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Norfolk & Western 1151

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2008-03-11 - S 1151 rj 011
Lost Engines of Roanoke - Norfolk & Western Class M2c -1151

Norfolk & Western M2c #1151 stands in the yard just outside the museum grounds. It is one of three surviving Norfolk & Western M Class Twelve Wheeler (4-8-0) locomotives. Retired and sold to Virginia Scrap Iron & Metal in 1950, along with M2 #1118 , M2c #1134 and NW W2 (2-8-0) #917 , the so called "Lost Engines of Roanoke" languished in the company's yard in South Jefferson St for nearly fifty years. They were later joined by Baldwin built Chesapeake Western DS-4-4-600 switchers #662 and #663, along with other rolling stock and tenders. In 1997, however, momentum grew for the locomotives' reclamation. Finally, in August 2009, all three were moved out of the Virginia Scrap Iron & Metal yard destined for restoration.

1118 went to the NRHS Roanoke Chapter's 9th Street Yard in Roanoke, VA, while #1134 went to the Virginia Railroad Museum in Portsmouth, VA. #917 has also found a new home at the Buckeye Express Diner, 810 State Rt. 97 in Bellville, Ohio. {C {C}{C {C The M Class was designed to haul freight and coal over the Blue Ridge Mountains. Seventy-five Ms were supplied by Alco and fifty by Baldwin in 1906 numbered #375-#499. The following year, another fifty were ordered from Alco and fifty from Baldwin designated M1 and numbered #1000-#1099. These were supplied with Walschaert gear in place of the M Class's Stephenson gear. They were the heaviest Twelve Wheelers ever built, and were the only non-articulated steam freight locomotives on the NW roster In 1910, fifty more 4-8-0s were ordered from Baldwin designated M2, while Norfolk & Western's Roanoke shops built three M2a, two M2b and six M2c class locomotives. The Baldwin locomotives had Walschaert gear, but the Roanoke built 4-8-0s were fitted with Baker gear, soon to become standard on the NW. Many of these locomotives were later fitted with superheaters and mechanical stokers.

1151 has 56" drivers and 24" x 30" cylinders. The engine weighs 261,100 lbs and the tender 167,500 lbs light with a capacity for 9,000 gallons of water and 14 tons of coal. Colloquially known as "Mollies" by their crew, the M2s were not particularly popular because of their rough riding and poor steaming probably caused by the relatively small heating surface. With a 45 sq ft grate area, 179 sq ft firebox and total evaporative surface of 4,351 sq ft, they delivered tractive effort of 52,457 lbs.

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