The Baldwin S-8
The Baldwin S-8 was meant to replace its DS line, notably the DS-4-4-750
(but also including the DS-4-4-660 and DS-4-4-1000) and offered roughly
the same horsepower on a similar frame and axle setup. The switcher itself
was not considerably different from its earlier counterpart although it
did feature an upgraded prime mover
of the same version used in the DS-4-4-750. Perhaps the most
noticeable change with the S-8 was merely its designation, as the Baldwin Locomotive Works
looked to simplify its earlier classification system of complicated numbers,
dashes, and letters. Overall, the S-8 was not particularly successful although its successor, the S-12, did see decent sales numbers.
Today, at least two S-8s are preserved; U.S. Pipe & Foundry #37 at
the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum and Medford Corporation #8 at the
Southern Oregon Chapter, NRHS.
The Baldwin S-8 switcher line debuted in 1951 featuring the builder's updated 606ANA prime mover.
The locomotive could produce 800 horsepower using a B-B truck
arrangement (two axles per truck). Overall Baldwin meant for the S-8 to
be used in standard yard service although sales never truly
materialized. Railroads still preferred more powerful models and the company had a difficult time finding orders for any of its lightly powered designs like the VO660, DS-4-4-750, and the S-8. Of course, this was not
unique to Baldwin. The American Locomotive Company, for instance, also
saw only lukewarm sales for its small switchers such as theS-1, S-3, and S-6.
For more information about Baldwin's S-8 line please click here. At 46 feet in length the S-8 was nearly identical to the DS-4-4-750 using the same basic frame and design (end cab and long trailing hood). The one operational standout, aside from its extra 50 horsepower was the additional tractive effort; 59,550 pounds starting and 34,000 pounds continuous. This gave the locomotive the ability to pull a string of loaded cars with relative ease while being agile and light enough (just 99 tons) to be used almost anywhere. Because of this, several industries found the S-8 to their liking. In any event, the switcher was one of the builder's first models to feature a much more simplified classification using a letter for the motive power type (switcher) and the starting digit (8) referring to the horsepower rating (800).
By the time production had ended after only a few years in 1953 Baldwin
was able to sell 63 total units (54 A units and 9 B units/calves) to a
wide range of buyers. While Class
I railroads purchased the S-8, such as the Pennsylvania and Rock
Island, as mentioned above many buyers turned out to be industrial
operations like mining and steel companies. These included the American Rolling Mill Company, Oliver Iron Mining Company,
Sharon Steel Corporation, Sloss-Sheffield Steel, US Pipe and Foundry, US
Steel, Weyerhaeuser Company, and Youngstown Sheet and Tube.
Interestingly, before the Cuban trade embargo was implemented Baldwin
also sold two S-8s to United Railways of Havana.
Baldwin S-8 Production Roster
|Armco Steel Corporation||1151-1152, 1201||3||1951-1954|
|Columbia-Geneva Steel Division (U.S. Steel)||13||1||1953|
|Escanaba & Lake Superior||102||1||1952|
|LaSalle & Bureau County Railroad||8||1||1951|
|New Orleans Public Belt||50-51||2||1951|
|Oliver Iron Mining||1200A-1206A, 1214A-1215A (As)||9||1951-1952|
|Oliver Iron Mining||1200B-1206B, 1214B-1215B (Bs)||9||1951-1952|
|Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines||6006||1||1951|
|Sharon Steel Corporation||3-10||8||1952-1953|
|Sloss-Sheffield Steel & Iron Company||33-36||4||1951-1952|
|U.S. Pipe & Foundry Company||37||31||1954|
|United Railway Of Havana (Cuba)||8001-8002||2||1952|
|Weyerhaeuser Timber Company||103, 105||2||1951|
|Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company||703, 800-805||7||1951-1953|
One particular note of interest about the S-8s were
the nine cow-calf sets purchased by Oliver Mining. A photo of one example is featured above, giving you an idea of what they looked
like; Oliver was the only buyer to request such a setup (it
also ordered other cow-calf sets from Baldwin). The units were numbered
1200A-1206A, 1214A-1215A/1200B-1206B, 1214B-1215B and the mining company had on
order a tenth set but later canceled this after it was already
completed. Baldwin then retrofitted the B unit with a cab and resold it
as a standard S-8. For more information about the S-8s please check out the chart above for a complete production roster.
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