Classic Streamliners - TRAIN​CYCLOPEDIA

ATSF No. 3460, the Blue Goose.

ATSF No. 3460, the “Blue Goose”.

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ATSF 3460 Class Streamlined Steam Locomotive

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway's 3460 class comprised six 4-6-4 "Hudson" type steam locomotives built in 1937 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for service between La Junta, Colorado and Chicago, Illinois, a fairly flat division of the railroad suited for the 4-6-4 type. They were substantially larger than the road's earlier 3450 class locomotives, and all were built oil-fired, although in a manner that would allow for easy conversion to coal firing.

They had much in common with the Milwaukee Road's class F7 and the Chicago and North Western Railway's class E-4, all three types being fast, 84-inch drivered 4-6-4s for Midwestern service with 300 lb/in² boiler pressures.

In December 1937, locomotive No. 3461 set a world record for the longest single run by a steam locomotive by completing the 2,227 miles from Los Angeles, California to Chicago without maintenance other than five refuelling stops en route, hauling Train No. 8, the Fast Mail Express. An average speed of 45 mph was attained, including stops; maximum speed during the run was 90 mph (140 km/h). During steeply graded portions of the run it was, of course, assisted by helper locomotives. Such long distance runs were a goal of railway operating departments, enabling a reduction in locomotive numbers and through increased locomotive utilization, reduce overall costs.

The first locomotive, No. 3460, was built streamlined; painted light, robin's egg blue and silver, it became known as the "Blue Goose". It was the Santa Fe's only streamlined steam locomotive, featuring extensively in railroad publicity and was a railfan favorite.

Locomotive No. 3461 was fitted with a streamlined "skyline" casing along the top of the boiler, encasing stack and domes, in an experiment to see if it helped clear smoke away from the locomotive. It was not retained. All of the locomotives otherwise had a Santa Fe-style telescoping stack extension fitted, which elongated the stack to clear smoke better and could be lowered to pass under low bridges and tunnels.

The 3460 class 4-6-4s, the 3765 class 4-8-4s, and the 5001 class 2-10-4s were designed and ordered around the same time and had much in common in their designs; in addition, they used the same six-axle tender design. The classes together were often called the "Big Three".

Only one of this class survives, No. 3463, on static display on the grounds to the Southeast of the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka, Kansas.

ATSF 3460 Class Overview

Type and origin
Power type: Steam
Builder: Baldwin Locomotive Works
Build date: 1937
Total produced: 6
Specifications
Configuration: 4-6-4
UIC classification: 2′C2′ h
Gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in standard gauge
Leading wheel diameter: 37 in
Driver diameter: 84 in
Trailing wheel diameter: 40 in
Wheelbase Loco: 41 ft 1 1⁄2 in
Length Locomotive: 54 ft 3 3⁄4 in
Locomotive & tender: 112 ft 7 in
Width: 10 ft 9 in
Height: 16 ft 8 in over raised stack extension
Weight on drivers: 211,400 lb
Locomotive weight: 412,380 lb
Locomotive and tender combined weight: 712,500 lb
Fuel type: Oil
Fuel capacity: 7,000 US gal
Water capacity: 20,000 US gal
Tender capacity: 7,000 US gal oil, 20,000 US gal water
Boiler pressure: 300 lbf/in2
Firegrate area: 99.5 sq ft
Cylinders: Two, outside
Cylinder size: 23.5 in × 29.5 in
Valve gear: Walschaerts
Valve type: Piston valves
Performance figures
Tractive effort: 49,300 lbf
Factor of adhesion: 4.29
Career
Operator: Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
Class: 3460 class
Numbers: 3460–3465
Preserved: 3463, in Topeka, Kansas
Disposition: One preserved, remainder scrapped.

See also:

Streamlined Steam Locomotives

Baldwin Locomotive Works

AT&SF Railway

Steam Locomotives