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Great Northern Railway 2-8-8-0 Class N-1 locomotive, built at the Baldwin Locomotive Works in August 1912.

In the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives by wheel arrangement, a 2-8-8-0 is a locomotive with a two-wheel leading truck, two sets of eight driving wheels, and no trailing truck.

Equivalent classifications[edit]

Other equivalent classifications are:

The UIC classification is refined to (1'D)D for Mallet locomotives.


The Great Northern Railway and the Union Pacific Railroad operated this type; it was called the "Bull Moose" by Union Pacific crews. Out east, the Reading Railroad and the Baltimore and Ohio operated this type, with the B&O owning dozens of examples, most notably the EL-3 class. In the Midwest, the Kansas City Southern was a principal user of this configuration.[1]

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway was the first to use the configuration. In 1911, their own workshop took a pair of standard 2-8-0 and combined them into a 2-8-8-0 "Consolidation Mallet" articulated locomotive. Four examples were built, but were never entirely satisfactory and were converted back to 2-8-0 in 1923.[2] The first 2-8-8-0 operated by Baltimore and Ohio was numbered EL-1/a, which was built in 1916 at Baldwin Locomotive Works.[3] The western end of their network had ruling gradients greater than 2%, and the 2-8-8-0 offered exceptional tractive effort, enabling a single locomotive to move the heaviest freight trains. As well as building these locomotives from scratch, the last in 1920, ten were converted from 0-8-8-0 configuration in 1920 and a further ten from 2-8-8-2 in 1922. These locomotives remained in operation until after World War II, the last being withdrawn in 1955. None have been preserved.[2]


  1. ^ "2-8-8-0 Bull Moose Articulated Steam Locomotives". Web Site of ToyTrains1. 4 February 2013. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "The B&O's Class EL 2-8-8-0s". www.american-rails.com. Adam Burns. Retrieved January 2, 2014. 
  3. ^ Lanso, Steve. "Baltimore & Ohio 2-8-8-0 "Consolidation Mallet" Type Locomotives". steamlocomotive.com/. Retrieved January 2, 2014.