Chesapeake and Ohio classes L-2 and L-2-A

C&O L-2
Power type Steam
Builder Baldwin Locomotive Works
Build date 1941
Configuration 4-6-4
UIC classification 2′C2′ h2
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver diameter 78 in (1.981 m)
Length 108 ft 0 in (32.92 m)
Weight on drivers 219,500 lb (99.6 t)
Locomotive & tender
combined weight
893,000 lb (405.1 t)
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 60,000 lb (27.2 t)
Water capacity 21,000 US gallons (79,000 l; 17,000 imp gal)
Boiler pressure 255 psi (1.76 MPa)
Firegrate area 90 sq ft (8.4 m2)
Heating surface:
4,233 sq ft (393.3 m2)
Superheater area 1,810 sq ft (168.2 m2)
Cylinders Two
Cylinder size 25 × 30 in (635 × 762 mm)
Number in class 8
Number 300–307
Retired 1953
Disposition All scrapped
C&O L-2-A
Power type Steam
Only differences from L-2 above are shown
Builder Baldwin Locomotive Works
Build date 1947
Number in class 5
Number 310–314

The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway's class L-2 comprised eight coal-fired 4-6-4 "Hudson" type steam locomotives numbered #300–307 and built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1941. They had roller bearings on all axles, and the first-built, #300, had roller bearings on its side and main rods too. #300 also bore "Elephant ear" smoke deflectors from 1948.

In 1947, the C&O ordered five additional and very similar locomotives, numbering them #310–314; these were class L-2-A and differed mostly in using Franklin RC poppet valves instead of the Baker valve gear of the L-2s. These were the last express passenger steam locomotives ordered by a United States railroad, and some of the most expensive at $353,346 each, 80% more than the cost of the 8 earlier L-2 locomotives.[1]

Both classes were among the largest 4-6-4s ever built. They were intended to work the C&O's top-flight express trains on level ground; the railroad purchased 4-8-4 "Greenbrier" types for mountain service.

By 1953, C&O passenger services were wholly dieselized, and there was no more work for these locomotives to do. Hudsons were very unsuited to freight work, with such a comparatively small proportion of their weight on the drivers. All were quickly scrapped.


  1. ^ Huddleston, Eugene L. (Jan/Feb 2002). "The outstanding features and many lives of C&O 614". Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Magazine. 

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