A Lehigh and Hudson River Railway Scrapbook

The Lehigh and Hudson River Railway

The 10 class 4-8-2's

The three 4-8-2's that comprised the 10 class were probably the most photographed of all of the L&HR's steam engines. Bought in 1944, they were the last new steam power purchased. Because of WWII, the Federal Government's War Production Board (think of it as a less destructive successor to WWI's USRA) had, in effect, imposed a moratorium on new locomotive designs 'for the duration'.

As a result, the road decided on a design almost identical to the Boston & Maine's R-4d class of 4-8-2's, from Baldwin. There were several minor detail differences, but the major specifications were identical, and one would have to look hard to find the differences between the two.

They were powerful and fast (the first class to have drivers larger than 64", at 73") and they were handsome. Modern power, with a centepede tender, a large boiler, and small 'elephant ear' smoke deflectors, they were a radical departure from the look of all previous L&HR power. And, along with the USRA light 2-8-2 80 class, they were the only power since the 1890's that didn't sport the distinctive wide Wooton firebox.

When the 10's were delivered, Warwick was still very much a railroad town. And while foreign power was anything but unusual, especially during the war, this was the first new L&HR motive power in 17 years. The locals took notice, as evidenced by a quote from the weekly Warwick Dispatch newspaper of April 19, 1944:

Warwick residents were still "coming on the run" when the L&H fast freight locomotive came through town heralded by a "sound like a boat whistle." This impressive new engine was "The mountain type with four pairs of coupled driving wheels of 73" diameter, a four wheeled front truck and a two wheeled trailer truck. It had a water capacity of 23,000 gallons and a fuel capacity of 212 tons.

A couple of anecdotal memories of the 10 class, from 'old timers'...

From a conversation with Howard P. Perry (Superintendant of Motive Power for most of the later steam era) many years ago: the 10 class had a bad foaming problem, using local water. Chemical treatment of the water was mandatory. And the boilers 'scaled' badly- this area has very hard water, and it seemed to have effected the 10 class more than previous engines.

Because of the profile of the L&HR (a continuous upgrade from about McAfee to near Sugar Loaf), the predominantly loaded eastbounds into Warwick often needed to be doubleheaded into Warwick, or doubled from Vernon or New Milford. With a 10 class on the point (according to at least one veteran), it wasn't uncommon for a train to hit 70 mph at McAfee to get a run for the long grade ahead.

Sadly, these three locomotives would only see six years of service. By 1950, the L&HR had dieselised with thirteen Alco RS-3's. At least one of the 4-8-2's, #12, had just undergone Class 3 maintenance, in effect 'bringing it back to factory specs' late in 1950. It never ran again.

Reportedly, there was some interest by other roads in purchashing the three 4-8-2's (including the Interstate RR in Virginia), but nothing came of it; they were sold for scrap, having been barely broken in.

10Sparta The late John Treen was a conductor for the New York Susquehanna & Western; he may well be the best-known employee of the NYS&W (his career spanned the last decades of steam into the Delaware Otsego years with double-stack containers behind 6 axle diesels).

John almost always had a camera with him, and he was a prolific photographer. This shot is one of his, at Sparta Junction, the L&HR's interchange with the NYS&W. Number 10 is eastbound, about to cross the diamond. In about an hour and a half, it would arrive in Warwick.

The track curving to the left is the interchange with the Susquehanna.

10Maybrook Number 10 again, this time at the Maybrook yard's engine service area. This was a popular place for photographers, as engines from all of the roads using Maybrook were serviced here. (To the left is a what looks to be a New Haven steamer.)

12Dead Number 12, at Warwick, parked alongside the roundhouse. Although there is no caption data, from the looks of it this was taken in late 1950, after the 12 had recieved Class 3 maintenance, never to be fired up again.

(Photo from the collection of Skip Green)