The reference for locomotives and railcars


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New York Central class L-2 “Mohawk”
United States | 1925 | 300 produced
L-2c Nr. 2823 with a long freight train consisting of boxcars
L-2c Nr. 2823 with a long freight train consisting of boxcars
collection Taylor Rush

After the 185 “Mohawks” of the L-1 class, the New York Central developed the more powerful L-2 class. It was also intended purely for freight service, but had a larger boiler, a feedwater heater and a booster on the trailing axle. The driver diameter remained at 69 inches or 1,753 mm and allowed a maximum permitted speed of 60 mph or 97 km/h.

Production began in 1925 at ALCO in Schenectady with 100 locomotives of the subclass L-2a. Further subclasses up to the L-2d all also came from Schenectady and brought the number to a total of 300 by 1930. They differed in the boiler dimensions, wheelbases and the feedwater heater used, which could be of the Elasco, Worthington or Coffin types.

In 1939, two L-2d were converted as prototypes for the L-3 for mixed service. These were intended to achieve higher speeds without requiring larger drivers. Thanks to roller bearings on the axles, cylinders with a smaller diameter and a higher boiler pressure, they could be approved for speeds of 80 mph

VariantL-2aL-2b, dL-2cL-2d prototype for L-3
ManufacturerALCONew York Central
Axle config4-8-2 (Mountain) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase42 ft42 ft 1 in42 ft
Fixed wheelbase18 ft
Total wheelbase84 ft 7 in84 ft 8 in84 ft 7 in
Service weight362,500 lbs368,500 lbs365,000 lbs385,100 lbs
Adhesive weight242,000 lbs247,500 lbs245,000 lbs257,000 lbs
Total weight646,200 lbs681,200 lbs675,000 lbs698,600 lbs
Axle load60,500 lbs61,875 lbs61,250 lbs64,250 lbs
Water capacity15,000 us gal
Fuel capacity42,000 lbs (coal)56,000 lbs (coal)42,000 lbs (coal)56,000 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power3,800 hp (2,834 kW)4,300 hp (3,207 kW)
Optimal speed40 mph46 mph
Top speed60 mph80 mph
Starting effort60,618 lbf60,077 lbf
Booster12,400 lbf13,750 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter69 in
Boiler pressure225 psi250 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 27 x 30 intwo, 25 1/2 x 30 in
Grate area75.4 sq ft75.3 sq ft
Firebox area354 sq ft345 sq ft354 sq ft
Tube heating area4,099 sq ft4,211 sq ft4,202 sq ft4,292 sq ft
Evaporative heating area4,453 sq ft4,556 sq ft4,646 sq ft
Superheater area1,938 sq ft1,931 sq ft
Total heating area6,391 sq ft6,487 sq ft6,577 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
last changed: 12/2023

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