loco config numbers

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Woodie, Oct 5, 2001.

  1. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    I notice a lot fo you guys refer to (especially steam) locos with number such as 0-6-0-2 of 6-6-2-0 etc. What does this mean? Is it something to do with wheel configuration and size?
  2. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member


    That is the "Whyte system" of classification. The first number in the group refers to the number of wheels in the pilot truck (if any), the last number is the number of wheels in the trailing truck. The numbers inbetween are the "drive" wheels. Therefore, 2-8-0 means 2 pilot wheels, 8 drive wheels and no trailing truck. A 4-8-8-4 has 4 pilot, two separate sets of 8 drive wheels, and 4 trailing truck wheels. (That's the configuration of the Union Pacific "Big Boys," which were articulated steam locos.)

    The Whyte system counts the number of wheels. Other systems refer to the number of axles. For example, a 4-6-2 (Pacific) can be referred to as a 2-3-1 (or 231). The Whyte system is the standard in the U.S.

    It is usually redundant to state both the Whyte classification and the class name of a locomotive (i.e., "2-8-0 Consolidation"), but the name often clarifies the particular variant of the wheel arrangement. The "name" is usually derived from the name of the railroad(s) that used them. "Consolidation" came from the Lehigh Valley RR, which had been created from the merger of several smaller railroads and was the first to use the 2-8-0 design. That name stuck for all 2-8-0s. 2-10-4s, on the other hand, are referred to as Texas (Texas & Pacific), Colorado (Chicago, Burlington & Quincy) and Selkirk (Canadian Pacific).

    A similar system is used for diesel and electrical locomotives. The system is different because not all wheels on a truck are necessarily powered. The system uses a combination of letters and numbers--the letters represent the number of axles on the truck (A=1, B=2, C=3, etc.), and the numbers are the number of unpowered axles. So, a B0-B0 has two trucks, each with two axles, and all axles are powered (this would be pronounced "bo bo"). A B0-C0 has two trucks, one with two axles and the other with three, all powered. If no numbers appear by the letters, then "0" is implied. The classic GG1 electric locomotive was classified 2-C-C-2: 2 unpowered axles on one truck, two trucks with three axles each (all powered), and another 2 axle unpowered truck.

    For more information, check out www.steamlocomotive.com and click on the section on "Classification Definitions." An interesting note: the guy who runs this site recently moved to Australia!

    Humans love to classify things! :)

  3. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    now I know!

    Thanks for that Rory. Now I know.

    BTW... My spies tell me that someone in Belguim, linked to my website from yours! In the last hour or so. Only looked at the first page though. :mad: Didn't know you have a link to Garahbara from your webpage. Thanks for putting it there! :)
  4. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    IHC Mogul

    So does that mean my IHC Mogul running round Garahbara at the mo would be a 2-6-8? 2 pilot wheels, 6 drive wheels and 8 (2 bogies of 4 on the tender), or would it be a 2-6-4-4? Or doesn't the tender count?
  5. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    A guy in Belgium visits my site in the U.S., then goes to yours in Australia... It's a small world, isn't it!

    No, you don't count the tender wheels. Tender wheel configurations vary, depending on the type of tender used. The Whyte classification refers only to the wheels on the locomotive.

    If the locomotive is a tank engine, the classification is followed by a T. For example, Thomas the Tank Engine is an 0-6-0T.


    P.S. - Your spies should also tell you that someone in Texas linked to your website from my page. It was me! :) I was looking for pictures of your steam engine. I couldn't make out the wheel configuration, though...
  6. Peirce

    Peirce Member

    A Mogul is a 2-6-0, since tenders don't count. As Rory indicated, there are different types and sizes of tenders, so it is possible their wheel configurations could vary. During the life of a steam loco, it may not always have the same tender.

    Here is a picture of the Mogul at the Danbury Railway Museum. You will probably notice the main drive rods are missing. They were removed to facilitate towing this loco from Cape Cod to Danbury, Connecticut.

  7. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member



    This is what I know you did. Not as anonymous as you think on the net sometimes. :rolleyes:

    Domain Name (Not found)
    IP Address 208.180.246.# (North America)
    Language Setting English
    Operating System Microsoft Win98
    Browser Internet Explorer 5.01
    Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.01; Windows 98)
    Time of Visit Oct 05 2001 11:41:52 pm
    Last Page View Oct 05 2001 11:46:03 pm
    Visit Length 4 minutes and 11 seconds
    Page Views 18
    Referring URL http://www.cox-inter...gows/Links/index.htm
    Visit Entry Page http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~niceboys/
    Visit Exit Page http://homepages.ihu...u/~niceboys/may1.htm
    Time Zone UTC-6:00
    CST - Central Standard Time
    CDT - Central Daylight Saving Time
    Visitor's Time Oct 05 2001 7:41:52 am

    The only pic I have of my Mogul is this one. Taken a while ago (pre digital) It's to dark to make out the wheels, but it is a 2-6-0 IHC Mogul with oil tender.

    Attached Files:

  8. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    That's pretty cool! Is that a service of your ISP? I don't think I can get that information from mine (if they even bother keeping it). The only thing it didn't tell you was that I was actually sitting behind a firewall and using a fake IP address via a proxy server. :) Computers are almost as fun as computers. Put the two together and goodness, there's enough fun to keep one busy all day long! :)

  9. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Site Meter


    It is all part of the site meter. I think my ISP provides one, but I set Garahbara up using one of the free site meters available. I use this site meter. You just register (cost nothing) and copy about 5 lines of HTML into each page of your site. If you pay, you get a lot more info than the free version. This HTML calls "sitemeter" with the relevant info, adds 1 to the visit count/page count etc. About 50% of accesses are coming from "the guage" posts, the rest are coming from search engines (dmoz, aol, netscape etc)
  10. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Thanks for the tip, Woodie! I'm going to look into that, just for fun. I knew about counter services, but I didn't know that they provided that sort of information, too.


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