What do these numbers mean on train vehicles? Example --> 2-8-2 BLI Mikado?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by prodigy2k7, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    The title explains it, what do these numbers mean?

    2-8-2 BLI Mikado



  2. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    2 leading wheels (one axle)
    8 driving wheels (four axles)
    2 trailing wheels (one axles)
  3. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

  4. kitsune

    kitsune Member

    It's the Whyte system of engine classification. Used primarily for steam engines, but also for some electrics.

    The first number represents the number of wheels on the lead truck, if any. If there is no lead truck, the number is 0.

    The last number is the number of wheels on the trailing truck, if any. If there are none, zero is used.

    The middle numbers represent the number of driving wheels. If the engine is articulated, there will be more than one number here.

    For example, your 2-8-2 is a Mikado.

    A 4-6-4 is a Hudson, while an articualted Challenger would be called a 4-6-6-4.

    A switcher, with no leading or trailing truck, would be something like an 0-6-0 ot an 0-8-0.
  5. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    So thus saying 2-8-2 Mikado is redundant, but model manufacturers often do it anyway.
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    But some names are duplicated, according to Wiki... especially "decapod" which in fact has 12 wheels in the most common appelation (2-10-0 - "Russian" decapod). But apparently the 0-10-0 was also a decapod (rarely), and Southern Pacific called their 2-10-2 a decapod as well.

    It is interesting to note that the "0-X-0" switcher type engines in that table are listed as "X-coupled" when "coupled" could be applied to any loco with that number of driving wheels. E.g. 4-6-0, 0-6-0, and 4-6-2 are all "six-coupled" locomotives.

  7. kitsune

    kitsune Member

    Thats intentional. Generally, for example, all "six coupled" engines will be within a similar weight range and fuel consumption range. They will generally have similar maintenance loads as well. While this is only a general rule, in the days of Steam, when you were lucky to get two engines of the same class to even behave the same, this was as close as you could get to saying "Geep" or "SD".

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