Even Stronger Yet!
by Emmett Smith
The quest to identify the American steam locomotive with specifically the most tractive power bids fair to be, well, mainly sort of unending. Here is tonight’s find from the pp of steamlocomotive.com
Virginian Railroad 1918 2-10-10-2 Mallet engine w/compound & simple expansion
Tractive effort: 147,200 lbs (compound), 176,600 lbs (simple)
The 48″ low pressure cylinders were the largest on any US steam locomotive, the drivers were only fifty-six inches — not a highspeed design at all — and the rig was so long dinky tenders likewise had to be used, so the whole shebang would still fit onto the Virginian turntables. As a workhorse, this girl could lug the whole shitaree — coal drags — along at about eight miles per, and the rest of the figures may be read at the above link. The RR kept her and her sisters on until 1952, so slow & good was evidently deemed to be better than fast & loose anchors, spikes and tie plates!
[Emmett R Smith all text-rights reserved & all other rights revert to holders 25 June 2009]