The only other railroad to put a 2-6-6-4 into service was the Seaboard Air Line. In truth, the N&W probably gained the inspiration for its Class A's from the SAL. At the time the SAL was seeing its financial situation improve following its bankruptcy in December of 1930. Management received permission from the railroad's receiver, Legh Powell, Jr. to order a batch of five 2-6-6-4s from Baldwin in 1934 (delivered a year later), which were listed as Class R-1 and numbered 2500-2504. Unlike the P&WV's examples, the SAL's were designed for fast freight service sporting 69-inch drivers, 82,300 pounds of tractive effort, a boiler pressure of 230 pounds, and were rated to handle 2,700-ton freights along the main line between Richmond, Virginia and Hamlet, North Carolina.
Other features of the locomotives included the type E superheater, Baker valve gear, and Elesco feedwater heaters (#2504, however, used the Worthington Type 5-SA). The Class R-1's were well built locomotives that offered good riding quality and ample power making them a favorite of crews. As SteamLocomotive.com points out, however, Seaboard management would not allow the 2-6-6-4s to operate at speeds which crews felt they were capable. If there was a drawback it was their use of friction bearings on all axles instead of the more economical roller bearings used on the Class A's. Two years after the first batch of five arrived the Seaboard acquired five more from Baldwin in 1937; listed as Class R-2 they were numbered 2505-2509.
|Class KB-1||Baldwin||7700-7704||1935||Scrapped, 1953|
|Class KB-1a||Baldwin||7705-7709||1937||Scrapped, 1953|
According to Seaboard Air Line Railway: Steam Boats, Locomotives, And History
by Richard Prince, the R-2's were slightly different sporting Walschaert
valve gear and a change in the locomotives' frame design. After the
arrival of these latest 2-6-6-4s the Seaboard extended their territory
to Monroe, North Carolina and northwesterly into Charlotte. They would
also eventually find their way into passenger service speeding trains
into Atlanta and as far south as Florida. Their arrival to the
Baltimore & Ohio occurred during July of 1947; the railroad was
continuing to experience a power shortage as the result of World War II
and the inability to purchase new diesels. Under B&O ownership the
2-6-6-4s became Class KB-1's #7700-7704 and Class KB-1a's #7705-7709.
Just like on the Seaboard, B&O crews liked the locomotives for the
same reasons and they did very well at moving fast freights in a timely
The big articulateds tended to stay along the eastern fringes of the Cumberland Division according to David Mainey's Baltimore & Ohio Steam In Color,
where grades were relatively flat between Brunswick, Maryland and
Cumberland save for locations near Harpers Ferry and Martinsburg, West
Virginia. The B&O experienced some minor issues with the locomotives. As noted by SteamLocomotive.com their slip joints tended to leak and were replaced by ball joints. Additionally, crews noted they had a slipping issue when tackling grades, which was mostly remedied when the air pumps were moved to the front pilot. As the B&O purchased new diesel through the early 1950s the need for the 2-6-6-4s quickly waned. Unfortunately, this resulted in a very short [new] career for the locomotives as all were retired and scrapped by 1953.
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Baltimore & Ohio
Class KB-1 2-6-6-4