Monday, November 29, 2010

Mogul the Magnificent!

Port Townsend, today. Tim Ball recently sent me photos from his latest "road trip." Amongst the interesting lot were these two shots of Canadian National 2-6-0 #81.

This doughty little engine is representative of the backbone of the Canadian National Railway's branch line feeder connections, with 469 of these Mogul's shouldering the load.

There were 25 of these units in this series built by Canadian Locomotive Works in 1910 for the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR). They were rated at 63 horsepower, with a starting tractive effort of 26,300 pounds, and set up to provide heat and electricity for short run passenger service as needed. Road class E-10-a had 63" drivers, regulated by Stephenson Valve gear, at 170 psi. The water tank carried 5,000 gallons of water and 10 tons of coal.

In 1923, GTR 1001, boiler number 914, became Canadian National Railway #903, and subsequently renumbered #81 by the CNR in 1951. Her brothers and sisters went to the scrap yard in the mid to late 1950's.

Today, #81 is proudly displayed, without intervening fence, at Palmerston Railway Heritage Museum, Ontario.

As a class, more than 11,000 "Moguls" were built between 1860 and 1920. The "Consolidation" 2-8-0 quickly overran the popularity of the 2-6-0 beginning in 1866.

The term "Mogul," used to designate the 2-6-0-wheel arrangement, despite urban legends to the contrary, was applied to any large freight locomotive regardless of wheel arrangement in the 1870's. Baldwin used the name "Mogul" for its 2-6-0 locomotives in 1871. Others hold to the claim that the class was named for a 2-6-0 built in 1866 for the Central of New Jersey, bearing the name "Mogul."

But I prefer to go to the root of the word. Where did the word originate:

Mogul Mo·gul" noun [ From the Mongolian.] 1. A person of the Mongolian race. Great, or Grand, Mogul, the sovereign of the empire founded in Hindostan by the Mongols under Baber in the sixteenth century. Hence, a very important personage; a lord. [Dryden]

That version appeals to me.

Whichever version you subscribe to, it is proof once again that the old timers had it right. "Mogul" is a heck of a lot more romantic name for a type of locomotive than is "ES44C4!"

Thanks, Tim, for sharing your great photos!

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