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4-2-4T "Huntington" Steam Locomotive
Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives, 4-2-4 represents the wheel arrangement of  four leading wheels on two axles, two powered driving wheels on one axle, and four trailing wheels on two axles. This type of locomotive is often called a Huntington type.

The configuration was most often used for tank engines, which is noted by adding letter suffixes to the configuration, such as 4-2-4T for a conventional side-tank locomotive, 4-2-4ST for a saddle-tank locomotive, 4-2-4WT for a well-tank locomotive and 4-2-4RT for a rack-equipped tank locomotive.

This wheel arrangement was mainly used on various tank locomotive configurations. Eight 4-2-4 well-and back-tank locomotives which entered service on the Bristol and Exeter Railway in 1853 appear to have been the first with this wheel arrangement. The engine was designed by James Pearson, the railway company's engineer, and featured single large flangeless driving wheels between two supporting four-wheeled bogies. The water was carried in both well- and back-tanks, leaving the boilers exposed in the same way as on most tender locomotives.

Useage in the United States of America
The engine C.P. Huntington was one of three identical 4-2-4 tank locomotives. They were the first locomotives to be purchased by Southern Pacific Railroad in 1863, for use on light commuter services in the Sacramento area. The locomotives had serious shortcomings. The single driving axle did not carry the full weight of the engine's rear end due to the trailing truck and, in addition to being too light, it therefore lacked adhesion to reliably pull trains, especially on gradients. The short water tank on the Forney-type frame prevented the locomotives from travelling any moderate distance without consuming all of their water. As a result, these locomotives were only used when absolutely necessary.

In 1863, a sister engine, the T.D. Judah, was built by the Cooke Locomotive Works for a railroad which was unable to pay for it and was purchased by the Central Pacific Railroad. This locomotive was rebuilt to a 4-2-2 wheel arrangement in 1872.

In Fiction
The Little Blue Engine from the original 1906 book The Little Engine That Could was a Forney with this wheel arrangement.

4-2-4 "Huntington" Overview
Equivalent classifications

Whyte: 4-2-4
UIC: class 2A2
French: class 212
Turkish: class 15
Swiss: class 1/5
Russian: class 2-1-2
First known tank engine version
First use: 1853
Country: United Kingdom
Locomotive: Pearson 4-2-4T
Railway: Bristol and Exeter Railway
Designer: James Pearson
Builder: Bristol and Exeter Railway

See also:

Steam Locomotives


Whyte Notation

C.P. Huntington Locomotive

The 4-2-4T locomotive C.P. Huntington began as Central Pacific No. 3 and then became Southern Pacific No. 1, showing its post-1888 rebuild appearance.
A diagram of the 4-2-4T steam locomotive depicting two small leading wheels, a single large driving wheel and two small trailing wheels.
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A diagram of the 4-2-4T steam locomotive depicting two small leading wheels, a single large driving wheel and two small trailing wheels.

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The 4-2-4T locomotive "C.P. Huntington" (Central Pacific No. 3, Southern Pacific No. 1), showing its post-1888 rebuild appearance.

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