Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Unusual locomotive design

A rare picture of the second Fontaine, shown here arriving at St Thomas, Ontario, Canada, in July 1881, for trails on the Canada Southern Railroad. Engineer Ike Deyell stands in the gangway, whileFireman George Westfall is leaning from the cab.
 From A Locomotive Engineer's Album
 George B Abdill 1965

The cylinders were 17 x 24 in, the wheelbase was 23 ft 4 in, and the total heating surface (firebox + tubes) was 1033.5 sq ft. Total weight was 82,000 lb.
 (Info from Scientific American Supplement, 5th November 1881

Found on


  1. Do you have any idea why this design was used? Perhaps to shorten the length of the locomotive? Seems odd to me.

  2. Thank goodness for Google. I just looked it up and found my answer that it was an idea that was not very practical in the real world. I'm no mechanical engineer but I would think that the idea of transmitting power to the driving wheels by friction would have been very inefficient.