The reference for locomotives and railcars
Santa Fé classes 900 and 1600
United States | 1903 | 159 produced
No. 1628 with simple cylinders
No. 1628 with simple cylinders
LaMar M. Kelley / collection Taylor Rush

On the Raton Pass between Colorado and New Mexico, the ATSF used pusher locomotives with a 2-10-0 wheel arrangement. Since there was no way to turn the locomotives on the summit, they had to run backwards down the mountain. In order to improve reverse running characteristics, some 2-10-0 locomotives with an additional trailing axle were ordered from Baldwin. This led to the Class 900 with the new 2-10-2 wheel arrangement, now known as the “Santa Fé”.

Propulsion was by four compound-acting cylinders arranged in tandem. The high-pressure cylinders were each directly in front of the low-pressure cylinders and worked together with them on the third coupled axle. To service the low-pressure cylinders, the high-pressure cylinders could be removed with an onboard crane. The third coupled axle was also the only one that didn't have wheel flanges

Original variant as tandem compound
Original variant as tandem compound

The axle load of the first two driving axles and the leading axle was balanced with each other by means of a equalizing beam, as was the axle load of the rear three coupled axles and the trailing axle. Some locomotives received a special form of firebox developed by Henry W. Jacobs and Frank W. Shupert of Frisco Lines. This used perforated plates instead of staybolts and had advantages in terms of maintenance, but was not able to establish itself.

A total of 85 units of the class 900 were built. The first 40 of these were destined for Raton Pass and were coal fired. The rest were used on the line between Albuquerque and Arizona and were oil-fired. From 1905, 76 class 1600 locomotives were built, which were essentially identical to the class 900. However, since the frame had broken on this one, the frame was reinforced here, which increased the adhesive weight. However, different data for both classes could not be found.

From 1916 the locomotives of both classes were rebuilt, after which they were identical again. The boilers were equipped with a superheater and arch tubes in the boiler. Since the tandem engine required too much maintenance, it was replaced by a two-cylinder engine with simple expansion. Only the high-pressure cylinders were removed and the low-pressure cylinders enlarged.

ManufacturerBaldwinSanta Fé
Axle config2-10-2 (Santa Fé) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase35 ft 11 in
Fixed wheelbase19 ft 9 in
Total wheelbase66 ft
Service weight287,240 lbs302,490 lbs
Adhesive weight234,580 lbs251,250 lbs
Total weight450,000 lbs445,740 lbs481,490 lbs
Axle load53,060 lbs55,810 lbs
Water capacity8,500 us gal7,000 us gal
Fuel capacity20,000 lbs (coal)3,300 us gal (oil)28,000 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power2,300 hp (1,715 kW)2,500 hp (1,864 kW)
Optimal speed26 mph21 mph
Starting effort57,314 lbf74,824 lbf
with start valve68,777 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter57 in
Boiler pressure225 psi200 psi
Expansion typecompoundsimple
Cylindersfour, HP: 19 x 32 in
and LP: 32 x 32 in
two, 28 x 32 in
Grate area58.5 sq ft
Firebox area210 sq ft223 sq ft
Tube heating area4,586 sq ft3,832.1 sq ft
Evaporative heating area4,796 sq ft4,055 sq ft
Superheater area1,008 sq ft
Total heating area4,796 sq ft5,063 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
tandem compound
last changed: 05/2023

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