Some Little Known Little Locomotives


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233 County House Rd Chrksboro, New Jersey 08020

I came by a 1923 Baldwin catalogue a few years ago of small narrow gauge locomotives built for the sugar plantations and such. The book is printed in Spanish so if I decipher something incorrectly, you'll have to excuse the lack of knowledge. All in this catalogue, some 70 of them, are really cute little machines and probably only one of each kind were ever built.

They came in many gauges and wheel arrangements. There were Fourneys, 0-6-0's on up to 2-8-2's and quite a lot were equipped with 'Rushton' gear which was a flexible drive-wheel mechanism for negotiating sharp curves. Shown is an 0-8-0 wheel arrangement with the two center axles rigid (illustration #8). An 0-6-0 would need only the leading or the trailing axle so fitted, for these plantation locos were built for tight places.

Perhaps a word about the designer would not be out of place here. According to Mr. Fred Westing in his book about the locomotives that Baldwin built, Mr. K. Rushton, Vice-President of Engineering, designed this gear for some consolidation type engines built for Ecuador in 1921. After 38 years with Baldwin he passed away after a short illness at the age of 60 years. With the invention of this gear it must have placed the company on the top of the narrow-gauge line, for much more powerful engines could be used. The little 0-4-0 could now be put back in the engine house.

There are 62 steam illustrations in this catalogue and to show them all would be impossible. I have gone through the pages and I've chosen six which I hope can be printed. There are also fireless locos and gasoline locos too, all made for the narrow gauges and listed metric. Using a tape measure that's printed with inches and meters, it was easy to transfer.

The first picture (No. 1) shows a cute little 0-6-0 with a very diminutive type tender, built for James Charley in Jamaica. This I can visualize in inch scale, gauge. What a beautiful little model this would make, with the Walschearts valve gear and the large cabbage stack. This engine would not have the Rushton gear with its inside frames, and would more than likely have the flanges turned off the middle drivers. The boiler was designed to burn LENA, which I take to mean waste from sugar-cane. I looked in a Spanish dictionary and the word Lena was not in it. The track gauge was 30 inches, cylinders 9' x 18' with 33 inch drivers.

No. 2 is another nice little 0-6-0 with inside frames and, I would imagine, Stephenson valve gear. Via 0, 914m, would equal 36 inch cylinders 305mm-12 inches with a 16 inch stroke. Boiler pressure was 11.2kg/cm, which equals about 170 lbs. Drive wheels again were 33'. Built for the Ynghausti Sugar Company of the Philipines, this is another engine suitable for modeling

No. 3 is a pretty little 'Mogul' 2-6-0 built for Vincini Company of Santo Domingo. 570m makes the track width at 22V2 inches, with cylinders at 8 inch bore and 14 inch stroke. Drive wheels were 30 inches. This too was fired with Lena, pressure was again 170 lbs. Here you see the outside frames with the special weighted cranks attached to the outside of the axles. By close inspection it looks like the rear axle would be of the Rushton design. Valve gear is probably Stephenson and also appears to drive the water pump. Tender is a standard 8-wheel with arch bar trucks.

No. 4 shows an inside frame 0-8-0 tank engine with a curious looking valve gear which somewhat resembles the Hackworth. It was built for Handelsvereeniging of Amsterdam, Java. Track gauge was 27 inches, cylinder 10 inches by 14 inches, drivers were 27 inches. Pressure again 170 lbs. This engine, being an 0-8-0, would have the full Rushton gear. Again we have that large cabbage stack, for when sugar cane was burned, like straw, you would have a lot of sparks. Though there is no tender, there must have been a fuel wagon of some kind, for not much could have been carried on top of the water tank.

No. 5 is a 2-8-0 Consolidation built for Narcisa of Cuba. It also has the cabbage stack, outside the frames, Walschearts valve gear, and no doubt, Rushton gear. The feed pump must be attached to the cross-head, but in all probability, would have injectors too. Here coal was used for firing, for I take it that carbon means coal in Spanish. Gauge for this engine was 27 inches, cylinders 14 x 20 inches, wheels 36 inches.

No. 6 is a 2-8-2 Mikado built for the Manita Sugar Company of Cuba. This was for 36 inch gauge and no doubt had Rushton gear with what looks like full equalization. Cylinders 16 x 20, drivers 38 inches. The fuel was oil which is quite a change from the others. We are getting into much more powerful engines with more high iron features. The tractive effort at 85% boiler pressure works out at 19,500 lbs. while the first little engine has an effort of only 5,324 lbs.I like the stack on this one.

Illustration #7. Other engines shown in this catalogue were fireless engines where the boiler, or should I say the steam receptacle, was filled with steam from the power house and then sent out to work. Eastman Kodak had some of these, and I now remember there's one at the Strasburg Rail Road Museum. As to how much work could be done with one boiler filling is something I've never read about.

Illustration #8. Gasoline locos are also listed in this book as de 4,500Kg combustion internal to 22,000Kg. I think this means the tractive effort. As to types, there are five, ranging from an 0-4-0 to an 0-6-0. A couple of interesting inspection engines are also shown, including one for the Manchurian State Railways.