The Norfolk & Western Steam-Turbine-Electric. (USA)

Opened Mar 2001

Updated: 2 Dec 2016
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Left: The Norfolk & Western steam-turbine-electric, built in 1954. It was numbered 2300

Although superficially similar to the Chesapeake and Ohio steam-turbine loco, it was of quite different design, being shorter and lighter, with a Babcock & Wilcox water-tube flash boiler working at 900 lb/sqin. GE traction motors were fitted to the four 3-axle bogies; all axles were powered so the wheel config was C-C-C-C.

The 2300 only survived for only three years. Once again there were major difficulties with reliability. Coal dust contaminated the electrical equipment. The feedwater heater and semi-automatic boiler controls gave trouble, and the turbine blades suffered when the loco backed heavily onto a train. None of these problems appear to be insoluble, but the locomotive was mainly used as a "pusher" and was scrapped in 1958.

The locomotive carried the name "Jawn Henry", a reference to a legendary black construction worker who pitted his manual hammer and drill against a steam drill. According to the story, he just managed to beat it but collapsed and died shortly afterwards. Not a good omen, perhaps...

Above: General layout of Norfolk & Western steam-turbine-electric

The front part of the engine was composed of a forward electrical compartment and coal bunker. The boiler was placed after the driver's cab, then came the turbine and generator in the power compartment, and finally a rear electrical compartment.

Left: The front of the boiler, in the rear of the driving cab
Cover removed for photography

The naming of parts:

S-205 - Steam Jet Control Valve
S-206 - Master-Stoker Jets
S-214 - Master-Cab Steam
S-245 - By-Pass-Stoker Jets
S-248 - Slicer Jet Steam
S-613 - Auxiliary Steam Vent
S-629 - By-Pass-Aux. Steam Reducing
S-661 - Gauge Glass Shutoff - Top
S-662 - Gauge Glass Shutoff - Bottom
S-664 - Superheater Pressure Shutoff
S-665 - Meter Shutoff (Line - AC-1001)
S-666 - Meter Shutoff (Low - AC-1001)
S-667 - Meter Shutoff (High - AC-1001)
S-669 - Meter Shutoff (High - AC-1004)
S-670 - Meter Shutoff (Low - AC-1004)
S-673 - Gauge Glass Shutoff - Top
S-674 - Gauge Glass Shutoff - Bottom
S-678 - Water Column Blowdown
S-679 - Gauge Glass Blowdown
S-680 - Left Gauge Glass Blowdown
S-683 - Boiler Drum Vent
AC-1001 - Water Level Controller
AC-1002 - Superheater Pressure Controller
AC-1003 - Air-Fuel Ratio Controller
AC-1004 - Superheater Flow Controller
AV-1074 - Grate Drive Control Cock

A - Boiler Front Gauge Panel
B - Tender Tank Level Gauge
C - Bell

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