The reference for locomotives and railcars


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Pennsylvania class H6
Manchurian Railway Sorisa class
United States | 1899 | 1,707 produced
H6sa No. 2552 in November 1931 in Logansport, Indiana
H6sa No. 2552 in November 1931 in Logansport, Indiana
collection Taylor Rush

The various variants of the H6 formed the most numerous class of steam locomotives in the PRR. After the USATC S160, which had been developed for wartime use in Europe, they were also the Consolidations with the highest number of units. They were intended for freight trains on main and branch lines, local freight trains and as switchers.

The original H6 was built by Baldwin between 1899 and 1901 a total of 65 times. The firebox was narrow and long with a grate area of 33.33 square feet. These were not later retrofitted with superheaters and were retired in the mid-1920s.

On the H6a, the width of the firebox was increased from 40 to 65 7/8 inches, increasing the grate area to 49 square feet and increasing power. A total of 1,041 H6a were built up to 1905. Subsequently, 601 H6b were built, which had Walschaert valve gear instead of the Stephenson valve gear of the H6a. Since the PRR had influence in the Baltimore & Ohio at that time, identical locomotives were built for them and designated Class I-4.

In the 1920s, class H6a and H6b locomotives were equipped with superheaters and were thus designated H6sa and H6sb. Some locomotives got a cylinder diameter of 23 instead of 22 inches and a boiler pressure of only 195 instead of 205 psi, while others remained both values unchanged.

Today only number 2846 survives, which is in the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg. In 1938 a total of 30 locomotives were sold to Manchuria and called “Sorisa” there, which came from “Consolidation”. They came to the Mantetsu and the Manchukuo National Railway. They later became part of the China Railway as the KD10.

VariantH6H6aH6bH6sa, sb
ManufacturerBaldwinALCO, BaldwinAltoona
Axle config2-8-0 (Consolidation) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length65 ft 10 15/16 in
Wheelbase24 ft 9 in
Fixed wheelbase16 ft 6 1/2 in
Total wheelbase58 ft58 ft 0 1/2 in58 ft
Service weight180,000 lbs194,500 lbs200,700 lbs198,600 lbs
Adhesive weight160,000 lbs175,700 lbs178,700 lbs177,900 lbs
Total weight292,000 lbs333,300 lbs339,500 lbs337,400 lbs
Axle load40,000 lbs43,925 lbs46,000 lbs45,400 lbs
Water capacity6,000 us gal7,200 us gal
Fuel capacity22,000 lbs (coal)28,000 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power1,100 hp (820 kW)1,600 hp (1,193 kW)1,550 hp (1,156 kW)1,700 hp (1,268 kW)
Optimal speed18 mph24 mph23 mph25 mph
Top speed50 mph60 mph
Starting effort38,054 lbf42,168 lbf43,841 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter56 in
Boiler pressure185 psi205 psi195 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 22 x 28 intwo, 23 x 28 in
Grate area33.3 sq ft49 sq ft
Firebox area180 sq ft189 sq ft167 sq ft188 sq ft
Tube heating area2,633 sq ft2,689 sq ft2,677 sq ft2,046 sq ft
Evaporative heating area2,813 sq ft2,878 sq ft2,844 sq ft2,234 sq ft
Superheater area429 sq ft
Total heating area2,813 sq ft2,878 sq ft2,844 sq ft2,663 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
last changed: 05/2023

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