2-8-0

# 2-8-0

Discussion

Encyclopedia

Under the Whyte notation
Whyte notation
The Whyte notation for classifying steam locomotives by wheel arrangement was devised by Frederick Methvan Whyte and came into use in the early twentieth century encouraged by an editorial in American Engineer and Railroad Journal...

for the classification of steam locomotive
Steam locomotive
A steam locomotive is a railway locomotive that produces its power through a steam engine. These locomotives are fueled by burning some combustible material, usually coal, wood or oil, to produce steam in a boiler, which drives the steam engine...

s, 2-8-0 represents the wheel arrangement
Wheel arrangement
In rail transport, a wheel arrangement is a system of classifying the way in which wheels are distributed beneath a locomotive.. Several notations exist to describe the wheel assemblies of a locomotive by type, position, and connections, with the adopted notations varying by country...

The leading wheel or leading axle of a steam locomotive is an unpowered wheel or axle located in front of the driving wheels. The axle or axles of the leading wheels are normally located in a truck...

s on one axle (usually in a leading truck), eight powered and coupled driving wheel
Driving wheel
On a steam locomotive, a driving wheel is a powered wheel which is driven by the locomotive's pistons...

s on four axles, and no trailing wheel
Trailing wheel
On a steam locomotive, a trailing wheel or trailing axle is generally an unpowered wheel or axle located behind the driving wheels. The axle of the trailing wheels was usually located on a trailing truck...

s. In the US, this wheel arrangement
Wheel arrangement
In rail transport, a wheel arrangement is a system of classifying the way in which wheels are distributed beneath a locomotive.. Several notations exist to describe the wheel assemblies of a locomotive by type, position, and connections, with the adopted notations varying by country...

is commonly called a Consolidation.

Other equivalent classifications are:

UIC classification
UIC classification
The UIC classification of locomotive axle arrangements describes the wheel arrangement of locomotives, multiple units and trams. It is set out in the International Union of Railways "Leaflet 650 - Standard designation of axle arrangement on locomotives and multiple-unit sets". It is used in much...

: 1D (also known as German classification and Italian classification)

French classification: 140 (also known as Spanish classification
Spanish classification
With the Spanish classification system for locomotive wheel arrangements, the system for steam machines.- Steam :With steam locomotives, there are three digits normally and more with articulated locomotives...

)

Turkish classification
Turkish classification
In the Turkish classification system for railway locomotives, the number of powered axles are followed by the total number of axles. It is identical to the Swiss system except that the latter places a slash between the two numbers.Thus0-6-0 becomes 33...

: 45

Swiss classification: 4/5

Russian classification: 1-4-0

## History

Of all the locomotive types that were created and experimented with in the early part of the 19th century, the 2-8-0 was a relative latecomer. Total US production of the class totalled 'more than 33,000' locomotives of which '12,000 export versions' went to the rest of the world. The 2-6-0
2-6-0
Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives, 2-6-0 represents the wheel arrangement of two leading wheels on one axle, usually in a leading truck, six powered and coupled driving wheels on three axles, and no trailing wheels. This arrangement is commonly called a Mogul...

, often considered the logical forerunner to the 2-8-0, was first created in the early 1860s.
The first locomotive of this wheel arrangement was likely built by the Pennsylvania Railroad
The Pennsylvania Railroad was an American Class I railroad, founded in 1846. Commonly referred to as the "Pennsy", the PRR was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania....

(PRR), but like the first 2-6-0s, this first 2-8-0 had a leading axle that was rigidly attached to the locomotive's frame. To create this 2-8-0, the PRR's master mechanic John P. Laird modified an existing 0-8-0
0-8-0
Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives, 0-8-0 represents the wheel arrangement of no leading wheels, eight powered and coupled driving wheels on four axles, and no trailing wheels...

, the Bedford between 1864 and 1865. However, in his book, Swengel claims the first 2-8-0 engine was ordered by Lehigh and Mahanoy Railroad
The Lehigh and Mahanoy Railroad, originally the Quakake Railroad , was part of the Mahanoy Branch of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in northeastern Pennsylvania.-History:...

(USA) and that railway named all its engines. The name given to the new locomotive was "Consolidation". Swengel further claimed the Lehigh 2-8-0 evolved from the 0-8-0 locomotives - rather than a 2-6-0.

Swengel dates the first 2-8-0 order by Lehigh as 1866 and claims that the other railways and coal and mountain freight haulers '...then...got on the bandwagon'.
Swengel claims that the 2-8-0 design was "The" heavy freight locomotive from its inception, in 1866, into the early Twentieth century; namely 1915 as at that stage they reached the practical limit of their design. There was no further growth possible with this class of locomotive. The 2-8-0s' forte was starting and moving 'impressive loads at unimpressive speeds', and its versatility gave the class its longevity.

Only a few railroads purchased this locomotive type upon its introduction by Baldwin
Baldwin Locomotive Works
The Baldwin Locomotive Works was an American builder of railroad locomotives. It was located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, originally, and later in nearby Eddystone, Pennsylvania. Although the company was very successful as a producer of steam locomotives, its transition to the production of...

. Even the Baltimore & Ohio, which had nearly 180 of this locomotive type in regular service by 1885, didn't purchase any of this type until 1873. The Rochester and Pittsburgh
Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway
The Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway was one of the more than ten thousand railroad companies founded in North America, most of which came and went. It lasted much longer than most, serving communities from the shore of Lake Ontario to the center of western Pennsylvania.One of the minor...

purchased fifteen of this class from Brooks
Brooks Locomotive Works
The Brooks Locomotive Works manufactured steam railroad locomotives and freight cars from 1869 through its merger into the American Locomotive Company until 1934.-History:...

in 1883, with numbers in the 17 through 36 range. (The BR&P eventually became part of the B&O.)

The 2-8-0 design was given a major boost in 1875 when the PRR made it the railroad's standard freight locomotive. 1875 was also the year that the Erie Railroad began replacing its 4-4-0
4-4-0
Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives, 4-4-0 represents the wheel arrangement of four leading wheels on two axles , four powered and coupled driving wheels on two axles, and no trailing wheels...

s in freight service with 2-8-0s. The railroads found that the 2-8-0 could move trains twice as heavy for half the cost of their earlier brethren. From a financial standpoint, the choice of freight locomotives was clear. One of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was one of the oldest railroads in the United States and the first common carrier railroad. It came into being mostly because the city of Baltimore wanted to compete with the newly constructed Erie Canal and another canal being proposed by Pennsylvania, which...

's 2-8-0 Consolidations, built in 1888, is preserved at the B&O Railroad Museum
The B&O Railroad Museum is a museum exhibiting historic railroad equipment in Baltimore, Maryland, originally named the Baltimore & Ohio Transportation Museum when it opened on July 4, 1953. It has been called one of the most significant collections of railroad treasures in the world and has the...

in Baltimore, Maryland.

## European use

The 2-8-0 was also a popular type in Europe, again largely as a freight hauler.

### Belgium

To compensate for wartime losses, Belgian railways in 1946 acquired 300 2-8-0 locomotives built in Canada (160 built by Montreal Locomotive Works
Montreal Locomotive Works
Montreal Locomotive Works was a Canadian railway locomotive manufacturer which existed under several names from 1883–1985, producing both steam and diesel locomotives. For a number of years it was a subsidiary of the American Locomotive Company...

and 60 by Canadian Locomotive Company
The Canadian Locomotive Company, commonly referred to as CLC, was a Canadian manufacturer of railway locomotives located in Kingston, Ontario. Its works were located on Ontario Street and Gore Street on Kingston's waterfront....

) and the United States (80 built by American Locomotive Company
American Locomotive Company
The American Locomotive Company, often shortened to ALCO or Alco , was a builder of railroad locomotives in the United States.-Early history:...

). These machines proved to be very reliable and were used for mixed traffic until the end of the steam period, when 29.013 hauled the last scheduled steam passenger train from Ath
Ath
Ath is a Belgian municipality located in the Walloon province of Hainaut. The Ath municipality includes the old communes of Lanquesaint, Irchonwelz, Ormeignies, Bouvignies, Ostiches, Rebaix, Maffle, Arbre, Houtaing, Ligne, Mainvault, Moulbaix, Villers-Notre-Dame, Villers-Saint-Amand, Ghislenghien...

to Denderleeuw
Denderleeuw
Denderleeuw is a municipality located in the Belgian province of East Flanders in the Denderstreek. The municipality comprises the towns of Denderleeuw proper, Iddergem and Welle. On January 1, 2006 Denderleeuw had a total population of 17,357. The total area is 13.77 km² which gives a...

on December 20, 1966. This machine survived in preservation and is used on special excursions. On December 16, 2006, 29.013 re-enacted the last 1966 run on the same route.

### Germany

The 2-8-0 enjoyed a brief period of popularity in Germany during the period of the state railways (Länderbahnen
Länderbahnen
The German term Länderbahnen generally refers to the state railways of the German Empire in the period from about 1840 to 1920 when they were merged into the Deutsche Reichsbahn after the First World War....

) prior to the establishment of the Deutsche Reichseisenbahnen (German National Railways) in 1920
1920 in rail transport
- January events :* January 28 – Groundbreaking commences to begin construction of the Cincinnati Subway.-March events:* March 1 – Control of American railroads is returned to private ownership and administration with the disbandment of the USRA....

. The DRG chose the 2-10-0
2-10-0
Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives, 2-10-0 represents the wheel arrangement of two leading wheels on one axle, ten powered and coupled driving wheels on five axles, and no trailing wheels...

as the heavy freight locomotive type for the new, unified rail system. Under the DRG's classification system, all 2-8-0s were assigned to Class 56
Class 56
Class 56 may refer to:*British Rail Class 56*DRG Class 56, a German freight locomotive class with a 2-8-0 wheel arrangement operated by the Deutsche Reichsbahn and comprising the:** Class 56.0: Prussian G 7.3, LBE G 7.3** Class 56.1: Prussian G 8.3...

(Baureihe or BR 56), with different types receiving sub-classifications. The earliest type was the Prussian G73 of 1893.

### Russia

In Russia the 2-8-0 engines were represented by the pre-revolutionary Sch(Shuka-pike) class. These were 2-cylinder compound locomotives and had no superheater. These locomotives were declared the standard freight locomotive in 1912. Since they were relatively low-power locomotives they were only good in relatively plain railroads, like Saint Petersburg-Moscow road, for example.
The Sch class was quickly superseded by the E-class 2-10-0 locomotive.

### United Kingdom

The 2-8-0 gradually became the standard heavy freight steam locomotive type in the first half of the 20th Century. The first 2-8-0 built in Britain was the Great Western Railway
Great Western Railway
The Great Western Railway was a British railway company that linked London with the south-west and west of England and most of Wales. It was founded in 1833, received its enabling Act of Parliament in 1835 and ran its first trains in 1838...

's 2800 Class
GWR 2800 Class
The Great Western Railway 2800 Class is a class of steam locomotive designed by G.J. Churchward for heavy freight work. They were the first 2-8-0 class in Great Britain....

with 84 locomotives built between 1903 and 1919, followed by a further 83 of the very similar GWR 2884 Class
GWR 2884 Class
The Great Western Railway 2884 Class is a class of 2-8-0 steam locomotive designed for heavy freight work. They were a development of the earlier 2800 Class. The 2884s differed from the original engines in a number of respects, the most obvious being that a more modern Collett side window cab was...

between 1938 and 1942. In 1904 George Whale
George Whale
George Whale was a British locomotive engineer who worked for the London and North Western Railway .Whale was born in Bocking, Essex. In 1858 he entered Wolverton Works under James Edward McConnell, and from 1862 under John Ramsbottom. In 1865 he entered the drawing office at Crewe Works, and in...

of the London and North Western Railway
London and North Western Railway
The London and North Western Railway was a British railway company between 1846 and 1922. It was created by the merger of three companies – the Grand Junction Railway, the London and Birmingham Railway and the Manchester and Birmingham Railway...

(LNWR) began to rebuild some of his predecessor's 0-8-0
0-8-0
Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives, 0-8-0 represents the wheel arrangement of no leading wheels, eight powered and coupled driving wheels on four axles, and no trailing wheels...

compound locomotive
Compound locomotive
A compound engine unit is a type of steam engine where steam is expanded in two or more stages.A typical arrangement for a compound engine is that the steam is first expanded in a high-pressure cylinder, then having given up heat and losing pressure, it exhausts directly into one or more larger...

s as 2-8-0 simple expansion.

John G. Robinson of the Great Central Railway
Great Central Railway
The Great Central Railway was a railway company in England which came into being when the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway changed its name in 1897 in anticipation of the opening in 1899 of its London Extension . On 1 January 1923, it was grouped into the London and North Eastern...

(GCR) introduced his very successful GCR Class 8K
GCR Class 8K
The Great Central Railway Class 8K 2-8-0 is a class of steam locomotive designed for heavy freight. Introduced in 1911, and designed by John G. Robinson, 126 were built for the GCR prior to the First World War...

in 1911 for heavy freight. 129 of these were originally built by the GCR. The design was adopted by the Ministry of Munitions and became the standard locomotive during the First World War as the ROD 2-8-0
ROD 2-8-0
The Railway Operating Division ROD 2-8-0 is a type of 2-8-0 steam locomotive which was the standard heavy freight locomotive operated in Europe by the ROD during the First World War.-ROD need for a standard locomotive:...

, used by the Railway Operating Division
Railway Operating Division
The Railway Operating Division was a division of the Royal Engineers formed in 1915 to operate railways in the many theatres of the First World War...

of the Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers
The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers , and commonly known as the Sappers, is one of the corps of the British Army....

. 521 ROD locomotives were built. Large numbers of these were purchased after the war by the LNWR and GWR and the remaining 273 were purchased by the London and North Western Railway
London and North Western Railway
The London and North Western Railway was a British railway company between 1846 and 1922. It was created by the merger of three companies – the Grand Junction Railway, the London and Birmingham Railway and the Manchester and Birmingham Railway...

during the early 1920s. Other successful 2-8-0 designs were introduced by Nigel Gresley
Nigel Gresley
Sir Herbert Nigel Gresley was one of Britain's most famous steam locomotive engineers, who rose to become Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London and North Eastern Railway . He was the designer of some of the most famous steam locomotives in Britain, including the LNER Class A1 and LNER Class A4...

of the Great Northern Railway
Great Northern Railway (Great Britain)
The Great Northern Railway was a British railway company established by the Great Northern Railway Act of 1846. On 1 January 1923 the company lost its identity as a constituent of the newly formed London and North Eastern Railway....

in 1913 and 1918 (classes O1 and O2
GNR Class O2
The Great Northern Railway Class O2 was a class of three-cylinder 2-8-0 steam locomotive designed by Nigel Gresley for freight work and built by the GNR from 1921. Further examples were built by the London and North Eastern Railway from 1924....

), and Henry Fowler for the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway
Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway
The Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway – almost always referred to as "the S&D" – was an English railway line connecting Bath in north east Somerset and Bournemouth now in south east Dorset but then in Hampshire...

(S&DJR 7F 2-8-0
S&DJR 7F 2-8-0
The Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway 7F 2-8-0 is a class of steam locomotive designed for hauling heavy coal and goods trains. Eleven were built in two batches in 1914 and 1925, and were used until withdrawn between 1959 and 1964...

) in 1914.

The most successful British 2-8-0 class was the 8F
LMS Stanier Class 8F
The London Midland and Scottish Railway's 8F class 2-8-0 heavy freight locomotive is a class of steam locomotive designed for hauling heavy freight...

designed by William Stanier
William Stanier
Sir William Arthur Stanier, FRS was Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway.- Biography :...

for the London Midland and Scottish Railway in 1935. 852 had been built by 1946. During the Second World War the War Department
War Department
War Department may refer to:* War Department * United States Department of War - See also :* War Office , a former department of the British Government...

(WD) originally chose the 8F as its standard freight locomotive and large numbers saw service overseas, notably in the Middle East. The type was however superseded by the cheaper WD Austerity 2-8-0
WD Austerity 2-8-0
The War Department "Austerity" 2-8-0 is a type of heavy freight steam locomotive that was introduced in 1943 for war service. A total of 935 were built.- Overview :...

for war service after 1943. A total of 935 of these were built, and again many saw service overseas.

## Australasia

The 2-8-0 locomotive saw extensive use throughout the various Australian and New Zealand private railways. The 2-8-0s appeared on the broad, standard and narrow gauge
Narrow gauge
A narrow gauge railway is a railway that has a track gauge narrower than the of standard gauge railways. Most existing narrow gauge railways have gauges of between and .- Overview :...

s as a freight locomotive, though often also employed in passenger service in Victoria Australia.

### Australia

The first locomotive in this wheel arrangement was twenty (20), NSWGR J Class engines, which arrived from Baldwin in 1891; they were standard gauge. The J's remained in service, in NSW, until 1915, when they were withdrawn; however war time shortages during 1916-1920 saw six engines re-shopped and fitted with superheaters. The last engine of this class was withdrawn in 1934 and all were scrapped by 1937.

The second batch of 2-8-0 locomotives to appear in Australia, in 1896, was the NSWGR T class engines. The class had several overseas builders; Beyer Peacock made 151 engines; North British Co. constructed 84, Neilson & Co. constructed 10, Clyde Engineering 30, and Dubbs & Co. 5 machines. All were in service by 1916. During World War II, 14 of these locomotives were given superheaters, which raised the tractive effort from 28,777 lbs to 33,557 lbs. Several of these same class T engines were also purchased from North British Co by the Commonwealth Railways for the trans Australian railway during 1916. Some of the T series were purchased by the private line East Greta Railway (later South Maitland) in 1912 but were converted to operate as 2-8-2 tanks. The class, was a successful engine throughout its long life, before retiring from government revenue service in 1973.

In 1924 the private coal company J&A Brown in NSW obtained three of ex-British ROD 2-8-0
ROD 2-8-0
The Railway Operating Division ROD 2-8-0 is a type of 2-8-0 steam locomotive which was the standard heavy freight locomotive operated in Europe by the ROD during the First World War.-ROD need for a standard locomotive:...

. Later Brown ordered another ten engines but only nine of that order arrived in Australia. The last was withdrawn in 1973.

Victorian Railways
Victorian Railways
The Victorian Railways operated railways in the Australian state of Victoria from 1859 to 1983. The first railways in Victoria were private companies, but when these companies failed or defaulted, the Victorian Railways was established to take over their operations...

also used a range of broad gauge
Rail gauge in Australia displays significant variation, which has been an ongoing problem for transportation on the Australian continent, for over a hundred years.-Track gauges and route km:The most used gauges are Main gauges:...

2-8-0 locomotives commencing from 1899. The first engines in this classification were the V class Baldwin engines. These engines were also built at Ballarat's Phoenix Foundry
Phoenix Foundry
The Phoenix Foundry was a company that built steam locomotives and other industrial machinery in the city of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. Over 30 years they built 352 locomotives for the Victorian Railways, of 38 different designs.-History:...

. They vanished from the VR by 1930.

The next type was the 26 C class
Victorian Railways C class
The C class was a mainline goods locomotive of the 2-8-0 'Consolidation' type that ran on the Victorian Railways between 1918 and 1962. Although its original design had some key shortcomings, a number of improvements were made over the class' long career on the VR, many of which were subsequently...

engines which saw freight and passenger service. In 1922, a smaller lighter 2-8-0, the K class
Victorian Railways K class
The K class was a branch line steam locomotive that ran on Victorian Railways from 1922 to 1979. Although its design was entirely conventional and its specifications unremarkable, the K class was in practice a remarkably versatile and dependable locomotive...

was introduced for branch line freight (and later, passenger) services. Finally the VR introduced 60 light 2-8-0 J class
Victorian Railways J class
The J class was a branch line steam locomotive that ran on Victorian Railways from 1954 to 1972. A development of the successful Victorian Railways K class 2-8-0, it was the last new class of steam locomotive introduced on the VR...

engines in 1954 and they also operated freight and passenger services.

The first 2-8-0 engine in private service on Western Australia's Midland Railway arrived in 1912. There were 5 in the class and they operated until 1958 and all were gone by 1963. These were narrow gauged 3 ft 6 in locomotives (for Australian references see below).

### New Zealand

Several 2-8-0 engines were supplied by the Baldwin Locomotive Works
Baldwin Locomotive Works
The Baldwin Locomotive Works was an American builder of railroad locomotives. It was located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, originally, and later in nearby Eddystone, Pennsylvania. Although the company was very successful as a producer of steam locomotives, its transition to the production of...

NZR O class
The O class consisted of six steam locomotives that operated on New Zealand's national rail network. Ordered from the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Pennsylvania in 1885, three arrived in time to begin work in December 1885, while two more were placed in service in January 1886 and the sixth in...

locomotives were built for the New Zealand Railways Department
New Zealand Railways Department
The New Zealand Railways Department, NZR or NZGR and often known as the "Railways", was a government department charged with owning and maintaining New Zealand's railway infrastructure and operating the railway system. The Department was created in 1880 and was reformed in 1981 into the New...

in 1885. The Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company (WMR) which operated the Wellington - Manawatu Line
Wellington - Manawatu Line
The Wellington and Manawatu Line is an unofficial name for the section of New Zealand's North Island Main Trunk Railway between Wellington and Palmerston North...

had five similar locomotives built by Baldwin in 1888 (2), 1894 (1) and 1896 (1). Because of detail differences they were classified in 1908 when the WMR was nationalised into three classes: Ob class
NZR Ob class
The OB class was the first class of steam locomotives constructed by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for the Wellington and Manawatu Railway in New Zealand. The class consisted of two locomotives ordered in 1888, and they entered service in September of that year as WMR No.'s 11 and 12...

, Oa class
NZR Oa class
The OA class, built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for the Wellington and Manawatu Railway in New Zealand, consisted of a solitary steam locomotive. Ordered in 1894, it entered service in August of that year as No. 13 and was the first narrow gauge Vauclain compound in the world...

and Oc class
NZR Oc class
The OC class, built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for the Wellington and Manawatu Railway in New Zealand, consists of a solitary steam locomotive. Ordered in 1896 as an externally similar but more powerful version of the OA class locomotive ordered in 1894, it entered service in June 1897 as No....

respectively. The WMR locomotives of 1894 and 1896 (No. 12 and No. 13) were Vauclain compounds, the first in New Zealand and the first narrow-gauge compounds in the world. Although standard-gauge compounds usually had the larger low-pressure cylinder on each side below the high-pressure cylinder, this was usually reversed on narrow-gauge locomotives which had the low-pressure cylinder above the high-pressure cylinder to provide greater clearance from platforms.

### South Africa

The first two 2-8-0 locomotives were imported in 1901 from the American Locomotive Company
American Locomotive Company
The American Locomotive Company, often shortened to ALCO or Alco , was a builder of railroad locomotives in the United States.-Early history:...

(ALCO) (Class 8R), and a further order for 14 (Class 8X) in 1902. Kitson and Company supplied four similar locomotives in 1903 (Class 8Y) and the North British Locomotive Company
North British Locomotive Company
The North British Locomotive Company was created in 1903 through the merger of three Glasgow locomotive manufacturing companies; Sharp Stewart and Company , Neilson, Reid and Company and Dübs and Company , creating the largest locomotive manufacturing company in Europe.Its main factories were...

eight in 1904 (Class 8Z). Two experimental 2-8-0 compound locomotive
Compound locomotive
A compound engine unit is a type of steam engine where steam is expanded in two or more stages.A typical arrangement for a compound engine is that the steam is first expanded in a high-pressure cylinder, then having given up heat and losing pressure, it exhausts directly into one or more larger...

s were supplied by (ALCO) to the Cape Government Railways
Cape Government Railways
The Cape Government Railways was the government-owned railway operator in the Cape Colony from 1874 until the creation of the South African Railways in 1910.-Private railways:...

in 1902 and 1903.