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Camelback steam locomotives[Inhalt]
Wootten firebox for burning anthracite fragments
Baltimore & Ohio class E19a with a coal train
Baltimore & Ohio class E19a with a coal train
Baltimore & Ohio

Anthracite is considered the highest quality coal of all. It contains hardly any volatile components and a very high proportion of carbon. For this reason, it not only has a high calorific value and burns for a very long time, but also burns almost without smoke and leaves hardly any ash and slag. For these reasons, it has long been used as domestic fuel.

Traditionally, steam locomotives use softer types of coal that burn faster. In Pennsylvania, however, large quantities of anthracite were mined and fragments (culm) were left over as waste, which could hardly be used industrially. A very large grate surface was required to burn these fragments in a steam locomotive. Since an excessively long grate was very difficult to load with coal by hand, a very wide firebox had to be used instead. John E. Wootten then developed the firebox named after him, which, with its great width, allowed a large, thin layer of anthracite to be slowly burned off.

The class L! of the Erie was the largest Camelback locomotive
The class L! of the Erie was the largest Camelback locomotive

Since the cab was usually located behind the firebox, the forward view of the track was restricted. The solution was a driver's cab that lay like a saddle on the boiler in front of the firebox. The driver now had a clear view of the track, while the fireman continued to stand on a covered platform at the back of the boiler. Communication between the two people was now only possible by means of whistle signals.

Despite the disadvantages, more and more of these Camelback steam locomotives appeared in the vicinity of the anthracite mining areas in Pennsylvania in the 1890s, since the anthracite fragments could be obtained very cheaply. These ranged from small switchers to passenger locomotives to the Erie Railroad's L-1 class eight-axle Mallet. In the field of passenger transport, some railroads used the clean and smoke-free combustion of anthracite coal in their advertising campaigns to raise public awareness.

Around 1910, mechanical stokers, which could distribute the coal evenly over a long grate, became popular in the USA. At the same time, more and more locomotives with trailing axles were being developed, in which long fireboxes that were no longer quite as wide could easily be implemented. Another factor that hastened the Camelback's demise was safety concerns over the cab's location above the connecting and coupling rods. It was feared that in the event of a defect, loose steel parts would pose a danger to the life of the driver. Thus, the production of this type of locomotive ended within a few years. Since many Camelbacks were rebuilt into conventional locomotives, only five known representatives of this type exist today.

Delaware & Hudson class U-II
later class E-1a
United States | 1898 | 10 produced
Railway and Locomotive Engineering, January 1899

The locomotives later grouped together in the class E-1 were a total of ten Camelback consolidations that the Delaware & Hudson procured in 1898 and 1899 for burning loose anthracite coal. Three pieces were created by converting a 4-4-0 and two 2-6-0. Seven others were newly built by Dickson and initially designated class U-II before becoming class E-1a.

The Wootten firebox already created a grate area of 80.3 square feet. In addition to the direct radiant area of 170 square feet, it contained a further 104 square feet in so-called “water bars”. One example of the class was built as a compound locomotive with comparatively large cylinders with a diameter of 23 and 34 inches. It was later simpled and scrapped along with its E-1 and E-1a class sisters between 1927 and 1928.

General
Built1898
ManufacturerDickson
Axle config2-8-0 (Consolidation) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase23 ft 2 in
Fixed wheelbase16 ft 4 in
Total wheelbase51 ft
Service weight150,100 lbs
Adhesive weight134,500 lbs
Total weight234,600 lbs
Axle load33,625 lbs
Water capacity4,000 us gal
Fuel capacity14,000 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power1,500 hp (1,119 kW)
Optimal speed34 mph
Starting effort28,414 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter56 in
Boiler pressure180 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 20 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area80.3 sq ft
Firebox area274 sq ft
Tube heating area1,712 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,986 sq ft
Total heating area1,986 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
freight
camelback
last changed: 09/2022
Delaware, Lackawanna & Western classes G-2 to G-9
originally class 19C
United States | 1901 | 65 produced
G-2 No. 975
G-2 No. 975
Railway and Locomotive Engineering, August 1901

For local trains, the Lackawanna needed a passenger locomotive that would combine the ability to burn culm, what denotes waste from anthracite mining, with the simplest possible maintenance and high tractive effort. It received a Wootten firebox, the grate of which was extraordinarily large in relation to the heating surface and, at 87,7 square feet, was probably one of the largest ever on a 4-4-0. This required a two-part Camelback cab. In order to achieve the required traction, the cylinders were dimensioned sufficiently and at the same time a moderately large driving wheel diameter was selected. The construction of the locomotive itself was kept as simple as possible.

Initially they were classified in the class 19C, but soon received new class designations with “G” for the 4-4-0 wheel arrangement. The first three series consisted of a total of 27 locomotives and were delivered by ALCO-Schenectady between 1901 and 1903. Although they were almost identical in construction, they received the class designations G-2, G-3 and G-4. All other production lots differed in details and became the G-5 to G-9. Of these, 15 were initially delivered by Baldwin in 1904 before ALCO-Schenectady delivered 12 more in 1905 and finally the last 11 in 1910 and 1911.

Two examples of the class G-6 were equipped with superheaters of Cole type ex works and formed the class G-7. Since the lubrication was not easy to implement with this, this type of superheater was soon removed again. Between 1916 and 1921 many of the locomotives were again fitted with a superheater, but this time a Schmidt type. There were again slight differences in these conversions, which was reflected in the addition of an “a” or “b” after the class names. A single locomotive was given cylinders with a diameter of 21 instead of 20 inches, which earned it the different designation G-10b.

G-6a No. 952 in April 1939 in Kingsland, New Jersey
G-6a No. 952 in April 1939 in Kingsland, New Jersey
James Bowie / collection Taylor Rush

Even the saturated version developed a high power compared to other locomotives with the 4-4-0 wheel arrangement and could haul trains with six cars at an average of 40 mph on the existing mountain routes. Nevertheless, they later had to be put into service for suburban trains, since their tractive power soon no longer met the increased requirements. Ten locomotives were converted to conventional driver's cabs in the 1920s and thus survived somewhat longer than their non-converted sisters. Most were retired just before World War II.

Variantas builtrebuilt G2a to G-6a
General
Built1901-19111916-1921
ManufacturerALCO, Baldwin
Axle config4-4-0 (American) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase24 ft 5 in
Fixed wheelbase8 ft 6 in
Total wheelbase51 ft 5 in
Service weight151,200 lbs159,200 lbs
Adhesive weight100,000 lbs106,400 lbs
Total weight271,200 lbs275,100 lbs
Axle load50,000 lbs53,200 lbs
Water capacity5,000 us gal
Fuel capacity20,000 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power1,600 hp (1,193 kW)
Optimal speed43 mph
Starting effort23,701 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter69 in
Boiler pressure185 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 20 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area87.7 sq ft
Firebox area192 sq ft165 sq ft
Tube heating area1,950 sq ft1,426 sq ft
Evaporative heating area2,142 sq ft1,591 sq ft
Superheater area340 sq ft
Total heating area2,142 sq ft1,931 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
passenger
camelback
last changed: 10/2022
Erie class E-1
United States | 1899 | 29 produced
Edwin P. Alexander, „American Locomotives 1900 to 1950”

The class E-1 of the Erie Railroad consisted of 29 Atlantic express locomotives built by Baldwin between 1899 and 1901 and rated for speeds of 100 mph. They were Camelback locomotives with a square Wootten firebox measuring 96 by 96 inches.

Propulsion was provided by a Vauclain compound engine, i.e. with high and low pressure cylinders one above the other. A rebuild began as early as 1904, in which the four cylinders were replaced by two cylinders with simple expansion. One also increased the distance between the tube sheets by six inches to increase the heating surface area.

Variantas builtrebuilt
General
Built1899-19011904-1906
ManufacturerBaldwin
Axle config4-4-2 (Atlantic) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase24 ft 9 in
Fixed wheelbase6 ft 7 in
Total wheelbase52 ft 9 1/2 in
Service weight142,000 lbs155,100 lbs
Adhesive weight82,000 lbs75,800 lbs
Total weight258,800 lbs271,900 lbs
Axle load41,800 lbs
Water capacity6,000 us gal
Fuel capacity24,000 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power1,500 hp (1,119 kW)1,525 hp (1,137 kW)
Optimal speed66 mph52 mph
Top speed100 mph
Starting effort14,570 lbf18,843 lbf
with start valve17,484 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter76 in
Boiler pressure200 psi
Expansion typecompoundsimple
Cylindersfour, HP: 13 x 26 in
and LP: 22 x 26 in
two, 18 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area64 sq ft
Firebox area160 sq ft
Tube heating area2,110 sq ft2,171 sq ft
Evaporative heating area2,270 sq ft2,331 sq ft
Total heating area2,270 sq ft2,331 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
express
camelback
Vauclain compound
last changed: 06/2023
Erie class L-1
United States | 1907 | 3 produced
Locomotivve Magazine, September 1907

In the early years of the twentieth century, Mallet locomotives served only as an articulated solution for narrow-gauge railways. The L-1 of the Erie Railroad of 1907 was one of the first to show that very large freight locomotives could also be built with the Mallet principle. At the time it was commissioned, it was the largest and most powerful locomotive in the world. Since it was only intended as a pusher locomotive and did not have to reach high speeds, there was no need for running axles. Thus, all eight axles were available a adhesive weight. The wheel arrangement was soon called “Angus”.

No. 2601
No. 2601

A Wooten firebox with a grate area of 100 square feet was used to maximize the energy yield from low-grade coal. In order to still ensure a good view for the driver, the L-1 was built as a camelback engine and thus had the driver's cab above the rearmost axle of the front bogie. It was the only camelback Mallet ever built.

Schematic drawing
Schematic drawing
Railway and Locomotive Engineering, September 1907

Only three examples were built, which were used on the Delaware and Susquehanna divisions to push trains up a 1.3 percent incline. They were rebuilt to a more conventional form in 1921. The driver's cab was moved to the rear and two running axles were added, whereby they now had the wheel arrangement 2-8-8-2.

General
Built1907
ManufacturerALCO
Axle config0-8-8-0 (Angus (Mallet)) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length84 ft 9 3/4 in
Wheelbase39 ft 2 in
Fixed wheelbase14 ft 3 in
Total wheelbase70 ft 5 in
Service weight410,000 lbs
Adhesive weight410,000 lbs
Total weight577,700 lbs
Axle load54,100 lbs
Water capacity8,500 us gal
Fuel capacity32,000 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power3,000 hp (2,237 kW)
Optimal speed22 mph
Starting effort88,890 lbf
with start valve106,668 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter51 in
Boiler pressure215 psi
Expansion typecompound
Cylindersfour, HP: 25 x 28 in
and LP: 39 x 28 in
Boiler
Grate area100 sq ft
Firebox area348.3 sq ft
Tube heating area4,965.7 sq ft
Evaporative heating area5,314 sq ft
Total heating area5,314 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
freight
Mallet
camelback
last changed: 06/2022
Lehigh Valley No. 708 to 712 and 753 to 772
later classes J-42, J-43 and J-49 to J-52
United States | 1895 | 25 produced
The first built No. 708
The first built No. 708
Ron Ziel, „American Locomotives 1858 to 1949”

Parallel to the five 4-4-0 with the numbers 659 to 663, the Lehigh Valley had five 4-6-0 built by Baldwin in 1895 and gave them the numbers 708 to 712. These were all Camelbacks and were nearly identical apart from the additional driving axle. They were completed by 20 other 4-6-0 with a slightly smaller boiler. The first of those also got a driver diameter of 68 inches, while the other 15 only had 62 inches.

Later when the new class scheme was adopted, they all got the prefix J, what denoted their wheel arrangement. The locomotives with 62 inch drivers were classed into class J-42, while the ones with 68 inches became class J-43. After rebuilds which changed boiler pressure and cylinder size, they were designated classes J-49 to J-52. The last ones were scrapped in 1930.

Variant708-712753-757758-772
General
Built18951896
ManufacturerBaldwin
Axle config4-6-0 (Ten-wheeler) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase22 ft 11 in
Fixed wheelbase12 ft
Service weight130,000 lbs136,000 lbs
Adhesive weight100,000 lbs106,000 lbs
Total weight214,000 lbs220,000 lbs
Axle load33,335 lbs35,335 lbs
Water capacity4,000 us gal
Fuel capacitycoal
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power1,150 hp (858 kW)1,100 hp (820 kW)
Optimal speed38 mph37 mph33 mph
Starting effort19,200 lbf21,058 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter68 in62 in
Boiler pressure160 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 20 x 24 in
Boiler
Grate area67 sq ft
Firebox area157 sq ft150 sq ft
Tube heating area1,758 sq ft1,712 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,915 sq ft1,862 sq ft
Total heating area1,915 sq ft1,862 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
passenger
camelback
last changed: 05/2024
Lehigh Valley class J-55½
United States | 1904 | 105 produced
Ron Ziel, „American Locomotives 1858 to 1949”

The Lehigh Valley had the ability to source large quantities of smaller fragments of anthracite coal as residues from the processing operation at less than a dollar a ton. In order to be able to use these as fuel for steam locomotives, the camelback design was used with a very wide firebox, which included a large grate area. From 1904, a larger series of ten-wheelers was produced, which were suitable for use in front of fast freight trains in the lowlands and heavy local trains.

The locomotives were designed so heavy that the axle load was just suitable for high speeds. The large firebox was a slightly modified Wootten type and did not have a combustion chamber. The load on the individual coupled axles was distributed more rear-heavy to get better traction when starting. The initial wheel diameter of 68.5 inches represented a good compromise between higher speeds and a tractive effort of more than 30,000 pounds

There were some changes during production, for example the wheel diameter was increased to 69 inches. While the boiler initially had 378 tubes, this number was reduced to 363 from 1907. With the exception of Baldwin's last delivery, all locomotives had Stephenson-type valve gear. Of the last Baldwin engines, eight had Walschaert valve gear and two had Baker-Pilliod valve gear.

Variant1904 variant1907 variantsuperheated
General
Built1904-19061907-19101922
ManufacturerALCO, BaldwinLehigh Valley
Axle config4-6-0 (Ten-wheeler) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length57 ft 1 1/4 in
Wheelbase25 ft 4 in
Fixed wheelbase13 ft 4 in
Total wheelbase65 ft 7 in
Service weight199,200 lbs203,000 lbs207,200 lbs
Adhesive weight150,200 lbs154,000 lbs155,000 lbs
Total weight354,400 lbs358,200 lbs
Axle load50,200 lbs53,700 lbs55,200 lbs
Water capacity8,000 us gal
Fuel capacity24,000 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power1,650 hp (1,230 kW)1,625 hp (1,212 kW)1,700 hp (1,268 kW)
Optimal speed33 mph35 mph
Starting effort31,411 lbf31,183 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter68.5 in69 in
Boiler pressure205 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 21 x 28 in
Boiler
Grate area85 sq ft
Firebox area200 sq ft199 sq ft
Tube heating area3,084 sq ft2,960 sq ft2,171 sq ft
Evaporative heating area3,284 sq ft3,159 sq ft2,370 sq ft
Superheater area493 sq ft
Total heating area3,284 sq ft3,159 sq ft2,863 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
passenger
freight
camelback
last changed: 09/2022
Pennsylvania class E1
United States | 1899 | 3 produced
collection Taylor Rush

The Pennsylvania Railroad wanted to accommodate a larger grate area in Atlantic locomotives in order to be able to burn anthracite and fragments thereof. For this purpose, three locomotives were procured on a trial basis, which had a combination of Wootten and Belpaire fireboxes and were designed as Camelbacks. The special shape of the firebox and the combustion chamber resulted in 218 square feet of direct heating surface and a grate surface of nearly 70 square feet. A visual highlight was the common cover of the steam dome and the sandpit, which looked like a huge steam dome

The approximately 410-ton express trains between Philadelphia and Atlantic City could be transported over longer sections at an average speed of around 55 mph. With only 260 tons on the hook, an average speed of 70 mph was achieved on the 58 miles long, slightly descending section from Camden to Atlantic City.

Ultimately, however, the PRR was bothered by the fact that the engine driver and the fireman had difficulty communicating. Hundreds of other Atlantics were procured as a result, but all of them with a conventional firebox and cab at the rear end. The three engines were sold to the Long Island Railroad in 1901 and scrapped in 1911.

General
Built1899
ManufacturerAltoona
Axle config4-4-2 (Atlantic) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase27 ft 9 ín
Fixed wheelbase7 ft 5 in
Service weight173,450 lbs
Adhesive weight101,550 lbs
Total weight263,450 lbs
Axle load50,775 lbs
Water capacity4,000 us gal
Fuel capacity12,000 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power1,400 hp (1,044 kW)
Optimal speed42 mph
Starting effort21,477 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter80 in
Boiler pressure185 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 20 1/2 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area69.2 sq ft
Firebox area218 sq ft
Tube heating area2,102 sq ft
Evaporative heating area2,320 sq ft
Total heating area2,320 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
express
camelback
last changed: 07/2022
Central RR of New Jersey classes I-5 and I-6s
United States | 1903 | 10 produced
Locomotive Magazine, July 1907

The ten class I-5 Consolidations were delivered by ALCO-Brooks in 1903. For burning anthracite culm they were given a Wootten firebox with an 82 square foot grate and Camelback design. In the 1920s, all were superheated, with one locomotive keeping the cylinder diameter of 20 inches and the remaining getting 21 inch diameter cylinders. The former were designated I-5s while the rest became I-6s. The tender capacity was increased by a ton by installing boards. The last four members of the class remained in service until 1947.

VariantI-5rebuilt I-6s
General
Built1903
ManufacturerALCO
Axle config2-8-0 (Consolidation) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Service weight208,000 lbs216,500 lbs
Adhesive weight186,000 lbs194,500 lbs
Total weight350,000 lbs358,300 lbs
Axle load46,500 lbs48,625 lbs
Water capacity7,000 us gal
Fuel capacity26,000 lbs (coal)28,000 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Starting effort39,564 lbf43,619 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter55 in
Boiler pressure200 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 20 x 32 intwo, 21 x 32 in
Boiler
Grate area82 sq ft
Firebox area200 sq ft194.4 sq ft
Tube heating area2,972 sq ft2,011.6 sq ft
Evaporative heating area3,172 sq ft2,206 sq ft
Superheater area474 sq ft
Total heating area3,172 sq ft2,680 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
freight
camelback
last changed: 08/2023
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