Trailing Truck Boosters

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Thu Oct 13 21:03:25 EDT 2005

In February and March 1940 the original Norfolk Southern Railroad took
delivery of five of their F Series 2-8-4 Berkshire locomotives numbered
600 through 604 from Baldwin Locomotive Works. Among other features,
these modern locomotives were equipped with a Franklin Type E booster
on the trailing truck which exerted anb additional 11,100 lbs. of tractive
effort when needed. These boosters, which operated on a boiler pressure of
250 p.s.i., not exhaust steam, did not cut out until a speed of 20 MPH was
reached. These boosters obviously helped increase the tonnage rating of the
600's over the older E-3 500 class 2-8-0's both in starting heavy trains and
maintaining speed on ruling grades of the Western Division between Raleigh
and Charlotte. To give you an idea of inflation since 1940, each of these new
Berkshire locomotives cost the Norfolk Southern $ 135,171.41. The average
home today would cost you more than that. Bill Sellers, Steam Editor,
Norfolk & Southern Historical Society

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