The Class C 4-4-0s

Header Photo: Drew Jacksich

The Rutland once owned and operated a rather extensive fleet of 4-4-0 Americans that held dates of manufacture well back into the 19th century.  Given the extensive nature and history of these locomotives, many of which were owned by predecessor roads, the information here will focus on the few that survived renumberings, rebuilds, and outright scrapping to remain on the roster during the 20th century.  At the height of service these steamers worked all types of assignments ranging from passenger to freight.  In their last years it seems they could often found on secondary passenger assignments, or handling whatever duties were required.  Interestingly, they didn't remain in service as long as the 2-6-0s (some survived into the 1940s) and all were gone by the mid-1930s.

The Rutland was comprised of a handful of predecessor companies, and the classic system we remember today began as the Rutland & Burlington Railroad of the early 1840s.  Thanks to Jim Shaughnessy's exhaustive study, "The Rutland Road: Second Edition," a fabulous section of the book details the company's long history of steam locomotives, their type, and often final dispositions.  The Rutland's early years included a roster a bit complicated since it leased roads like the Montreal & Plattsburg and Vermont Valley (neither of which it would acquire) while also being leased itself by the Vermont Central (later known as the Central Vermont) that brought over its own power (or renumbered others).  In general, however, its early fleet consisted largely of 4-4-0s with many coming from the Taunton Locomotive Manufacturing Company located in Taunton, Massachusetts.

When the CV lease of the Rutland ended on May 7, 1896 its fleet still included several 4-4-0s while also boasting newer and/or more powerful designs such as 4-6-0 Ten-wheelers (many came from the American Locomotive Company), 2-6-0 Moguls (many came over from the Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain acquisition), and a few 2-8-0 Consolidations (also of O&LC origin).  After a brief stint under New York Central control during the early 20th century, which had predominantly evaporated by the time of Rutland's 1913 renumbering (although it did not end entirely until 1941) its fleet included a mix of medium-power designs ranging from 4-6-0s and 2-8-0s to (later) 2-8-2 Mikados, 2-6-0s, 4-6-2 Pacifics, and a few 4-4-0s.  Additionally, the railroad operated a handful of 0-6-0s, 0-8-0s, and a single 0-4-0 for switching assignments.

The Americans remaining on the roster after 1913 included only a few units.  In total they included the following, #65-67 (formerly #80-82); the former two (listed as Class C-2 they were the most powerful on the roster, capable of producing more than 21,000 pounds of tractive effort and weighing more than 122 tons) were Brooks Locomotive Works products (Alco) manufactured in 1897 for the St. Lawrence & Adirondack while the latter (listed as Class C-1) was a 1891 Schenectady product built for the Adirondack & St. Lawrence; there was also #83-89 listed under the Class C-1 bloc (#83 was built for the A&StL while #85 was manufactured for the Bennington & Rutland Railway).  At least one from this class, #88, remained in service until as late as early 1936.  Following their retirement, newer 4-6-2s acquired the C-1's old numbers.

(The below 4-4-0 roster information is dated effective from the Rutland's 1913 renumbering.)

Model History Builder Road Number(s) Date Built Notes
Class C-1A&StLAlco (Schenectady)67 (formerly 82)1891Retired, 1/1932
Class C-1A&StLAlco (Schenectady)831891Sold, 10/1920
Class C-1-aNoneAlco (Schenectady)841894Sold, 10/1920
Class C-1-aB&RAlco (Schenectady)851894Sold, 10/1920
Class C-1-bNoneAlco (Schenectady)86-871897Retired, 1/1932
Class C-1-bNoneAlco (Schenectady)881899Retired, 2/1936
Class C-1-bNoneAlco (Schenectady)891899Scrapped, 1/1932
Class C-2StL&AAlco (Brooks)65 (formerly 80)1897Retired, 12/1935
Class C-2StL&AAlco (Brooks)66 (formerly 81)1897Retired, 9/1926
Class C-25B&RAlco (Schenectady)7931884Retired, 1/1919
Class C-25B&RAlco (Schenectady)7941884Retired, 11/1926
Class C-28O&LCBaldwin7961890Retired, 5/1916
Class C-29C&LVBaldwin7971890Retired, 11/1915
Class C-XB&RAlco (Schenectady)10601869Retired, 7/1914
Class C-XNYCAlco (Schenectady)10631889Retired, 1/1919

The last batch of 4-4-0s were all older designs that dated to 1890 or earlier, and all were built for predecessor roads including the Chatham & Lebanon Valley, O&LC, and B&R.  They were listed under the designations of Class C-25, C-28, C-29, and C-X and most were retired by 1919 although #794 remained on the roster until the mid-1920s.  From its many years of fighting with and controlled by the Central Vermont the Rutland was seemingly always operating underpowered or aging locomotives.  During the final years of steam operation most of the company's newest models dated to the 1920s or earlier, save for a new batch of powerful Class L-1 4-8-2 Mountains it had acquired in 1946 from Alco to fill a power shortage and upgrade its aging fleet.

There was also a small roster of USRA, Class H-6-a 2-8-2 light Mikados assigned to the railroad in 1918 when it was under government control during World War I (along with the industry as a whole).  Finally, the Class C-1 and C-2 4-4-0s boasted superheaters; #65 was rebuilt with such by Rutland's own shop forces while the others already included them when delivered from Alco.  Given the state of its fleet and financial situation the Rutland was slow to retire its remaining Americans.  While most were gone by the 1920s or earlier some of the powerful C-1's and C-2's could still be found in service as late as 1935-1936 when these, too were parked and many eventually scrapped.

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