The reference for locomotives and railcars


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New York Central class L-3 “Mohawk”
United States | 1940 | 65 produced
No. 3005 on a works photo
No. 3005 on a works photo
collection Taylor Rush

The third of NYC's four classes of 4-8-2s, called “Mohawks” there, was the L-3. In contrast to its predecessors, it was not only intended to pull freight trains, but also passenger trains. An L-2d had already been modified accordingly for testing. The driver diameter was left at 69 inches and the decision was made not to use a second trailing axle in view of the existing infrastructure.

The differences between the L-3 and the L-2 included higher boiler pressure, smaller cylinders and several improvements to the running gear. In the case of the running gear, this included improving the counterbalancing, designing many rotating parts in lightweight construction and mounting the axles in roller bearings. The L-3b and c subclasses were equipped with a booster on the trailing axle

Of a total of 65 locomotives, 35 were actually built for mixed traffic and 30 only for freight traffic, which only had plain bearings on the driving axles. The large six-axle tenders had an exceptionally large coal capacity of 43 short tons. The water capacity, on the other hand, was relatively moderate at 15,500 gallons, but the New York Central had water troughs for refilling while running. In this way, large distances could be covered without stopping.

With the driver diameter of 69 inches, speeds of more than 80 mph could be achieved. However, the wheelbase was chosen in such a way that wheels of up to 72 inches could also be fitted. This was only applied to number 3000, which served as a prototype for the L-4.

VariantL-3aL-3b, c
ManufacturerALCOALCO, Lima
Axle config4-8-2 (Mountain) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase43 ft 1 in
Fixed wheelbase19 ft
Service weight398,000 lbs
Adhesive weight264,440 lbs
Total weight772,200 lbs
Axle load66,110 lbs
Water capacity15,500 us gal
Fuel capacity86,000 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Indicated power4,120 hp (3,072 kW)
Optimal speed44 mph
Starting effort60,077 lbf
Booster14,000 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter69 in
Boiler pressure250 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 25 1/2 x 30 in
Grate area75.3 sq ft
Firebox area373 sq ft
Tube heating area4,303 sq ft
Evaporative heating area4,676 sq ft
Superheater area2,082 sq ft
Total heating area6,758 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
last changed: 07/2023

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