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DM&IR 2-8-8-4 M4 Yellowstone Locomotive

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DM&IR 2-8-8-4 M4 Yellowstone Locomotive
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Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives, a 2-8-8-4 is a locomotive with two leading wheels, two sets of eight driving wheels, and a four-wheel trailing truck. The equivalent UIC classification is (1'D)D2'. Such a long locomotive must be an articulated locomotive, and all the examples produced were of the Mallet type, having a hinged joint between the first and second groups of driving wheels, and having the superstructure of the locomotive rigidly attached to the rearmost set, with the foremost set and leading truck allowed to swing sideways on curves.

The type was generally named the Yellowstone,...

  Click to expand the complete description of the DM&IR 2-8-8-4 M4 Yellowstone Locomotive print below


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Currently viewing:  DM&IR 2-8-8-4 M4 Yellowstone Locomotive | Engineering Drawings | Photographs | Artwork

Summary: DM&IR 2-8-8-4 M4 Yellowstone Locomotive...

Print of the DM&IR, 2-8-8-4, M4, Yellowstone, Locomotive ... Historic Artwork.


Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives, a 2-8-8-4 is a locomotive with two leading wheels, two sets of eight driving wheels, and a four-wheel trailing truck. The equivalent UIC classification is (1'D)D2'. Such a long locomotive must be an articulated locomotive, and all the examples produced were of the Mallet type, having a hinged joint between the first and second groups of driving wheels, and having the superstructure of the locomotive rigidly attached to the rearmost set, with the foremost set and leading truck allowed to swing sideways on curves.

The type was generally named the Yellowstone,...

Continued from above... named the Yellowstone, a name given it by the first owner, the Northern Pacific Railway, whose lines run near Yellowstone National Park. Seventy-two Yellowstone type locomotives were built for four different American railroads.

The 2-8-8-4 turned out to be the common choice of arrangement for the very largest steam locomotives when the speeds required were only moderate. All classes of Yellowstone had fairly small drivers of 63 to 64 inches (1.60 to 1.63 m). Several classes of Yellowstone, especially the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range's locomotives, are among the largest steam locomotives of all time, the exact placing being dependent on what criteria are being used to select.

The Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway was an iron ore hauling railroad in Minnesota. Iron ore is a heavy commodity and the DM&IR operated long trains of ore cars, requiring as much power as the railroad could get their hands on. The design of these locomotives was based upon a series of 10 powerful 2-8-8-2s that Baldwin had built previously for the Western Pacific Railroad. The need for a larger, coal burning firebox to meet DM&IR requirements led to the use of a 4 wheel trailing truck, giving them the "Yellowstone" wheel arrangement.

Eight locomotives (class M-3) were built by Baldwin in 1941. The Yellowstones met or exceeded the DM&IR specifications so ten more were ordered (class M-4). The second batch was completed late in 1943 after the Missabe's seasonal downturn in ore traffic, so some of the new M-4s were leased to and delivered directly to the Denver & Rio Grande Western.

Three of the eighteen built still survive and are on display; Number 227 in Duluth, Minnesota, Number 225 in Proctor, Minnesota, and Number 229 in Two Harbors, Minnesota.



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