Chicago and North Western 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
 • Whyte 4-6-4
 • UIC 2′C2′ h2
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Driver dia. 84 in (2,134 mm)
Length 101 ft 9 34 in (31.03 m)
Adhesive weight 216,000 lb (98,000 kilograms; 98 metric tons)
Total weight 791,500 lb (359,000 kilograms; 359.0 metric tons)
Fuel type Coal
Water cap 20,000 US gal (76,000 l; 17,000 imp gal)
 • Firegrate area
90.7 sq ft (8.43 m2)
Boiler pressure 300 lbf/in2 (2.07 MPa)
Heating surface 3,958 sq ft (367.7 m2)
 • Heating 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)
Operators Chicago and North Western Railway
Numbers 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 The displaced E-4s instead worked other trains until they were withdrawn from service in 1953 and scrapped.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, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 978-0-8166-5449-9.