N&W in 1910--Leviathans, Part 3

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Sun Nov 29 20:50:12 EST 2009

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
June 5, 1910

[A side view photo of 0-8-8-0 engine No. 990 extended across the full width of Page 7 at the top with the caption, "The New Leviathans That Will Haul the Great Output of the Pocahontas Coal Fields from Mine to Market--the Mallet Engine and What it Does." The following article is the third of three related articles on that page to be presented individually.]

Says it is Easy to Fire and Will Be A Success on This Division

Harry Weller, trainmaster for the Pocahontas division, said yesterday in talking about the new engine that the Baldwin engines are about ten feet longer than the American type, a photo of which is shown above. The Baldwin type has pony trucks and trailers which support the extra ten feet, and which do not show up in the picture. The engines will be known as class X and class Y, the American being X and the Baldwin Y.
The engines have an innovation in the arrangement of the reverse lever. It is worked by air and the engineer simply grips the handle which opens the valve and a push in the desired direction moves the engine either way.
From a fireman's standpoint the engine built by the Baldwins is a little more convenient as it is a shorter distance to the firebox which is reached easily from the tender. The tenders, which hold 9,000 gallons of water and 28,000 pounds of coal, are monsters but the coal is rolled to the fireman so that he can reach it without trouble.
The several tests to which the engines have been put on this division, said Mr. Weller, prove that they will be satisfactory and will easily do the work of two class M engines with about two thirds the amount of coal. They can be run safely at Twenty-five miles an hour and an even greater speed can be attained. The engines are easy riding and Mr. Weller claims that they are the most comfortable engine that he has ever ridden on through the Elkhorn tunnel. The men in the cab are not troubled with smoke, gases and heat, as the steam goes into the low pressure cylinder from the high pressure cylinder with the result that it loses a good deal of its heat. Much of the cinders is burned up in the engine, and the smokestack is so far from the cab that the men on the engine experience little difficulty in passing through the tunnel, which can be gone through in a very few minutes.
Contrary to what was expected the engines, in spite of their heavy drawing power, are not hard on equipment. They start easy and should one or the other engine slip there is absolutely no surging of the train.
Mr. Weller believes the engines are the coming engine for the hauling of freight.
[Both the Class X1 and Y1 were hand fired. Even accepting that one of these Mallets would burn only two-thirds the coal of two Class M engines, that means that the fireman on a Mallet would have to shovel one-third more coal than he would on one of the two Class M engines. Somewhere I have seen that some railroads had to assign two fireman to the early hand-fired Mallets. Was this done on the N&W?]

Gordon Hamilton

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