Chesapeake and Ohio class M-1

The Chesapeake and Ohio class M-1 was a fleet of three steam turbine locomotives built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway in 1947–1948 for service on the Chessie streamliner. As diesel locomotives became more prevalent following World War II, the C&O was one of several railroads that were reluctant to abandon coal as a fuel source, and saw steam turbine technology as a possible alternative to diesel. At the time of its construction it was the longest single-unit locomotive in the world.

Chesapeake and Ohio class M-1
Type and origin
Power typeSteam turbine electric
BuilderBaldwin Locomotive Works
Serial number73079–73081
Build date1947–1948
Total produced3
 • Whyte4-6-2+4-6-2+0-4-0TE
 • AAR2-C1+2-C1-B
 • UIC(2'Co1)'(2'Co1Bo')'
Gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver dia.40 in (1,016 mm)
Length154 ft 34 in (46.96 m)
Loco weight857,000 lb (388.7 tonnes)[1]: 161 
Total weight617 tonnes (607.3 long tons; 680.1 short tons)
Fuel typeCoal
Fuel capacity29.25 short tons (26.54 t)
Water cap.25,000 US gallons (95,000 L; 21,000 imp gal)
Boiler pressure310 psi (2.14 MPa)
Performance figures
Maximum speed100 miles per hour (160 km/h)
Power output6,000 hp (4,470 kW) (turbine)[2]: 141 
4,960 hp (3,700 kW) (generators)[3]: 109 
OperatorsChesapeake and Ohio Railway
NicknamesSacred Cow
First run1947
Last run1949
DispositionAll scrapped
[3]: 107–111 

Design edit

The design of the M-1 was a collaboration between the C&O, the Baldwin Locomotive Works and Westinghouse.[4]: 202  The C&O possessed substantial coal-hauling revenue and was loath to abandon it as a fuel source.[5]: 109  Further, C&O's engineering staff expressed concern that oil reserves would be exhausted within 25-30 years.[3]: 109  The locomotive contained a single Westinghouse turbine which in turn drove four direct current (DC) generators, mounted in pairs.[6]: 116  Each generator produced 1,000 kilowatts (1,300 hp), and the four generators collectively turned eight traction motors.[1]: 161 

Defying the usual convention, the M-1 was arranged with its boiler in the rear and the coal bunker in the front. The turbine-generator system meant that the M-1 contained no cylinders. The reduced number of moving parts meant that, in theory, the M1 required far less maintenance than a conventional steam locomotive. Its designers predicted that it could make a round trip between Washington and Cincinnati without servicing.[3]: 110–111 

The locomotive's throttle included eleven settings, ranging from one (idling) to eleven (full speed). The locomotive's cruising speed was 70 miles per hour (110 km/h), at which point the throttle was on "seven." During a trial run with a reporter from Popular Mechanics aboard, a C&O engineer expressed his dissatisfaction with a local speed limit of 75 miles per hour (121 km/h), noting that he would "sure like to be able to pull it back to eleven!"[3]: 110, 252  Not including research and development, the three locomotives cost US$1.6 million.[7]: 45 

Career edit

The C&O cancelled the Chessie in 1948, before it ran in revenue service, depriving the M-1s of their reason for existence. The M-1s themselves proved expensive to operate and mechanically unreliable.[4]: 202  They spent their short careers operating between Clifton Forge and Charlottesville, Virginia.[8]: 62  The locomotives were scrapped in 1950.[2]: 141 

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b Lamb, J. Parker (2003). Perfecting the American Steam Locomotive. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-34219-8. OCLC 50858989.
  2. ^ a b Solomon, Brian (1998). American Steam Locomotive. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International. ISBN 0-7603-0336-3. OCLC 38132717.
  3. ^ a b c d e Railton, Arthur R. (March 1948). "Chessie Has That New Look". Popular Mechanics.
  4. ^ a b Schramm, Jeffrey W. (2010). Out of Steam: Dieselization and American Railroads, 1920-1960. Bethlehem: Lehigh University Press. ISBN 978-0-9821313-7-4. OCLC 521744662.
  5. ^ Grant, H. Roger (2005). The Railroad: The Life Story of a Technology. Westport: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-33079-4. OCLC 57143252.
  6. ^ Solomon, Brian (2010). Baldwin Locomotives. Minneapolis, MN, USA: Voyageur Press. ISBN 9780760335895.
  7. ^ George, Geoffrey H. (July 1968). "This Was The Train That Was (But Never Was)". Trains. Vol. 28, no. 9.
  8. ^ Casto, James E (2006). The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-4334-5. OCLC 123954873.

External links edit