The reference for locomotives and railcars


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Pennsylvania class B6
United States | 1902 | 372 produced
B6sb No. 4148 between two sisters probably in Alton, Illinois
B6sb No. 4148 between two sisters probably in Alton, Illinois
collection Taylor Rush

When it came to switchers, here called “shifters”, the PRR stuck to locomotives with a maximum of three axles, but still sufficient tractive power until the mid-20s. The most successful class here was the B6, of which a total of 372 were built between 1902 and 1920. It started with 79 of the basic B6, which were operated with saturated steam and had the Belpaire firebox typical of the PRR.

B6sb No. 1670 at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Strasburg
B6sb No. 1670 at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Strasburg
James St. John / Pennsylvania Railroad # 1670 steam locomotive (0-6-0) 1

From 1913 onwards, 55 B6sa followed, which had a round firebox and were factory-built with a superheater. The largest number was reached by the B6sb with 238, which again had a Belpaire firebox. The B6 were also later rebuilt with superheaters and referred to as B6s. Today there are still two B6sa and B6sb, both of which are not operational.

ManufacturerAltoona, Baldwin, LimaAltoona
Axle config0-6-0 (Six-coupled) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase11 ft 6 in
Fixed wheelbase11 ft 6 in
Service weight170,000 lbs180,000 lbs
Adhesive weight170,000 lbs180,000 lbs
Axle load56,667 lbs60,000 lbs
Fuel capacitycoal
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power900 hp (671 kW)1,400 hp (1,044 kW)1,300 hp (969 kW)
Optimal speed16 mph25 mph23 mph
Starting effort36,144 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter56 in
Boiler pressure205 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 22 x 24 in
Grate area41.2 sq ft62 sq ft61.6 sq ft
Evaporative heating area2,459 sq ft1,883 sq ft1,907 sq ft
Superheater area678 sq ft464 sq ft
Total heating area2,459 sq ft2,561 sq ft2,371 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
last changed: 03/2024

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