Surviving Streamlined Steam

In December of 1934 New York Central class J1E Hudson 5344 was shrouded and became the first streamlined steam locomotive in North America. In 1935 the Milwaukee Road's 4-4-2 Hiawathas because the first steam locomotives that were built as such. Many more colorful and uniquely designed streamlined steam locomotives were built in the following 15 years.

As it turned out, streamlining had little effect on the aerodynamics of the locomotive except at the highest speeds. The real purpose was really to improve the locomotive's appearance. Additionally, streamlining created a problem -- any part of the locomotive that was covered with sheet metal for the sake of appearance was inaccessible for maintenance. Often, streamlined locomotives would leave the shop a little less streamlined than when it arrived. Also, a number streamlined locomotives lost their shrouds in wartime scrap drives.

In 1947 the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway's class K-2D number 535 sporting black, gray, and cobalt blue, built to haul the six car heavyweight City of Memphis between Memphis and Nashville, became the last streamliner intended to be steam powered. In 1950 the last streamlined steamers were constructed at the Norfolk & Western Roanoke Shops. The saga of streamlined steam ended on June 5, 1960 when Canadian Pacific Railway's 21 year old Royal Hudson, 2857, returned to Toronto from an excursion to Port McNicoll, Ontario. The following document will describe all of the surviving streamlined steam power. See my document titled Lost Forever (But Not Forgotten) for more streamlined steam.

Canadian National Railway Class U-4-a Confederation

Belleville, ON In 1936 the Montreal Locomotive Works built 6400-6404 for the Canadian National Railway. The CNR did extensive research using wind tunnel tests to keep smoke from swirling around the locomotive cab in their streamlined 4-8-4 design, however, they were fitted with non-streamlined vanderbilt tenders. CNR gave the name Confederation to this 4-8-4 wheel arrangement. The Grand Trunk Western used the same design for their class U-4-b 6405-6410. CNR 6400 was displayed at the New York World's Fair of 1939. It is now on display at the National Museum of Science & Industry in Ottawa, Ontario. It is pictured second from left in photo.

Canadian Pacific Railway Jubilee

CPR 2928 CPR 2929 The CPR had two classes of Jubilees (4-4-4). The first group, class F2a (3000-3004), had their main rods connected to the leading pair of drivers and were CPR's first streamlined steamers. The second group, class F1a (2910-2929), had their main rods connected to the trailing set of drivers.

Two Jubilees from the second group survive today. 2928 is at the Canadian Railway Museum in Delson, Quebec, 2929 is at Steamtown in Scranton, Pennsylvania. In November 1998 I heard that the Lehigh Valley Scenic Railroad is going to try to purchase 2829 from Steamtown to run double headers with CPR 2839.

Canadian Pacific Railway Royal Hudsons

In 1937 30 streamlined Hudsons were built for the Canadian Pacific Railway. 10 more were built in 1938. The streamlining design of these locomotives was patterned after that of the Jubilee's. Four of these locomotives survive today with one more from an earlier non-streamlined class.

Class H1b 2816 @ Steamtown Nat Hist Site, Scranton, PA

CPR 2816 The class H1b Hudsons were not streamlined. In July 1998 Canadian Pacific Railway announced publicly that is has acquired and is repatrioting for corporate heritage purposes ex-CPR H1b 4-6-4 #2816 from Steamtown, Scranton, Pa. Movement was scheduled for Sept 10, 1998 and was under the direction of BC Rail's Steam Shop Supervisor Al Broadfoot. (BC Rail once operated ex-CPR H1e Royal Hudson #2860 in tourist excursion service.) CPR moved 2816 to BCR's North Vancouver, British Columbia steam shop for either cosmetic or operating restoration. 2816 was found to be in basically sound condition and economically "restorable". More discussion about this move can be found on the Bulletin Board Systems or on this page. News Release.

Class H1c 2839 @ Allentown, PA

CPR 2839 2839 has an abundant history. After serving on some of the last commuter trains in Montreal in 1960, it was put on display at the Ontario Science Center in Toronto. In 1969 it was sold to private owners and moved to Pennsylvania. Southern Railway briefly operated it in 1979-80 (see photo). In 1980 it was stored at the Wilmington & Western in Greenbank, Delaware. It saw operation once on the Blue Mountain & Reading in 1984. Leased by the Lehigh Valley Scenic Railroad, it has been moved to Allentown, PA for restoration. They plan to run weekend excusions from Bethlehem to Steamtown with a stop in Jim Thorpe. They are also going to try to purchase the CP Jubilee (4-4-4) from Steamtown to run double headers.

Class H1d 2850 @ Canadian RY Museum, Delson, QC

CPR 2850 In 1939 2850 piloted Their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth 3224 miles from Montreal to Vancouver without mechanical incident. Embossed crowns were later added to the skirts of all streamlined Hudsons by Royal permission. Because of this, all streamlined CPR Hudsons are called Royal Hudsons. 2850 was also displayed at the New York World's Fair of 1939. 2850 was rebuilt less than a year before being donated to the museum. This locomotive is currently kept under roof in good cosmetic condition.

Class H1d 2858 @ Ntnl Mus of Sci & Tech, Ottawa, ON

Image provided by Allen Dale This locomotive is currently kept under roof and in good cosmetic condition.

Class H1e 2860 @ Province of Brit Col N. Vancouver, BC

CPR 2860 For many years 2860 has been in regular service but not in its proper CPR livery. In June, 1998, 2860 was taken out of service because of boiler problems. During the boiler work, more problems were found. As of September 1998, CPR 3716 is being used in place of 2860.


Canadian Pacific Railway Class T1c Selkirk

CPR 5931 The Canadian Pacific Railway applied the name Selkirk (from the Selkirk Range of the Rockies) to the 2-10-4 wheel arrangement (instead of using the "Texas" name). The CPR Selkirks were unique for two reasons: first, they were streamlined (odd for a freight wheel arrangement), second, they were built for passenger service. This photo is of class T1c 5931 on display at Heritage Park in Calgary, Alberta. 5935, (also class T1c) is on display at the Canadian Railway Museum in Delson, Quebec.

Chesapeake & Ohio Class L-1 Hudson

C&O 490 In 1946 four 25 year old F-19 C&O Pacifics were converted by the C&O to class L-1 Hudsons (490-493). They had stainless steel and orange shrouds. 490 was the only one to see service after 1950. Its orange cowl was repainted yellow. C&O crews called these locomotives Yellowbellies. 490 is now on display at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

Chicago Burlington & Quincy Class S-4A Hudson (Aeolus)

CB&Q 4000 Ok, I'm cheating a little bit here. This locomotive survives, but without its shrouding. In 1937 West Burlington installed a stainless steel shroud and roller bearings on CB&Q 3002 in order to use it for substitute power on the Zephyrs. It was renumbered 4000 and named Aeolus (Greek God of the Winds). Crews were quick to refer to this locomotive as "Big Alice the Goon", after a character in the Popeye comic strip. 4000 saw regular duty heading the Chicago to Denver Aristocrat and Exposition Flyer. In 1941 West Burlington built a similarly shrouded Hudson 4001 also named Aeolus. 4000's shrouding was removed in 1941 but the nickname stuck. 4000 is now on display in a park in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Charles T. Felstead photo, Charles E. Winters Collection.

Norfolk & Western Class J Northern

Norfolk & Western class J locomotives were numbered 600 - 613. Wartime restrictions on materials required that locomotives 605 - 610 be classified as freight locomotives and built without shrouds (they were later shrouded, after V-J day). N&W J class locomotive were unique for many reasons. They were America's last 4-8-4s. They could generate the highest tractive effort of any 4-8-4. They were the last 4-8-4 streamlined steamers. 602 was unique in that it was fitted with a Franklin high speed trailing truck booster which added 12,500 lbs. TE. After many years of service in excursion service, 611 survives today at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke, VA.

Pennsylvania Power & Light Co. Fireless 0-8-0 Switcher

PPLC 4094 PP&L 4094 is the only surviving eight-coupled fireless switcher -- and it is streamlined! It was built in 1939.

Southern Pacific Class GS-4 Northern

Golden State Class Northerns were delivered to the Southern Pacific in several classes. The first batch, class GS-1 (4400-4409) from Baldwin were not streamlined. The second batch, class GS-2 (4410-4415) from Lima were. The third batch, class GS-3 (4416-4429) had 80" (instead of 72") drivers. The fourth batch, class GS-4 (4430-4459) had a mars light and an all-weather cab. The fifth batch, class GS-5 (4458-4459) were two GS-4s fitted with roller bearings. The sixth batch, class GS-6 (4460-4469) were classified as freight locomotives and painted black because of the war. It was for this same reason that "GS" was changed to stand for "General Service" instead of "Golden State". In my opinion, with their skyline casings, running board skirting, and red, orange, and black colors, the Golden State Class Northerns were the best looking streamlined steam locomotives ever. GS-4 4449 survives in Portland, Oregon and is operational. War baby 4460 is on display at the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, Missouri.

Temiskamig & Northern Ontario Pacific

Image provided by Allen Dale Temiskamig & Northern Ontario Pacific number 701 was a sister to fully shrouded 700. 701 is on display in Englehart, Ontario.

London & North Eastern Railway 60008

LNER 60008 This three cylinder Pacific, named Dwight D. Eisenhower, is displayed at the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It was originally named Golden Shuttle but was renamed in September 1945. It was built by the LNER as the A4 class, introduced in Sept 1935. There were 35 in the class. When British Railways was formed, by the amalgamation of the 4 "Groups" prior to that event, as there would have been number duplication on locos, block numbers were allocated the former group engines. Former LNER locos were numbered in the series starting 60000. That is how 60008 came about.

London & North Eastern Railway 60010

This three cylinder Pacific, named Dominion of Canada (formerly numbered 4489) is displayed at the Canadian Railway Museum in Delson, Quebec.

Other Streamlined Steam References