The reference for locomotives and railcars


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Western & Atlantic “The General”
United States | 1855 | only one produced
Depiction of the locomotive on a postcard
Depiction of the locomotive on a postcard
Boston Public Library / Tichnor Brothers collection #69892

“The General” was one of five identical mixed traffic locomotives that had been in service with the Western & Atlantic since 1855. It gained notoriety during the American Civil War in the “Great Locomotive Chase”. The locomotive was stolen by Northern troops and brought north with the intention of causing damage to the railway line. It was chased by “The Texas” and eventually stalled for lack of fuel. After the war, the locomotive remained in service with Louisville & Nashville until 1891. There were subsequent disputes about the locomotive's ownership and it is now being displayed in the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, Georgia.

ManufacturerRogers, Ketchum & Grosvenor
Axle config4-4-0 (American) 
Gauge5 ft (Broad gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase20 ft 6 in
Fixed wheelbase7 ft
Service weight50,000 lbs
Adhesive weight32,000 lbs
Axle load16,000 lbs
Water capacity2,000 us gal
Fuel capacity5,000 lbs (wood)
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power125 hp (93 kW)
Optimal speed9 mph
Starting effort8,415 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter60 in
Boiler pressure120 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 15 x 22 in
Grate area12.5 sq ft
Firebox area71 sq ft
Tube heating area748 sq ft
Evaporative heating area819 sq ft
Total heating area819 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
last changed: 05/2023

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