by Emmett Smith
Minnesota’s Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railroad owned 18 Yellowstone type 2-8-8-4 simple articulated engines. These were iron ore haulers between the northern Minnesota mines and Lake Superior docks. Interestingly, Richard Leonard in his fine railroad website
points out the DM & IR design was based not on the Northern Pacific’s original Yellowstones, but on a Western Pacific 2-8-8-2 type. DM & IR No 235, shown here in an image from Leonard’s website, in a mid-1950s photo of unknown origin, belonged to the second group delivered by Baldwin in 1943 as class M4.
Weighing 628,700 pounds without their 4-10-0 centipede-type tenders, the M4s delivered 140,000 pounds of tractive effort. They had 63-inch disc drivers and four 26×32-inch cylinders, and sustained 240 pounds per square inch of boiler pressure. They had an evaporative heating surface of 6780 square feet and a superheater surface of 2770 square feet. The DM & IR Yellowstones were among the last North American steam engines used in regular service, some not being retired till 1963. Three examples survive on display in Minnesota, not including No. 235.
Here are two more pictures which give an impression of the power and mass of the M3 and M4 DM & IR Yellowstone derivative steam locomotives:
The M3 shown above is pictured at Duluth, Minnesota, in August of 1962, and the M4 is blazing away outside of Littleton, Colorado, in December, 1943. In the Summer of 1962 I was thirteen and raking hay on my grandfather’s farm North of Eagle Lake, Minnesota, in July when I saw a small steam locomotive hauling a work train East on the tracks that then ran on what is now the Minnesota Sakatah State Trail. To my recollection, it was the last time I saw a steam engine at work on a Minnesota main line.
Finally, here is another link to steamlocomotive.com that gives the lowdown on the full range of Yellowstone type engines here in the Land of the Round Doorknobs:
[Emmett R Smith
[all descriptive text-rights and picture rights above reserved by Richard Leonard and/or the owners; all personal narrative rights reserved by Emmett R Smith
[10 December 2008]