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Norfolk & Western class A
United States | 1936 | 43 produced
No. 1205 in September 1947 in Roanoke, Virginia
No. 1205 in September 1947 in Roanoke, Virginia
collection LaMar M. Kelley

The class A consisted of a total of 43 simple articulated locomotives, which were suitable for different types of trains from slow coal trains to passenger trains. The trailing bogie allowed for a very large firebox, generating around 5,400 horsepower even without thermosiphons or water pipes. To reduce friction, roller bearings were installed on all axles, the last five even had roller bearings on the drive and coupling rods

The maximum load for slow freight trains on flatter routes was between 13,000 and 14,500 short tons. Express freight trains could be pulled up to 5,200 short tons and passenger trains could reach speeds of 70 mph and more. Because of the large water usage, old tenders were converted to water-only tenders, adding an additional 20,800 gallons to the 22,000 gallon capacity. With a tender and an additional water car, the locomotives weighed 1,233,000 pounds. Their service life ended between 1958 and 1959.

No. 1206 in 1937 in Columbus, Ohio
No. 1206 in 1937 in Columbus, Ohio
collection Taylor Rush

Today the number 1218 from construction year 1943 still exists, which was restored between 1985 and 1987. It was then the world's strongest pulling operational steam locomotive. With the termination of the Norfolk & Western steam program, however, it was parked again after only four years and is now waiting to be refurbished again.

General
Built1936-1950
ManufacturerRoanoke
Axle config2-6-6-4 (Adriatic Mallet) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length121 ft 9 1/4 in
Wheelbase60 ft 4 1/2 in
Fixed wheelbase24 ft 8 in
Total wheelbase108 ft 3 1/4 in
Service weight573,000 lbs
Adhesive weight432,350 lbs
Total weight951,600 lbs
Axle load72,000 lbs
Water capacity22,000 us gal
Fuel capacity66,000 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power6,200 hp (4,623 kW)
Optimal speed31 mph
Top speed70 mph
Starting effort125,897 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter70 in
Boiler pressure300 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylindersfour, 24 x 30 in
Boiler
Grate area122 sq ft
Firebox area587 sq ft
Tube heating area6,639 sq ft
Evaporative heating area7,226 sq ft
Superheater area2,703 sq ft
Total heating area9,929 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
freight
passenger
Articulated
last changed: 02/2023
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