Tender assignments for N&W steam locomotive tenders

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Fri Dec 14 15:07:32 EST 2012

I came across a two articles online that are excellent sources of
information re: N&W tenders, so I thought I'd post links to these sources
on the list since it might be useful reference for modelers of N&W steam
and perhaps something that others might of interest.

(To quote from the article) "Unlike most railroads, the Norfolk and Western
did not place a locomotive's number on the tender. Instead, each tender
received a five- or six-digit number. The first two digits of a six digit
number (or the first of a five-digit number) indicated the number of
gallons of water (in thousands) it carried; the remaining digits generally
indicated the sequence in which it was built or acquired, i e ., 220105
would have been the 105th 22,000-gallon tender built or acquired by the

"To make matters even more confusing, the N&W reassigned, on a number of
occasions, tenders to an older class of locomotives when they wanted to
place new tenders with a larger capacity on a particular class of
locomotives. But it still doesn't end here. It was not uncommon for a
locomotive to go into shop for repairs and come out with a different

The two articles sorts out the N&W numbering conundrum and provides the
steamy details about the "tender swapping" practices of the N&W.

Tender Assignments for N&W Steam -- Part I


Tender Assignments for N&W Steam -- Part II



C. Lloyd
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