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Milwaukee Road Class F6 4-6-4 "Baltic" Steam Locomotive
The Milwaukee Road classes F6 and F6-a comprised twenty-two steam locomotives of the 4-6-4 configuration, commonly nicknamed “Hudson” but known as “Baltic” on the Milwaukee Road.

The fourteen class F6 locomotives were not delivered from their builder, the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, until 1929–1930. In 1931, eight sister locomotives of class F6-a were delivered; these differed in few aspects but can be distinguished by the straight running boards of the F6-a, in contrast to the stepped running boards of the F6.

Technical details
The 1925 design was by Milwaukee Road Chief Mechanical Engineer C. H. Bilty, with detail design by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, who actually built them. They represented the best of American locomotive practice at the time, and were given all the latest devices and fittings. A Coffin feedwater heaterwas fitted, which was the Milwaukee's favorite type; this was installed flush in the extended smokebox, and thus was not at all obvious. Possibly because of this, the boiler lagging was continued over the smokebox, which was not common; most North American locomotives had bare smokeboxes which were graphited, rather than painted. The associated steam-driven centrifugal water pump was located under the cab at the left rear. The class F6-a was fitted with the tender-mounted Wilson Water Conditioner instead of the Coffin feedwater heater.

Valve gear was of the low-maintenance Baker type, with (of course) power reverse. A front-end throttle was installed, with the distinctive linkage running along the boiler on the engineer's side. A mechanical lubricator, driven from the crosshead on the engineer's side, fed oil to the cylinders, valves, guides and other parts of the running gear. Many of the locomotives were fitted with a speedometer, which was attached to the engineer’s side frontmost leading axle.

A single air pump for the locomotive and train air brakes was fitted to the fireman's (left) side, with air tanks under the running boards on both sides. Like all larger North American coal-burning locomotives of the time, an automatic stoker was fitted; the two-cylinder engine to drive this was under the cab floor on the fireman's side.

Modifications
Locomotive No. 6401 received large, "Elephant ear" smoke deflectors in 1936 as an experiment; these were kept for several years, but were not fitted to other locomotives. Later that year a sheet-steel pilot was fitted to it and several other locomotives to replace the boiler-tube pilot installed from new. This featured a swing-up coupler. As well as giving a more attractive, streamlined look, this had a serious safety aspect; a sheet-steel pilot without a protruding coupler was more likely to deflect an obstacle without catching on it in e.g. a grade crossing accident.

Service
At first the locomotives were used mostly between Chicago and Minneapolis, but later on when the F6-a locomotives arrived they served as far west as the beginning of the electrified zone.

When delivered the class F6 were numbered 6400–6413, with the class F6-a numbered 6414–6421. At the 1938 renumbering, they were numbered 125–138 and 139–146.

CMStP&P F6 Class Locomotive Roster
Original Road Number: 6400

1938 Road Number: 125
Class: F6
Baldwin Serial Number: 61135
Date Built: January 1930
Date Retired: June 1954

Original Road Number: 6401

1938 Road Number: 126
Class: F6
Baldwin Serial Number: 61136
Date Built: January 1930
Date Retired: December 1954

Original Road Number: 6402

1938 Road Number: 127
Class: F6
Baldwin Serial Number: 61137
Date Built: January 1930
Date Retired: February 1954

Original Road Number: 6403

1938 Road Number: 128
Class: F6
Baldwin Serial Number: 61138
Date Built: January 1930
Date Retired: February 1954

Original Road Number: 6404

1938 Road Number: 129
Class: F6
Baldwin Serial Number: 61139
Date Built: January 1930
Date Retired: December 1953

Original Road Number: 6405

1938 Road Number: 130
Class: F6
Baldwin Serial Number: 61140
Date Built: January 1930
Date Retired: December 1952

Original Road Number: 6406

1938 Road Number: 131
Class: F6
Baldwin Serial Number: 61141
Date Built: January 1930
Date Retired: September 1952

Original Road Number: 6407

1938 Road Number: 132
Class: F6
Baldwin Serial Number: 61142
Date Built: January 1930
Date Retired: October 1952

Original Road Number: 6408

1938 Road Number: 133
Class: F6
Baldwin Serial Number: 61143
Date Built: January 1930
Date Retired: October 1952

Original Road Number: 6409

1938 Road Number: 134
Class: F6
Baldwin Serial Number: 61144
Date Built: January 1930
Date Retired: July 1954

Original Road Number: 6410

1938 Road Number: 135
Class: F6
Baldwin Serial Number: 61145
Date Built: January 1930
Date Retired: September 1954

Original Road Number: 6411

1938 Road Number: 136
Class: F6
Baldwin Serial Number: 61146
Date Built: February 1930
Date Retired: November 1954

Original Road Number: 6412

1938 Road Number: 137
Class: F6
Baldwin Serial Number: 61147
Date Built: February 1930
Date Retired: December 1954

Original Road Number: 6413

1938 Road Number: 138
Class: F6
Baldwin Serial Number: 61148
Date Built: March 1930
Date Retired: December 1954

Original Road Number: 6414

1938 Road Number: 142
Class: F6-a
Baldwin Serial Number: 61655
Date Built: October 1931
Date Retired: December 1954

Original Road Number: 6415

1938 Road Number: 143
Class: F6-a
Baldwin Serial Number: 61656
Date Built: October 1931
Date Retired: December 1954

Original Road Number: 6416

1938 Road Number: 144
Class: F6-a
Baldwin Serial Number: 61657
Date Built: October 1931
Date Retired: December 1954

Original Road Number: 6417

1938 Road Number: 145
Class: F6-a
Baldwin Serial Number: 61658
Date Built: October 1931
Date Retired: December 1954

Original Road Number: 6418

1938 Road Number: 146
Class: F6-a
Baldwin Serial Number: 61659
Date Built: November 1931
Date Retired: December 1954

Original Road Number: 6419

1938 Road Number: 139
Class: F6-a
Baldwin Serial Number: 61660
Date Built: November 1931
Date Retired: August 1952

Original Road Number: 6420

1938 Road Number: 140
Class: F6-a
Baldwin Serial Number: 61661
Date Built: November 1931
Date Retired: June 1954

Original Road Number: 6421

1938 Road Number: 141
Class: F6-a
Baldwin Serial Number: 61662
Date Built: November 1931
Date Retired: October 1952

Speed Record
On July 20, 1934, Milwaukee Road class F6 Baltic No. 6402 participated in a test run to prove the feasibility of a high-speed service, which was launched as the Hiawatha service in 1935. The test used a regular service train from Chicago, Illinois to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, train 29. This was redesignated as Second 27 just for that day and given a special, high-speed timing. With a five-car train of 840,000 pounds (380 t), No. 6402 completed the 85 miles (137 km) in 67 minutes and 37 seconds start to stop. The eventual Hiawatha timing was 75 minutes for this journey, and the Hiawatha timing was possibly the fastest scheduled train in the world in the 1930s.

While the ends of the trip were taken at relatively low speeds, the 68.74 miles (110.63 km) between the Chicago suburb of Mayfair and Lake, Wisconsin was completed in 45 minutes and 53 seconds, an average of 89.89 mph (144.66 km/h). Times were taken with a stopwatch as each station was passed, and in addition the locomotive was fitted with a speedometer; this recorded the speed on a chart, indicating a maximum of 103.5 mph (166.6 km/h) was reached. The fastest inter-station average speed was 95.6 mph (153.9 km/h) between Oakwood and Lake; British expert Brian Reed showed that the latter half of that was an uphill gradient and thus speeds in the first half must have been significantly higher than the overall average. He stated that:

"This must be taken as the first time a U.S. steam loco topped “the hundred”.

More recently, British train timer Bryan Benn has taken the gradient profile given in Brian Reed's book and shown that it supports a maximum speed in excess of 101 mph during that portion of the run. He believes this is the first claim of over 100 mph (160 km/h) for a steam locomotive in which the surviving documentation strongly indicates its accuracy, and thus that No. 6402 was the record holder for steam locomotive speed for at least a short time.

Milwaukee Road class F6 Overview
Type and origin
Power type: Steam
Builder: Baldwin Locomotive Works
Serial numbers: 61135–61148
Build date: January–March 1930
Specifications
Configuration:
​ • Whyte 4-6-4
 • UIC 2′C2′ h2
Gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Leading diameter: 36 in (914 mm)
Driver diameter: 79 in (2,007 mm)
Trailing diameter: 43 in (1,092 mm)
Loco weight: 375,850 lb (170,480 kilograms; 170.48 metric tons)
Total weight: 532,000 lb (241,000 kilograms; 241 metric tons)
Fuel type: Coal
Fuel capacity: 40,000 lb (18,000 kilograms; 18 metric tons)
Water capacity: 15,000 US gal (57,000 l; 12,000 imp gal)
Firebox:
 • Firegrate area 80 sq ft (7.4 m2)
Boiler pressure: 225 lbf/in2 (1.55 MPa)
Feedwater heater Coffin flush in smokebox
Cylinders: Two
Cylinder size: 26 in × 28 in (660 mm × 711 mm)
Valve gear: Baker valve gear
Performance figures
Tractive effort: 45,820 lbf (203.8 kN)
Career
Operator: Milwaukee Road
Class: F6
Number in class: 14
Road Numbers: 6400–6413; renumbered 125–138 in 1938
Delivered: 1929
Retired: 1952–1954
Disposition: All scrapped

Milwaukee Road class F6-a Overview
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Builder Baldwin Locomotive Works

(Only items that differ from class F6 above are shown below)
Serial numbers: 61655–61662
Build date: October–November 1931
Specifications
Wheelbase Locomotive: 40 ft 9 in (12.42 m)
Height: 15 ft 6 in (4.72 m)
Locomotive weight: 380,220 lb (172,460 kilograms; 172.46 metric tons)
Feedwater heater: Wilson Water Conditioner
Career
Operator: Milwaukee Road
Class: F6-a
Number in class: 8
Road Numbers: 6414–6421; renumbered 142–146, 139–141 in 1938

See also:

Milwaukee Road

Baldwin Locomotive Works

4-6-4 Locomotives

Steam Locomotives

Locomotives

Milwaukee Road F6-a locomotive No. 6417. Photo by Otto Perry at Chicago, Illinois on September 25, 1935.
Milwaukee Road Class F6 No. 6400.

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Milwaukee Road F6-a locomotive No. 6417.  Photo by Otto Perry at Chicago, Illinois on September 25, 1935.

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3759325

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Milwaukee Road Class F6 locomotive No. 6409. Photo by Otto Perry at Chicago, Illinois on September 23, 1930.
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Milwaukee Road Class F6 No. 6400. Timkin photo, CS Archives.

Milwaukee Road Class F6 locomotive No. 6409.  Photo by Otto Perry at Chicago, Illinois on September 23, 1930.

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3759447