ATSF 3460 class

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ATSF 3460 class
Santa Fe 3460 Baldwin.jpg
ATSF 3460, the “Blue Goose”
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Builder Baldwin Locomotive Works
Build date 1937
Total produced 6
Configuration 4-6-4
UIC classification 2′C2′ h
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Leading wheel
37 in (940 mm)
Driver diameter 84 in (2,134 mm)
Trailing wheel
40 in (1,016 mm)
Wheelbase Loco: 41 ft 1 12 in (12.53 m)
Length Loco: 54 ft 3 34 in (16.55 m);
Loco & tender: 112 ft 7 in (34.32 m)
Width 10 ft 9 in (3.28 m)
Height 16 ft 8 in (5.08 m) over raised stack extension
Weight on drivers 211,400 lb (95,900 kilograms; 95.9 metric tons)
Locomotive weight 412,380 lb (187,050 kilograms; 187.05 metric tons)
Locomotive and tender
combined weight
712,500 lb (323,200 kilograms; 323.2 metric tons)
Fuel type Oil
Fuel capacity 7,000 US gal (26,000 l; 5,800 imp gal)
Water capacity 20,000 US gal (76,000 l; 17,000 imp gal)
Tender capacity 7,000 US gal (26,000 l; 5,800 imp gal) oil, 20,000 US gal (76,000 l; 17,000 imp gal) water
Boiler pressure 300 lbf/in2 (2.07 MPa)
Firegrate area 99.5 sq ft (9.24 m2)
Cylinders Two, outside
Cylinder size 23.5 in × 29.5 in (597 mm × 749 mm)
Valve gear Walschaerts
Valve type Piston valves
Performance figures
Tractive effort 49,300 lbf (219.3 kN)
Factor of
Operator(s) Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
Class 3460 class
Number(s) 3460–3465
Preserved 3463, in Topeka, Kansas
Disposition One preserved, remainder scrapped

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway's 3460 class comprised six 4-6-4 "Hudson" type steam locomotives built in 1937 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for service between La Junta, Colorado and Chicago, Illinois, a fairly flat division of the railroad suited for the 4-6-4 type. They were substantially larger than the road's earlier 3450 class locomotives, and all were built oil-fired, although in a manner that would allow for easy conversion to coal firing.

They had much in common with the Milwaukee Road's class F7 and the Chicago and North Western Railway's class E-4, all three types being fast, 84-inch drivered 4-6-4s for Midwestern service with 300 lb/in² boiler pressures.

In December 1937, locomotive #3461 set a world record for the longest single run by a steam locomotive by completing the 2,227 miles (3,584 km) from Los Angeles, California to Chicago without maintenance other than five refuelling stops en route, hauling Train #8, the Fast Mail Express. An average speed of 45 mph (72 km/h) was attained, including stops; maximum speed during the run was 90 mph (140 km/h). During steeply graded portions of the run it was, of course, assisted by helper locomotives. Such long distance runs were a goal of railway operating departments, enabling a reduction in locomotive numbers and through increased locomotive utilization, reduce overall costs.

The first locomotive, #3460, was built streamlined; painted light, robin's egg blue and silver, it became known as the "Blue Goose". It was the Santa Fe's only streamlined steam locomotive, featuring extensively in railroad publicity and was a railfan favorite.

Locomotive #3461 was fitted with a streamlined "skyline" casing along the top of the boiler, encasing stack and domes, in an experiment to see if it helped clear smoke away from the locomotive. It was not retained. All of the locomotives otherwise had a Santa Fe-style telescoping stack extension fitted, which elongated the stack to clear smoke better and could be lowered to pass under low bridges and tunnels.

The 3460 class 4-6-4s, the 3765 class 4-8-4s, and the 5001 class 2-10-4s were designed and ordered around the same time and had much in common in their designs; in addition, they used the same six-axle tender design. The classes together were often called the "Big Three".

Only one of this class survives, #3463, on static display on the grounds to the Southeast of the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka, Kansas.