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Canadian National class S 2-8-2

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Canadian National class S
CN 3254, an example of a preserved S class locomotive
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
Build date1913–1936
Total produced466
 • Whyte2-8-2
 • UIC1′D1′
Gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)
Leading dia.31+14 in (790 mm)
Driver dia.63 in (1,600 mm)
Trailing dia.43 in (1,100 mm)
Wheelbase35 ft 1 in (10.69 m)
Length78 ft 5 in (23.90 m) including tender
Height14 ft 9 in (4.50 m)
Fuel typeCoal
Boiler pressure180 lbf/in2 (1.2 MPa)
Cylinder size27 in × 30 in (690 mm × 760 mm)
Performance figures
Tractive effort53,000 lbf (240 kN)
Disposition3 preserved, 1 cannibalized, remainder scrapped

Canadian National Railway (CN) Class S locomotives were a Class of 2-8-2 wheel arrangement in the Whyte notation, or 1′D1′ in UIC classification. These locomotives were designed for 16° operating curvature. The first examples of this very successful class were built for the Grand Trunk Railway in 1913. Major purchases of the class continued through 1924. Sub-classes S-3 and S-4 employed higher pressure boilers with smaller diameter cylinders to achieve similar tractive effort with higher efficiency. The class remained in freight service until the final replacement of steam with diesel-electric locomotives. 53 were renumbered between 4045 and 4097 in 1956.[1]


No. 4070, an example of a GTW S class, on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, 1975
Sub-class Builder Works numbers Dates CN numbers Notes[1]
S-1-a CLC 1353–1402 1916–1917 3200–3249 50 built as CGR numbers 2800–2849

3239 preserved in Canadian Railway Museum. preserved. Rest scrapped

S-1-b CLC 1459–1508 1917–1918 3250–3299 50 built as CGR numbers 2850–2899. 3254 preserved in Steamtown.

Rest scrapped

S-1-c MLW 58347–58376 1917 3300–3329 30 built as CGR numbers 2900–2929
S-1-d CLC 1535–1594 1918–1919 3330–3389 60 built as CGR numbers 2930–2989. 3377 source parts for 3254. Rest scrapped
S-1-e CLC 1673–1687 1920–1921 3390–3404 15 built
S-1-f ALCO 52788–52812 1913 3405–3429 25 built as GT numbers 500–524
S-1-f BLW 40210–40211
1913 3430–3454 25 built as GT numbers 525–549
S-1-f MLW 53920–53969 1913 3455–3504 50 built as GT numbers 550–599
S-1-g CLC 1449–1458 1917 3505–3514 10 built as GT numbers 485–494
S-1-g ALCO 59950–59954 1918 3515–3519 [a] 5 built as GT numbers 480–484
S-1-h ALCO 58315–58319 1918 3520–3524 [a] 5 built as GT numbers 495–499
S-1-j CN 53928, 53954 1926 3198–3199 [b] 2 built
S-2-a MLW 64475–64509 1923 3525–3559 35 built but S-2-a 3538 was wreck in 1950 Canoe River train crash
S-2-b CLC 1712–1721 1923 3560–3569 10 built
S-2-c MLW 65633–65662 1924 3570–3599 30 built
S-3-a ALCO 59563–59577
1918 3700–3739 [c] 40 USRA Light Mikados built as GT numbers 440–479. 3734 preserved.
S-3-b ALCO 64510–64517 1923 3740–3747 [c][d]8 built
S-3-c ALCO 65317–65326 1924 3748–3757 [c]10 built
S-4-a CN 1623 1930 3800 [b][e] 1 built
S-4-b CLC 1914–1918 1936 3801–3805 [e] 5 built


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Number 3239 was preserved by the Canadian Railway Historical Association. Number 3254 was saved by W.F. Barron of Ashland, Pennsylvania. No. 3254 first operated in excursion service at the Gettysburg Railroad in Gettysburg and Mount Holly Springs from 1985 until being put into storage again in 1986, it was then sold to Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton were it ran from 1987 to 2012 when it was taken out of service indefinitely due to severe frame issues. No. 3377 was first owned by the Edaville Railroad, but soon moved to Steamtown, and eventually became a source of spare parts for No. 3254. Number 3734 (renumbered 4070) is now owned by the Midwestern Railway Preservation Society in ex Baltimore and Ohio Railroad roundhouse in Cleveland Ohio.

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b Numbers 3515–3517 and 3520–3523 were converted to 0-8-2 switchers in 1936 and 1937
  2. ^ a b Built in Canadian National Railway Pointe-Saint-Charles shops
  3. ^ a b c Boiler pressure increased to 200 lbf/in2 (1.4 MPa) and cylinder diameter reduced to 26 inches (660 mm).
  4. ^ Ordered as GT numbers 600–607, but delivered to CN
  5. ^ a b Boiler pressure increased to 265 lbf/in2 (1.83 MPa) and cylinder diameter reduced to 24 inches (610 mm).
  1. ^ a b c Clegg, Anthony; Corley, Ray (1969). Canadian National Steam Power. Trains & Trolleys: Montreal. pp. 91–95.
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Canadian National class S 2-8-2
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