Classic Streamliners - TRAIN​CYCLOPEDIA

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C&O Class L-1 No. 490 on display at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.
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Chesapeake & Ohio Class L-1 4-6-4 Streamlined Hudson Steam Locomotive

The C&O class L-1 was a streamlined 4-6-4 "Hudson" steam locomotive built by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O). The locomotives featured a distinctive streamlined yellow cowl and stainless steel fluting. The L-1 Class locomotives were originally built by ALCO-Richmond for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway in 1926. All five were formerly Class F-19 4-6-2 "Pacific" locomotives built for the C&O and were used on passenger trains on the mainline east of Charlottesville and west of Clifton Forge. By 1930, F-19s were pulling the "Sportsman", the premier C&O passenger train at the time, and later were hauling the "George Washington". These 4-6-2s operated between Cincinnati and Washington until 1942 when they were by new Baldwin 4-8-4's. The 4-6-2s continued to pull secondary passenger trains during World War II.

Soon after the war, the C&O began to upgrade their existing passenger service. The C&O's Huntington shops rebuilt the five of the F19 4-6-2 "Pacifics" into new 4-6-4 "Hudsons." These new locomotives featured roller bearings, a front-end throttle, high-speed booster, cross counterbalance, and Franklin valve gear. 

Near Total Rebuild
Even though it was called a rebuild, the 20-year-old locomotives retained little of their former equipment. Improvements included a one-piece cast frame with integral cylinders and a main air reservoir; roller bearings on all axles and in the main and side rods and multiple-bearing crossheads now replaced the alligator type used on the F-19; new drivers that were carefully cross-counter-balanced to enable high-speed operation; an entirely new structure inside the boiler, reusing only the outer shell, with 41 tubes of 2.25'' outside diameter and 195 flues of 3.5'' O.D.; a renewed but otherwise unchanged firebox; a Type E superheater, replacing the Type A of the F-19, and providing increased super-heater heating surface (2,001 sq. ft., a 65% increase) and 250¬ of superheat rather than 150¬ in the Type A; higher boiler pressure (210 psi vs. 200 psi); cylinders of the same size (27'' x 28'') newly equipped with Franklin Type A poppet valves (oscillating cam type); a four-wheel trailing truck with a Franklin type E-I high speed booster; a more efficient Worthington feedwater heater taken from an F-17 Pacific, which got the Elesco feedwater heater from the F-19; and a new, larger cab.

The rebuilt "Hudsons" hauled C&O passenger trains until 1953.

C & O Class L-1 Overview
Type and Origin
Power type: Steam
Original Builder: Alco-Richmond
Original build date: 1926

Rebuilt by: C&O Huntington Shops
Rebuild Date: 1946
Total Units Streamlined: 5
Road Numbers Streamlined Units: 490-494​
​ • Whyte 4-6-4 "Hudson"
Gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Driver diameter: 74"  (1,880 mm)
Wheelbase: 37.96' (11.57 m)
Weight on drivers: 202,500 lbs  (91,853 kg)
Locomotive Weight: 388,700 lbs  (176,312 kg)
Tender Loaded Weight: 355,300 lbs  (161,162 kg)
Total Locomotive with Tender Weight: 744,000 lbs  (337,474 kg)
Fuel type: Coal
Fuel capacity: 28 tons (25.50 mt)
Water capacity: 18,000 gals  (68.18 ml)
Firebox: 281 sq ft  (26.12 sq m)
 • Firegrate area: 80.70 sq ft  (7.50 sq m)
Boiler pressure: 210 psi  (14.50 kPa)
Cylinders: 2
Cylinder size: 27" x 28"  (686 x 711 mm)
Valve gear: Franklin Type A poppet valves
Performance figures
Tractive effort: 49,237 lbs  (22,333.55 kg)
Factor of Adhesion: 4.11​
Operator: Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O)
Class: L-1
Number in class: 5
Delivered: 1939
Withdrawn: 1953 - 1955
Preserved: One preserved, No. 490. 
Disposition: No. 490 on static display at the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, Baltimore, MD. Remainder scrapped.

See also:

C&O L-2 and L-2-A Class Steam Locomotives

Streamlined Steam Locomotives

Steam Locomotives


C&O Railroad

Chessie Passenger Train

American Locomotive Company

B&O Railroad Museum

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C&O Class L-1 No. 490 on display at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

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