Treasures of The Henry Ford: The C&O Allegheny. According to the docents at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, the most heavily photographed artifact in their building is this massive, articulated steam locomotive. You are looking at one of just two surviving examples and the very first of a fleet of H-8 Class Allegheny Locomotives, built in 1941 by the Lima Locomotive Works for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad. Intended as heavy coal-drag locomotives, these engines weighed in at 778,000 lbs and boasted 110,200 lbs of tractive effort. In service on the 80-mile run from Hinton, WV to Clifton Forge, VA, a pair of these engines (one pushing, one pulling) could handle roughly 140 loaded coal hoppers. With 67" drivers and a 260 psi boiler, the Alleghenies could theoretically run at 45 mph....and a few were equipped with steam heat for passenger service, but in practice, they were primarily used for coal drags and rarely exceeded 15-20 mph.
Although not as famous as some other large articulateds, such as the UP Big Boys, the Alleghenies were in some ways more impressive. Whereas the Big Boys generated a draw-bar horsepower of roughly 6,200, an Allegheny was capable of 7,500. The Alleghenies were also the heaviest locomotives of their type (2-6-6-6) ever built and had the highest per axle loading of any locomotive ever built. Alas, these engines came along at the very end of the steam era, when diesel locomotive design was improving by leaps and bounds, so their service lives were relatively short. The 1601 first hit the rails in 1941 and was retired in 1956. She was donated to the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation right after her retirement and has been stored indoors ever since. By the way, the other survivor is 1604, which is in the collection of the B&O Museum in Baltimore, MD.