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Alco 4-8-8-4 no. X4017 Big Boy
Train Photos
No: 5057   Contributor: Peter Langsdale   Year: 2003   Manufacturer: American Locomotive Co.   Country: United States of America
Alco 4-8-8-4 no. X4017 Big Boy

Photographed on 1 August 2003 at the National Railroad Museum, Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Built in 1941 by the American Locomotive Company for the Union Pacific Railroad, this is one of a batch of the heaviest steam locomotives ever built,weighing 772,000 lbs (386 tons). These engines were designed to be used in the Wasatch Mountains in the west, to avoid using helper (banking) engines.
The Big Boy is one of the best represented and preserved model of steam locomotive in the United States, due to its mythical reputation and late survival in service to 1959. Eight of the 25 built still exist.
Picture added on 23 November 2008
This picture is in the following groups
National Railroad Museum, Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA
add commentComments:
Big Boys,working hard consumed 9.9ton of coal in an hour,and the tenders,held 28.45ton,and 25,000 U.S.galls of water,two mechanical stokers kept the vast grate supplied with coal.
Boiler pressure:300psi
Driving wheels:68in
Grate area:150.3sq ft
Heating surface:5889sq ft
Superheater;2466sq ft
Tractive effort:135,375lb
Total weight;350t(772,000lb)engine only.
These locomotives were built, to haul up to 70 refrigerated fruit cars, weighing 3,200 tons,over the road without assistance,a total of 25 were built,and could run at 80mph when required

Added by James Burrows on 02 October 2009.
Eventually,all'Big Boys'tonage ratings were revised from 3600 to 4450 tons US.(2000lbs) over Sherman Hill without assistance.-Two mechanical stokers?..No -they had only one...

Added by S. Burke. on 01 November 2009.
Effectively; two simple steam engines running under one big boiler, operated by only one engine crew.

The front engine pivotted [not compound] for an interesting front view going around curves.

Added by Pat Rivers-Bowerman on 01 November 2009.
The reference book states,two mechanical stokers kept the vast grate ,supplied with coal ,grate area was 150.3 sq ft,this makes sense,i have worked on the class 25 South African steam locomotive,it had a mechanical stoker,the diameter of the screw column of the stoker,was only about 18 inches max,and with slow revs,the coal could not be spread very far,from the stoker,so for the vast grate area, two mechanical stokers,would spread the coal over this large area

Added by James Burrows on 02 November 2009.
My favourite non-UK steam loco class along with the South African Class 25s.
4017 seems to be one of the few indoors. I have had photos sent to me by US contacts and most others seem to be in the open.

Added by Paul Strathdee on 23 September 2010.
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American Locomotive Co.

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