The Evolution of the Ten-
“EL GUBERNADOR”, THE FIRST LOCOMOTIVE TO BE FITTED WITH TEN COUPLED DRIVING WHEELS
Built for the Central, now the Southern Pacific Railroad, in 1884, this gigantic fourteen-
WHEN William Hood, the chief engineer to the Southern Pacific Railway, finally discovered how to overcome the 4,000 feet of ascent in 46 miles to carry the railway from Bakersfield over the Tehachapi mountain range in Southern California by his wonderful loop, the question of moving the trains economically up the long bank rising steadily at 115 feet per mile, presented the locomotive engineers with some exacting problems. In the first instance ten-
At the time these engines were delegated to the “Tehachapi Toil ” the line over the mountains was laid with rails weighing 50 lb per yard, but in 1882 it was relaid with 62-
The chief mechanical engineer at that time was A. J. Stevens, and he assured Governor Stanford of the practicability of the idea. Thereupon, in the way they had of doing things in those times, the presiding genius of the executive gave the engineer carte blanche, then and there, to build the engine, and, apparently, no particular record was made of the order. Such a system may seem haphazard, but those were pioneer days, although in this instance it brought a train of troubles in its wake, as Mr. H. Stillman, then a draughtsman in the Sacramento shops of the Southern Pacific, but now the mechanical engineer, and supervisor of tests, has communicated to me. Stevens entered into the spirit of the enterprise with zest, and the task of preparing the designs for what was to be the largest and heaviest locomotive in the world was assigned to Mr. Stillman.
Some eight or ten months after the momentous conversation between the president and his mechanical engineer, Governor Stanford went to Europe with his family for a holiday. During his absence his colleague, Vice-
“What are these? ”
“The frames for the big locomotive we are building!”
“Big locomotive!” repeated Crocker.
“What big locomotive? It’s all news to me. I want this work stopped immediately!”
So the enterprise was suspended. When Stanford returned he bethought himself of the monster engine, only to learn that all work upon it had been stopped. Ascertaining the reason he hurriedly conferred with his associates, and succeeded in persuading them to support the venture; the order for resumption of construction was given to be pushed ahead with such swing as to enable the engine to be completed early in 1884.
The monster, appropriately named “El Gubernador”, after Governor Stanford, and with the road number “237”, made its trial trip on March 1 of the year mentioned from the Sacramento shops to American River Bridge. Its appearance arrested the attention of the employees, while the deep tone of its bell caused people living beside the line to run out of their homes as though impressed with the idea, to quote a contemporary scribe, “that a church had broken loose or that a steamboat was coming around looking for water”.
The only specification governing the building of “El Gubernador” was that “it should be as much heavier as the existing heaviest engine as the new 62-
There were other features of this locomotive which were quite as novel as her ten coupled wheels. The valve-
Shortly after completion the “Governor” -
Unfortunately for her fathers, “El Gubernador” did not prove the anticipated success. The boiler was found to be too small to make sufficient steam to supply the large cylinders. During the preparation of the designs the question of the boiler dimensions was raised, but Mr. Stevens concluded that his conception would prove adequate for the duty. In hauling capacity the locomotive completely fulfilled the expectations of those associated with her creation, but, in the language of the boys on the road, “she chewed up all the coal in the country”. At times two firemen had to be carried to maintain the steam and many changes were made in the draught appliances to this end, but to no avail. As one of the old drivers pointedly remarked: “All hell couldn’t make her steam!”
These deficiencies notwithstanding, “The Guv’nor” was kept on the mountain pull until late in the ‘eighties, although the reports of her working, which were far from satisfactory, constituted a topic of acrimonious discussion and heated argument between the “Big Four” who were behind the railway. When withdrawn from the run she was taken back to the Sacramento shops and run into a side-
THE FIRST “DECAPOD” (2-
It is so-
In 1885 the Dom Pedro Segundo Railway of Brazil -
In addition to its hauling capacity the locomotive had to be capable of rounding curves as sharp as 500-
The “Decapod” classification is most powerfully represented now in the current engines of this family, designed and built in the Juniata shops of the Pennsylvania Railroad system; the first of these was ready for service in December, 1916. This striking unit, which is built to operate on curves of 350-
The Belpaire fire-
THE GIANT FREIGHT “DECAPOD” OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD
This locomotive represents the most powerful expression of this classification. Its overall measurement is 73 0½ inch. The ten driving wheels are 62 inches in diameter, and the wheels of the leading pony truck and the tender are 33 inches in diameter. Above the buffer beam, tow of the main compressed air reservoirs are seen. There are 122 of these locomotives in service.
The ten driving wheels are 62 inches in diameter, the leading and rear pairs, 5½ inches wide, being flanged. The tires of the three pairs between are bald or flangeless; those on the central axle are 8½ inches in width, while the second and fourth pairs are 7½ inches wide. The wheels of the leading pony truck, as well as those of the eight wheels carrying the tender, are 33 inches in diameter; the footplate is 6 feet 11 inches above the level of the rail; the tender has capacity for 9,000 gallons of water and 35,000 lb of coal.
There are two cylinders for braking the driving wheels. They are 18 inches in diameter by 13-
The performance of the first “Decapod” fully substantiated the expectations of the Pennsylvania Railroad technicians. It proved conclusively that the saving in steam and coal, by the use of the restricted cut-
A STRIKING EXPRESSION OF THE “DECAPOD” IN EUROPEAN SERVICE
Freight locomotive of the North Railway of France. The driving wheels are 61.02 inches in diameter; those of the pony truck, 40.94 inches. Overall length of the locomotive, buffer to buffer, 62 feet 3.5 inches, and total weight, ready for the road, 137.595 tons.
A striking European expression of the “Decapod” is offered by the four locomotives of this type built by the Chemin de Fer du Nord for the movement of the mineral traffic from the Lens coal-
The driving wheels are 61·02 inches in diameter; that of the pony truck wheels 40·94 inches. The rigid wheel-
This locomotive is used for banking on the Lickey Incline, near Birmingham. Total weight (engine and tender), 235,732 lb; total length, 61 feet O⅝ inch; wheels, 55½ inches in diameter; cylinders, 16¾ inches by 28-
[From Railways of the World by Frederick A. Talbot, published 1923]