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September 1989 - Page 34

by Al Armitage
No doubt there are some who might consider me slightly guilty of local Yankee pride, since I was born a New Englander, but I have always thought these engines to be among the hand somest of their type. My first attempt at modeling a steam locomotive was a P-4a and was, also, the subject of my first published loco motive drawing which appeared in a 1 937 issue of the old Model Craftsman . And here I am, 52 years later, doing it again ! I guess one could say I still like them. Dubbed the "Super Pacific , " the P-4a Class was built by Lima in 1 934 under construction numbers 76227626. Given road numbers 37 1 0-37 1 4 , the machines were an improved USRA l ight Pac i fic design with Coffin feedwaters , American front end throt tIes , Standard HT s tokers , Elesco Superheaters , Thermic Siphons , and Frankl i n tra i l er booster . C y l i nders were 23 x 2 8 w ith steam pressure boosted to 260 pounds as opposed to the USRA figure of 200 pounds . Driv ers were 80 inches in diameter and the engines weighed in at 339,200 pounds with a tractive effort of 40,900 pounds simple and 52,800 pounds with booster. Tender capacity was 1 2,000 gallons of water and 1 8 tons of coal. The elongated stack contained the exhaust for the booster and the a i r pump i n its forward compartment. Two other unique features were the shroud over the domes which, along with the slope-front, rounded comer cab, gave the engines a racy look, and the smoke shields (lifters) on either side of the smokebox . Both of these details were removed during the 1 940' s which, to me, sort of spoiled their distinctive character. An angled strip smoke lifter was added to the rear of the can roof to replace the shields . A second order, construction num bers 7655-7659 , and classed P-4b with road numbers 37 1 5-37 1 9 , was built in 1 937 without either the shroud or the smoke shields . Originally built with a single air




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