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Classic Streamliners - TRAIN​CYCLOPEDIA

N&W 2-6-6-4 No. 1218, north of Marion, Ohio on August 16, 1987. Photo by Roger Puta.

A 2-6-6-4 Slideshow.

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N&W 2-6-6-4 No. 1218, north of Marion, Ohio on August 16, 1987. Photo by Roger Puta.

Norfolk & Western logo.

2-6-6-4 Articulated Steam Locomotive
In the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotive wheel arrangement, a 2-6-6-4 is a locomotive with a two-wheel leading truck, two sets of six driving wheels, and a four-wheel trailing truck. All 2-6-6-4s are articulated locomotives, of the Mallet or related simple articulated type.

The 2-6-6-4 was a fairly late development, a product of the superpower steam concept, introduced by the Lima Locomotive Works, which encouraged the use of large fireboxes supported by four-wheel trailing trucks. Such a firebox could sustain a rate of steam generation to meet any demands of the locomotive's cylinders, even at high speed. High speeds were certainly among the design goals for the 2-6-6-4; most of the type were intended for use on fast freight trains.

The first 2-6-6-4s built in the United States were for the Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railroad, and these were not high speed locomotives but rather mountain luggers. They received three in 1934 and four more in 1937 and operated the 2-6-6-4s until 1953.

The next of the type were a class of ten ordered by the Seaboard Air Line in 1935 and 1937. These were high speed freight engines and were successful. Upon dieselization the road sold the locomotives to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1947, who operated them until 1953.

The final class of 2-6-6-4s was the Norfolk & Western Railway's Class A, built starting in 1936. 43 were built until 1950 but were operated until 1959 to prepare the ending of steam power. The powerful 2-6-6-4s were capable of more than 5,000 drawbar horsepower at 45 mph (72 km/h) and could reach 70 mph (110 km/h), and could lug heavy coal trains. They were used until dieselization in 1959. One locomotive, Norfolk & Western 1218, was preserved and in 1987 was restored to running order, running on excursions until 1991. Today it is on display at the Virginia Museum of Transportation.

In all, sixty 2-6-6-4s were constructed in North America.

Other equivalent classifications are:
UIC classification: (1'C)C2'
French classification: 130+032
Turkish classification: 34+35
Swiss classification: 3/4+3/5
German classification: (1'C)C2'

Italian classification: (1'C)C2'

Railroad: Norfolk & Western

Class: A
Number in Class: 43
Road Numbers: 1200-1242
Builder: N & W
Year Built: 1936
Valve Gear: Baker
Driver Wheelbase: 12.33 ft
Engine Wheelbase: 60.39 ft
Overall Wheelbase (locomotive & tender): 108.27 ft
Axle Loading: (Max Weight per Axle) 72000 lbs
Weight on Drivers: 433,350 lbs
Locomotive Weight: 573,000 lbs
Tender Weight: 378,600 lbs
Total Weight: 951600 lbs
Water Capacity: 22,000 gals
Fuel Capacity: (oil/coal) 26 tons
Minimum weight of rail: 120 lb/yard
Driver Diameter: 70 in
Boiler Pressure: 300 psi
Cylinders (dia x stroke): 24 in x 30 in
Tractive Effort: 125,897 lbs
Factor of Adhesion: 3.44
Firebox Area: 587 sq. ft
Grate Area: 122 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface: 6,639 sq. ft
Superheating Surface: 2,703 sq. ft
Combined Heating Surface: 9,342 sq. ft

Railroad: Seaboard Air Line

Class R-1
Number in Class: 5
Road Numbers: 2500-2504
Number Built: 5
Builder: Baldwin
Year Built: 1935
Valve Gear: Baker
Driver Wheelbase: 12 ft
Locomotive Wheelbase: 67.42 ft
Overall Wheelbase (locomotive & tender): 97.75 ft
Axle Loading (Max Weight per Axle): 55,000 lbs
Weight on Drivers: 330,000 lbs
Locomotive Weight: 480,000 lbs
Tender Weight: 310,200 lbs
Total Locomotive and Tender Weight: 790,200 lbs
Water Capacity: 16,000 gals
Fuel Capacity (oil/coal): 24 tons
Minimum weight of rail: 92 lb/yard
Driver Diameter: 69 in
Boiler Pressure: 230 psi
Cylinders (dia x stroke): 22 in x 30 in
Tractive Effort: 82,280 lbs
Factor of Adhesion: 4.01
Firebox Area: 516 sq. ft
Grate Area: 96.30 sq. ft
Evaporative Heating Surface: 5,513 sq. ft
Superheating Surface: 2,397 sq. ft
Combined Heating Surface: 7,910 sq. ft

Class R-2

Road Numbers: 2505-2509
Number Built: 5
Builder: Baldwin
Year Built: 1937
Valve gear: Walschaert
Driver Wheelbase: 12 ft
Locomotive Wheelbase: 67.42 ft
Overall Wheelbase (locomotive & tender): 97.75 ft
Axle Loading (Max Weight per Axle): 55,000 lbs
Weight on Drivers: 330,000 lbs
Locomotive Weight: 480,000 lbs
Tender Weight: 310,200 lbs
Total Locomotive and Tender Weight: 790,200 lbs
Water Capacity: 16,000 gals
Fuel Capacity (oil/coal): 24 tons
Minimum weight of rail: 92 lb/yard
Driver Diameter: 69"
Boiler Pressure: 230 psi
Cylinders (dia x stroke): 22 in x 30 in
Tractive Effort: 82,280 lbs
Factor of Adhesion: 4.01
Firebox Area: 516 sq. ft.
Grate Area: 96.30 sq. ft.
Evaporative Heating Surface: 5,429 sq. ft.
Superheating Surface: 2,397 sq. ft.
Combined Heating Surface: 7,826 sq. ft

See also:

Steam Locomotives

Baldwin logo.