A class and Lightweight rods

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Fri Dec 11 12:09:50 EST 2009


The last five A's when built, numbers 1238-42, were equipped with the
lightweight rods and reciprocating parts with roller bearing connections to
enhance long distance running. They were very successful and were built
primarly for troop train and passenger service, when needed.

The Class J's were all equipped with this type of rods and bearings allowing
them to be assigned to Roanoke and dispatched to Norfolk and Cincinnati on
these runs with a minimum of servicing. The five A's could perform similarly
on extended runs on troop and passenger service. Beginning in 1955 with the
inauguration of time freights 77 and 78, these engines ran to Petersburg and
back to Roanoke, and also between Roanoke and Portsmouth, without engine

Official N&W literature stated that the Timken lightweight reciprocating
parts resulted in a weight reduction of 38 percent from the original type
used. The advantages listed was greater reliability, increased availability,
lower roundhouse maintenance cost, reduction of hammer blow on the rails,
and longer runs without lubrication servicing.

The only other modification required was the counterweights on the driving
wheels had to be changed. There was an increased cost to build these five
A's when compared to the three A's built at the same time using conventional

Bud Jeffries

----- Original Message -----
From: "NW Mailing List" <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
To: "NW Mailing List" <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
Sent: Friday, December 11, 2009 8:40 AM
Subject: A class and Lightweight rods

> Were the lightweight rods applied to the last A's a successful

> application? How was success measured and what was the business /

> operational reason behind it?


> What other changes to the locomotive were required to accomodate the rods?


> Matt Goodman

> Columbus OH






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