Notes from Locomotive Cyclopedia Vol.II

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Sun Aug 28 18:07:59 EDT 2005


Thanks for the head's-up. I didn't know Volume 2 was
available yet. Will it be sold through the

Both the PRR Q2 and T1 were tested on N&W in 1948.
Neither compared favorably to their counterparts, the
A and J. The J was no surprise because it was
specifically designed for N&W's grades and stop and
start operation. The T1 was designed for limited stop
service and PRR did not have N&W's profile. Virtually
no other 4-8-4 (or 4-4-4-4) could compete with the J
on an economic or performance basis on N&W's home
rails. Article for the Arrow in process on this
subject (T1 vs J test) now.

The Q2 was a different story, based on what little I
know about it. It used more coal and water than the A
per unit of output, apparently at all speeds, and had
problems getting its boiler potential to the rail.
Does anyone know where a copy of the Q2 test report
would be? Nothing in the archives has been found at
this point. Information is floating around out there
somewhere, because there was a short summary in Don
Ball's PRR 1940-1950s book. I'd like to tackle the
subject if I could find the test data.

Some authors choose more colorful wording in order to
tell a good story, or embellish a more mundane one.
This increases entertainment value significantly. I'm
not so sure about the positive effects on accurate
history. I have no doubt PRR was trying to sell some
T1s to N&W (as it did with C&O in 1946). Likely, it
was also trying to sell the Q2's as well. PRR had
already made the decision to dieselize and selling
these locomotives would cut its losses. But using the
word unload is a bit much, IMO. It implies that both
the Q2 and T1 were useless (they weren't) and that the
N&W was gullible (it wasn't).

Dave Stephenson

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