The Hippo and the Rhinoceros!
by Emmett Smith
Somewhere or other recently, I’ll be hanged if I can find it now, I misquoted George H Drury on the topic of PRR’s “absolute hippopotamus” of a locomotive, which I said was the WW II-era duplex 4-4-6-4 Q2.
This is not correct.
On page 318 of his 1993 Guide To North American Steam Locomotives, Drury says that when decapods were making a comeback on other lines as “a lightfooted freight engine,” PRR then came up with their “hippotamus.”
Hippo # 4483…
It was in 1916 and not at the time of WW II. On p 322 (op cit) Drury elucidates the emergence of the I1 2-10-0, #90,000 TE x #386,100 locomotive total weight. (This “total weight” figure I believe refers to the locomotive solo, or un-tendered.) By 1923 just three short of six hundred of these I1s had been erected.
In this context then, the WW II Q2, at “weight, total” * of 1,041,000 lbs x 100,800 lbs TE (115,800 lbs on boost) in relation to the I1 hippopotamus, makes the Q2 of twenty years later into a…rhinoceros!
Some Of THEM Meditating A Concerted Rush
* Alexander, Edwin P, American Locomotives: A Pictorial Record of Steam Power, 1900-1950, W W Norton & Company (1950) — pp 240-1
[Emmett R Smith all rights reserved & all other rights revert to holders 6 August 2009]