The reference for locomotives and railcars
Mohawk & Hudson “DeWitt Clinton”
United States | 1831 | only one produced
The replica at the 1949 Chicago Railroad Fair
The replica at the 1949 Chicago Railroad Fair
Joe+Jeanette Archie

In 1826, the Mohwak & Hudson Railroad was founded to construct a rail line between Schenectady and Albany as a faster alternative to compete with the Erie Canal. For the route to be opened in 1831, a locomotive was manufactured at the West Point Foundry, which should take over the operation with passenger cars converted from horse carriages. As an affront to Governor DeWitt Clinton, who was always on the side of the canal, the locomotive was named after him.

In contrast to the Grasshoppers built at the same time, the “DeWitt Clinton” already had a horizontal boiler barrel, a steam dome and a smokebox with a chimney at the front end of the boiler. It also already had an attached tender for storing supplies.

With the coal from the Lackawanna area originally used in the first test runs, no sufficient range could be achieved, and so the coal was soon replaced by coke. Using the new fuel, the 16-mile distance was covered at an average of between 25 and 27 mph. Up to 18 passengers could be transported in each of the three cars.

The replica in the Henry Ford Museum
The replica in the Henry Ford Museum

The original locomotive was scrapped after only two years of service and replaced with newer models. Nevertheless, it laid the foundation for the fact that the canal lost importance from the 1860s. In 1893, the New York Central as the successor to the Mohawk & Hudson made a working replica, which was shown at the Chicago World's Fair that same year. It was in regular service into the 1950s and has since been in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

ManufacturerWest Point Foundry
Axle config0-4-0 (Four-coupled) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length loco12 ft 10 in
Wheelbase6 ft
Fixed wheelbase6 ft
Service weight7,000 lbs
Adhesive weight7,000 lbs
Axle load3,527 lbs
Fuel capacitycoal
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power15 hp (11 kW)
Optimal speed25 mph
Starting effort381 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter54 in
Boiler pressure50 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 5 1/2 x 16 in
Evaporative heating area184 sq ft
Total heating area184 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
last changed: 06/2022

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