Illinois Central No. 1

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Illinois Central No. 1
IC 2499.jpg
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Builder Lima Locomotive Works
Build date 1926
Rebuilder Illinois Central Railroad
Rebuild date 1937
Number rebuilt 1
 • Whyte 4-6-4
 • UIC 2′C2′ h
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Driver dia. 73 12 in (1,867 mm)
Adhesive weight 248,000 lb (112,000 kilograms; 112 metric tons)
Loco weight 388,000 lb (176,000 kilograms; 176 metric tons)
 • Firegrate area
100 sq ft (9.3 m2)
Boiler pressure 270 lbf/in2 (1.86 MPa)
Heating surface 5,164 sq ft (479.8 m2)
 • Firebox 414 sq ft (38.5 m2)
 • Heating area 2,111 sq ft (196.1 m2)
Cylinders Two
Cylinder size 27 in × 30 in (686 mm × 762 mm), later 24 in × 30 in (610 mm × 762 mm)
Valve gear Baker
Performance figures
Tractive effort 68,288 lbf (303.8 kN), later 53,956 lbf (240.0 kN)
Factor of adh. 3.63, later 4.60
Operators Illinois Central Railroad
Numbers 1, renumbered 2499 in 1945
Retired 1949
Disposition Scrapped

The Illinois Central Railroad's No. 1 was the railroad's only 4-6-4 "Hudson" type locomotive and the only 4-6-4 in North America built for freight service. It was rebuilt in the railroad's own shops from Illinois Central 7000 class 2-8-4 "Berkshire" No. 7038 in 1937 as an experiment to haul fast freight trains, which were growing too large for 4-6-2 "Pacific" types and required more speed than the road's 2-8-2 locomotives could manage.

The experiment was not successful. The locomotive proved prone to slipping, because its factor of adhesion was very low; in simple terms it was too powerful for its ability to grip the rails. John L. McIntyre, the road foreman of engines at Clinton, Illinois where the locomotive was assigned during the 1938–1939 period, made some modifications to the locomotive, including to the weight equalization across the locomotives' wheels and to reduce the cylinder diameter from 27 to 24 inches (686 to 610 mm). The latter was to reduce the starting tractive effort to a level the locomotive's grip on the rails could handle. The improvements were successful, but not to the degree that the railroad ordered any further conversions.

In 1945, the locomotive was renumbered 2499 and assigned to passenger service between Louisville, Kentucky and Fulton, Kentucky. It was retired from service in 1949 and soon after scrapped.