SSW Engine 819

Engine 819, a Class L1, 4-8-4 steam locomotive, was built by the St. Louis Southwestern Railway Company (Cotton Belt Route) at its Pine Bluff, Arkansas shops in 1942. The mighty locomotive ruled the rails for a dozen years before being replaced by diesel locomotives. The engine was donated to the city in 1955 and "Old 819" reposed in Oakland Park until 1983 when the Cotton Belt brought it out of the park for restoration by the Cotton Belt Historical Society, Inc. The engine's home is now in the Arkansas Railroad Museum which is located at the place of its birth, the Old Cotton Belt Shops in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

The Big Engine is capable of pulling 100 freight cars with ease and burns about 15 gallons of oil per mile. The cost of this engine in 1942 was $143,607 which is the equivalent to over $2,000,000 in today's dollars. The cost to rebuild the engine was $140,000 in 1983.

The 819's first trips after restoration were made in 1986 to Fordyce, Arkansas and Little Rock, Arkansas and it has made many trips since. However, these trips have now been suspended by the Union Pacific (the present owner of the old Cotton Belt Route).

A Photo History of Engine 819

819 Specifications

Power type Steam
Builder Pine Bluff Shops
Build date 1943
Configuration 4-8-4
UIC classification 2′D2′ h2
Gauge  4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver diameter 70 in (1,778 mm)
Axle load 62,000 lb (28.1 tonnes)
Weight on drivers 248,000 lb (112.5 tonnes)
Locomotive weight 425,500 lb (193.0 tonnes)
Tender weight 312,000 lb (141.5 tonnes)
Locomotive & tender combined weight 737,500 lb (334.5 tonnes)
Fuel type Oil
Fuel capacity 5,000 US gal (19,000 l; 4,200 imp gal)
Water capacity 15,000 US gal (57,000 l; 12,000 imp gal)
Boiler pressure 250 lbf/in² (1.72 MPa)
Firegrate area 88.3 sq ft (8.20 m2)
Heating surface: Firebox 469 sq ft (43.6 m2)
Superheater area 1,962 sq ft (182.3 m2)
Cylinders Two
Cylinder size 26 × 30 in (660 × 762 mm)
Valve gear Walschaerts
Valve type Piston valves
Tractive effort 61,564 lbf (273.85 kN)
Factor of adhesion 4.03