclopedia Volume 1: Steam Locomotives. Waukesha, WI: Kalmbach Publishing. ISBN 0-89024-001-9.
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