Archive Photo - Locomotive 2001 at Lockwood, MO

Discussion in '2-8-8-2 Mallet' started by Karl, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter


    The Frisco Archive picture of class engine, 2001, at a time and place, unknown, has intrigued me since it was placed on the Archive. At first glance it appears that the Mallet is being hauled to Springfield for initial set-up. A closer examination of the photograph disputes this assumption. Although still wearing her factory paint job (white-wall tires), the locomotive appears to be somewhat less than factory fresh. The coal bunker has trim boards to increase tender capacity; these are not present on the builder’s photo. The main rods have been removed, and the 2001 would seem to be on its way to the West Shops for work. Is this possibly a “smoking gun” that might add credence to her perceived reputation? Has the 2001 failed on the road, and is she now on her to Springfield? The picture was taken somewhere on the Frisco; the mail crane attests to that fact.

    Three of the Mallets arrived in St Louis with much fanfare during October 1910, and on November 2, 1910 they were placed on display at St Louis Union Station. They were destined work the heavy grades between St Louis and Springfield. In less than several months after their delivery, the Frisco threw-in the towel and moved the Mallets to other parts of the railroad. We have been lead to believe that they were poor steamers.

    Let’s face it; I am a lover of the 2001-class Frisco Mallets.

    Until proven otherwise, I will continue to be an apologist for these locomotives. The notion that they were poor performers is unproven. In fact, it seems that they had too much tractive effort for Dixon Hill and Hancock Hill. They were pulled from the Rolla Sub and the Lebanon Sub and sent to KC, Ft Scott, Monett, and Sapulpa to handle oil trains in and out of Oklahoma and to handle coal from SE Kansas. They remained in service at these locations until replaced by the 1306-class 2-8-0’s, the spot-class 2-10-2’s, the USRA 2-8-2’s, et al, which arrived during the 19-teens. At this time, they were sent to work on the Southern Division between Memphis and Birmingham.

    Back to the picture… I have searched the web on numerous occasions in attempts to locate “Farris Elevator”. Recently while researching family stuff, I stumbled across the name Mr. F. H. Farris of Lockwood, MO. My mom’s family hails from there. With that info in hand, I was able to refine my search filter, and I could determine that there was only one Farris Elevator located within Frisco territory, i.e. Lockwood. The next step was to resolve the specific location of the F. H. Farris Elevator. The elevator ante-dates 1901, and during July 1918, Mr. Farris sold his business. The new owners changed the name to Farmers’ Grain & Live Stock Company. The elevator was damaged by fire during 1924, and it was rebuilt that year. In the local vernacular, this elevator was known as the East Elevator, and the Kyle & Keran Elevator was known as the West Elevator. The East Elevator structure remained at least into the 1970’s. That’s my memory anyway.

    Lockwood Mo sanborn_annotated.jpg
    I was able to locate a 1924, Sanborn map of Lockwood in a Dade County Plat book, which was published by the Greene County Historical Society. There was the Farmers’ Grain & Live Stock Company’s elevator just where I thought it might be. See the attached plat. The track layout on the Sanborn map fits nicely with the photo, so I am 95% certain that the picture was taken at Lockwood, MO. The trees are bare, and I believe that we see the 2001 in tow to her new home in Ft Scott or Kansas City. If true, then the date of this image is likely sometime during January-March 1911.

    The photograph captures a rare image, i.e., a Frisco Mallet on the Ash Grove Subdivision. The two men in the foreground seem to be too well dressed to be Lockwood locals. The fellow by the low pressure steam chest may be the locomotive messenger/tender, who may be in the midst of a ground inspection. After the train’s climb from the Sac River drainage, it has stopped at Lockwood for fuel and water.

    Lockwood today; the same perspective:
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
  2. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Great detective work, Karl!

    As for pulling drawbars. Hm, sure seems to me to be more of a train handling problem and the hogheads of the time weren't able to adapt well to the traits of the 2000's. This is where a good Road Foreman of Engines would have run on the line repeatedly pulling trains with a 2000 class engine until he successfully developed train handling techniques to handle these engines w/trains. THEN, he should have set about teaching the techniques to the Engineers under his charge.

    IMHO, based on my experience in railroading, this is a RFE shortcoming and not the 2000's. I'll bet with good use of air and throttle techniques (to keep things stretched), those suckers could have strolled up and down the hogback profile between St. Louis and Springfield as pretty as you please. Dixon Hill? No problemo for those big hogs given their era!

    Seems to me this was likely a case of too large of technology leap (from smaller engines to a really BIG and powerful engines) for the power that be to adapt to and then instruct the Engineer's accordingly.

    The above FWIW.

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  3. palallin

    palallin Member

    Great detective work, as always, Karl! And I think Andre is on to something. I think the conclusions we can draw from Andre's thoughts don't bode well for the engines, however.

    Now, I have no beef against the engines, but I do tend to trust the guys back then who, I think, knew what they were about, so let me play Devil's Advocate for a minute. :cautious:

    Consider the record of their use on their first assignments: they are documented as having spent lots of time at the bottom of swales building up steam for climbing the next rise. That means a great deal of variation in the speed and frequent starts from a stop. Given the long trains and the short, if minor, grades, that suggests trains draped over the tops and bottoms of the rises, slack in and slack out at various points. Frequent stats and stops stretched out like that is a recipe for pulled drawbars.

    Andre's note that handling techniques were not up to snuff can be seen as support for the claim the engines lacked stamina. It may be that better handling techniques could have solved the problem--Andre has forgotten more about train handling than I will ever know--but the need to create new techniques for these engines suggests to me that steaming capacity was a problem--the conclusion of the original guys in the operating dept.

    OK, guys: now poke holes in my conclusions ;) Let's see what additional knowledge we can tease out of these great clues!
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  4. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Hi palallin:

    My surmising is based strictly on the above article that deals with excessive drawbar forces and makes no mention of issues with steaming. Could be that the Engineer's and Firemen also didn't understand the characteristics of the beasts and didn't get much help from the RFE. These engines brought totally new circumstances for the Enginemen and the RFE to learn. Sometimes it takes more than a few trips to figure things out.

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  5. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Documented? Show me that documentation.
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  6. Palallin may be, consciously or otherwise, quoting Joe Collias's comments on p. 71 of Frisco Power. That's not a primary source, of course, and unfortunately Collias doesn't identify the source of his information. He goes on to criticize the 2-8-8-2s for having a "ridiculously small firebox with which to heat water to steam in a boiler of considerably larger proportions", as well as for having undersized tenders which resulted in frequent fuel and water stops.

    Frisco Power does, however, include some dimensions of the Frisco's 2-8-8-2s and 2-10-2s (p. 74). Those more skilled in the art than I may be able to take the grate area, cylinder dimensions, etc., and determine whether math and physics support the judgement that the articulateds were chronically short of steam-generating capability. I'll play with the numbers a little, but with the caveat that math isn't my strong suit.

    2-8-8-2: grate area 75.3 sq ft; boiler pressure 200 psi; cylinders 24.5 x 30 rear / 39x30 front; drivers 57 in; engine wt 418,000; tf 100,000 lb simple / 83,500 compound.
    2-10-2: grate area 76.2 sq ft; bp 200 psi; cylinders 29x30; drivers 60 in; engine wt 380,000 lb; tf 71,480 lb.

    Some amateurish calculations on my part suggest that the 2-8-8-2's consumption of steam per mile [(cylinder volume per stroke) times (4 strokes per driver revolution) times (number of driver revolutions per mile)] was actually less than that of the 2-10-2s if working compound -- i.e., counting only the high-pressure cylinders for initial steam usage straight from the boiler, with the low-pressure cylinders working off the exhaust from the high-pressure ones. But if working simple, routing steam from the boiler directly into all four cylinders, that steam consumption goes up by a factor of 3.5. (Not only are there now twice as many cylinders receiving steam directly from the boiler, resulting in twice the strokes per driver revolution, but the low-pressure cylinders are significantly larger.) This far exceeds the consumption rate of the 2-10-2s and would have quickly exhausted the boiler's supply of steam. A modest firebox capable of keeping up steam when working compound might well have been challenged to bring pressure back up after just a short stint of working simple.

    As I said, these are pretty amateurish calculations and I expect the reality was more complex than that. (For example, I'm not accounting for the back pressure of the second set of cylinders at all.) I do know from steam locomotive manuals of the time (viewable on Google books) that switching between simple operation when starting and compound operation when under way was standard practice. Otherwise, the locomotive would have had to start with only the tractive effort of the high-pressure engine, until it had made at least one revolution in order to pass steam through to the low-pressure engine. It does make me wonder whether Frisco crews of the time, unaccustomed to compound articulated locomotives, may have been unfamiliar with the techniques required to get the best efficiency out of them. Just a little over-use of simple operation would have had a big impact on steam consumption -- and the Frisco had a lot of up-and-down that would have created a constant temptation to switch to simple operation for that extra oomph of tractive effort. Worse, and less avoidable: frequent stops for fuel and water would have required some period of simple operation for every start. I wonder if these 2-8-8-2s might have been more successful if they'd been able to work under constant conditions instead of stop-and-go.

    It would be interesting to read firsthand accounts by Frisco enginemen who worked with these engines, if any were recorded and survive. I suspect the Frisco's in-house magazine (Frisco Man, Frisco Employe's Magazine, etc.) had little inclination to publish any accounts that reflected poorly on the railroad, its equipment, or its crews.

    It may be that, even if the 2-8-8-2s weren't as bad as Collias suggests, they were doomed to a short life because, being slow luggers with 57-inch drivers, they, like the 2-10-2s, were unsuited to the 1920s-1930s shift to fast freight haulage due to highway competition and rising hourly labor costs.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
  7. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Incredible detective work Karl. Every time I read about these, I start to think I should try to model one for the coal fields around Pittsburg.
  8. palallin

    palallin Member

    That is the passage to which I refer.

    As Mr. Scott points out, we don't have the original source. I don't have access to the resources Collias did, some of which are listed in his "Acknowledgements."

    For the reasons noted earlier, I think it likely that the drawbar force problem is connected to the steaming problem. If Collias' account is reasonably accurate, the up-and-down, stop-and-start, slack-in/slack-out, and jerking would aggravate the pull against heavy tonnage, and the crews did not have a good control over the process. It may be that more experience would have solved the drawbar force exertion, and it may be that jockeying the compound/simple valve would have reduced the steaming problem. We don't have all the facts, to be sure.
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  9. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    Joe's info came mostly from Lee Buffington, who was a walking computer of Frisco power. At the time Lee hired out, he would have had plenty of engine crew's gossip to file away. I think they were gone from east of Springfield by the time my Dad hired out in 1916. His only comment that I remember is that engine crews didn't like them because of the steam leak.
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  10. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Richard Crabtree’s Rail Across... FB group has a picture of two Frisco Mallets at Amory, MS. I’d guess that the photograph was taken during the teens. In my mind, we have another piece of evidence that the Frisco quickly took these locomotives from the Eastern Division, and put them to work “elsewhere”. It’s of interest, that both Mallets have auxiliary tenders behind their way-too-small tenders.

  11. Neat picture.
    What diameter are those front cylinders?
  12. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member



    (Sorry, I haven't a clue.)
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  13. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    I really like the look of these locomotives. Talk about all bidness. They got a lot of attention, I bet. The small tenders and fireboxes did lead to perhaps some concerns for crews.
  14. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    For more than a couple reasons, crews did not understand or conceive, or even want, one locomotive, do the job of 2 crews. Drawbar issues, whether self inflicted or otherwise can be debated. The operating "Unions" yes I will say "Unions", and they had great power in the day, had immense influence.
  15. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Consider RFOE/TM's and other front line managers were drafted/promoted from the "rank & file". Which is actually what made our RR's the envy of the world, in ton/mile considerations.
    Anyway, that is still one cool/powerful looking locomotive
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  16. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    The LP cylinders were 39” x 30”.
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  17. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    My calculations indicate that the total heating surface was adequate when in compound mode. The first Frisco locomotive to have a combustion chamber. When in simple mode, the engines would quickly run out of steam, but then they weren’t designed to be in simple mode except, when starting. When looking at firing rates, a single fireman could not shovel enough coal to keep things hot. One was delivered with a stoker, and the remaining engines quickly received the Street Stokers, which solved that problem. My calculations also indicate that when working at full capacity, the engines could use all the water in the tender in about an hour, which means they couldn’t pass a water plug with out stopping. The picture with the auxiliary tenders would tend to support that.

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