Chesapeake & Ohio Heavy Pacific Locomotives by Karen Parker C&O Soft Cover
Chesapeake & Ohio Heavy Pacific Locomotives by Karen Parker C&O Soft Cover
Chesapeake & Ohio Heavy Pacific Locomotives by Karen Parker C&O Soft Cover
Chesapeake & Ohio Heavy Pacific Locomotives by Karen Parker C&O Soft Cover
Chesapeake & Ohio Heavy Pacific Locomotives by Karen Parker C&O Soft Cover

Chesapeake & Ohio Heavy Pacific Locomotives by Karen Parker C&O Soft Cover

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Chesapeake & Ohio Heavy Pacific Locomotives by Karen Parker C&O Soft Cover
Chesapeake & Ohio Heavy Pacific Locomotives by Karen Parker
Soft Cover
80 pages
Copyright 2014

1: Introduction4
2: The C&O and the Pacific5
3: The F-17 and F-188
4: The F-19 14
5: Rebuilding the F-17 and F-1818
6: Painting, Lettering and Decorating25
7: Drawing Portfolio27
8: Heavy Pacifics in Service36
9: The Georgian Locomotive71
10: The F-20: the "Other" Heavy Pacific72
11: The End of Steam Passenger Service on the C&O74
12: Comparisons with Other Heavy Pacifics76
13: Afterword80
Of all the C&O's steam passenger locomotives, perhaps the best known and most fondly remembered were the F-19 class heavy Pacifics, Nos. 490 - 494, and their close siblings, the F-17 class, Nos. 470 - 475 and the F-18 class, Nos. 480 -485. These brawny, but elegant, machines pulled the C&O's mainline passenger trains from 1914, when the F-17s were delivered, until the end of steam-powered passenger service in the early 1950s.
These engines, comprising three distinct classes of locomotive, were designed and delivered over a span of 12 years. The first two classes, the F-17 and F-18, were very similar as delivered. The F-17s were used in the mountains, and the F-18s appear to have been used more in the lower grade areas of the railroad. The last group, the famous F-19s, were similar to the others in overall size but differed from them in several key ways. Due to the success of the F-19s in service, first the F-18s, and later the F-17s, were rebuilt to be functionally identical to the F-19s, although each class differed in detail.
The story of these remarkable engines is far from simple. It has its beginning in 1902, when the first C&O Pacific locomotives, the class F-15, only the second of their type on any American railroad, were delivered for service on C&O's high-gradient Alleghany and Mountain Subdivisions. These engines, along with their F-16 and F-17 successors, were intended for heavy passenger service on tough grades. Trains on the lower gradient lines made do with the Ten-Wheelers (4-6-0s) that the new Pacifics displaced.
This pattern, where new, more powerful locomotives went into service on the most challenging parts of the railroad, displacing their less capable predecessors to less demanding runs, was a standard practice on the C&O. Begun in the last decades of the 19th century, it was applied to both freight and passenger power into the 1920s. From the 1920s on, the railroad took a different tack, designing locomotives specifically for use on the light or heavy gradient parts of the line.
Thus, the F-16 Pacifics displaced some of the F-15s from the mountain lines, although by the time that happened enough of the very successful F-15s had been built that they were already in service on the low-grade lines.
The intended successor for the F-16 in mountain passenger service was to be the J-1 Class Mountain type (4-8-2) locomotives, three of which were put into service in 1911 and 1912. The J-1s showed great promise, easily pulling heavier trains than the F-15s and F-16s could manage, and faster over the road, too. But the J-1's low 62" drivers and very long and heavy main rods made them rough riding and hard on the track at speed. The design was not repeated, but the three that were built lasted into the late 1940s in passenger, and during World War II, freight service.
The failure of the J-1 set the stage for C&O's first heavy Pacifics, the F-17s, delivered in 1914. These engines were not built as the elegant, powerful machines that came to be so highly regarded in their heyday in the 1930s and `40s. But, they were a bit more powerful than the F-16s, and had significantly more steaming capacity, so they were quite successful and served in regular passenger service, even after the delivery of the J-2 Mountains in 1918. It wasn't until after the delivery of the last pair of J-2s in 1923 that they were finally able to start service on the lower gradient parts of the line, concurrently with the new F-18s, which were almost identical to their older sisters.
The new F-18s, like their older sisters, were rather homely, with their 69" drivers and rather plain appearance. Even the F-19s, when they were delivered in 1926, had a bit of an unbalanced and disheveled look, with stubby tenders and pipes seeming to run everywhere.
But larger tenders, some rearranging of the piping, and a bit of spit and polish transformed the F-19s into the suave and powerful machines that are still well known today. Along the way, first the F-18s, then three years later the F-17s, were rebuilt to match the F-19s mechanically, gaining larger drivers and tenders, new appliances, flying pumps, and the same spit and polish. They too were transformed into graceful yet powerful locomotives that are remembered to this day.

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