The Class F 4-6-0s

Header Photo: Drew Jacksich

The Rutland's fleet of Ten-wheelers comprised its largest type of steam locomotives following its new classification system that debuted just prior to World War I in which they were listed under Class F.  These utilitarian steamers came in very handy on a railroad of the Rutland's size handling everything from passenger to freight assignments.  During New York Central control in the early 20th century a rather substantial order of new power included predominantly 4-6-0s, beefy machines from the American Locomotive Company.  Since the Vermont road was seemingly always in financial straits many Ten-wheelers remained in service until the end of steam operations in the early 1950s.  Unfortunately, no examples of these machines were ever preserved.

The first 4-6-0s to appear on Rutland's roster came during the final years under Central Vermont control when a small fleet of six entered service to supplement the road's fleet; first was #234-235, both 1891 products of the Schenectady Locomotive Works (after 1901 part of Alco) that were originally built for the Adirondack & St. Lawrence as #31-32; #251-252 were later added, 1898 Schenectady designs built as St. Lawrence & Atlantic #8-9; finally there was #68-69 built as New York Central #691 and #698 in 1889, the former came from the Rome Locomotive Works while the latter from Schenectady.  The remainder of the early Ten-wheelers were from Rutland's acquisition of the Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain in the early fall of 1901 that gave it a western extension to northern New York along the St. Lawrence River. 

The O&LC acquired three new 4-6-0s in 1893 from the Rhode Island Locomotive Works, #336-338., albeit they saw retirement early as all three were gone by 1921.  The first brand new Ten-wheelers to arrive came after Central's involvement with the property at the turn of the 20th century.  By that time the railroad was utilizing a relatively worn down and worn out fleet.  The NYC planned to send much more traffic up and over the Rutland but to do so required fresh, new power as Rutland's then motive power consisted largely of aging 2-6-0s and 4-4-0s.  In 1902 an order for 29 new locomotives was given to Alco for a fleet that consisted largely of much more powerful 4-6-0s.  According to Jim Shaughnessy's book, "The Rutland Road: Second Edition," the company mortgaged its property for a total of $1.95 million in 1901 to pay for the new locomotives as well as a large batch of rolling stock.

The new motive power could not have come sooner as the railroad sent a third of its CV hand-me-downs to scrap directly afterwards.  In 1913 the Rutland embarked on an entirely new identification system for its fleet with updated numbers and an alphabetical classification.  The 4-6-0s were blocked under Class F and listed as follows: #40-64 comprised F-12 through F-14; #70-79 were listed as Class F-2h/j/k.  Except for the trio that came over from the O&LC acquisition (then numbered 58-60) all the Ten-wheelers were products of Alco, Rutland's long-time supplier of locomotives, a company it continued to partner with through the diesel era.  The F-2's were newer designs, acquired between 1910 and 1912.  They were the most powerful on the railroad, requiring 86/88-pound rail to operate while offering tractive efforts greater than 32,000 pounds.

(The below 4-6-0 roster information is dated effective from the Rutland's 1913 renumbering.)

Model History Builder Road Number(s) Date Built Retired
Class F-2hNoneAlco70-7319109/1951-1/1952
Class F-2jNoneAlco74-79191210/1951-8/1953
Class F-2kNoneAlco70-7319109/1951-1/1952
Class F-11NoneAlco50-57190210/1946-12/1951
Class F-11aNoneAlco50-55190210/1946-12/1951
Class F-12NoneAlco (Manchester)40-4919021/1932-4/1951
Class F-12aNoneAlco (Manchester)40, 42-43, 45, 48-4919021/1935-4/1951
Class F-13A&StLAlco63-6418986/1939
Class F-14A&StLAlco61-62189112/1918-12/1926
Class F-15O&LCRhode Island58-60 (formerly 336-338)18931/1919-12/1921

Perhaps not surprisingly, these rugged steamers remained in service until the diesel era with the final unit not retired until August of 1953 (#74).  However, several of the older 4-6-0s were rebuilt with superheaters between 1912 and 1920 allowing many to remain in service until at least the mid-1930s.  These units were reclassed as F-11a and F-12a while the F-2h examples were upgraded to F-2k status (the F-2j's already featured superheaters when delivered from Alco).  As the years passed the do-everything Ten-wheelers were slowly retired with the first to go including #59-62 between 1919 and 1926 that had never received superheater upgrades.  While some of the others later saw their fires dropped during the 1930s many remained within the fleet until well after World War II.

The Rutland's newest motive power after the 4-6-0s included a small batch of 4-6-2s (used primarily for passenger assignments), 2-8-2 light Mikados the road received in 1918 during its time under United States Railroad Administration control, a few 2-8-0 Consolidations, and finally four hefty Class L-1 4-8-2 Mountains (#90-93) it acquired from Alco during 1946 to fulfill a power shortage enabling it to retire a few aging units.  Throughout the steam era, however, the Rutland relied primarily on its Ten-wheelers.  They were fine-looking machines offering good lines and a clean appearance while doing the work asked of them.  Unfortunately, the cash-strapped Rutland could not spare any for posterity and all were sent to the scrapper.

Top Of Page

› Class F 4-6-0