Chesapeake & Ohio Mountain Type Locomotives
By Karen Parker
The C&O originated the 4-8-2 wheel arrangement steam locomotive in 1911, which it named “Mountain Type” in recognition of the locomotives’ intended use on heavy passenger trains over the mountains of Virginia and West Virginia. The 4-8-2 soon became a very popular and valuable locomotive for American railroads with over 2,400 built up to about 1930. Some roads used them for both passenger and freight service, but on C&O they were mainly passenger engines, with only occasional freight usage. The Mountains were captive to the Charlottesville, Virginia – Hinton, West Virginia runs with heavy passenger trains, and were the most powerful locomotives available until the arrival of the 4-8-4 Greenbriers in 1935. They also saw service in later days on the Louisville sections of the name trains, and some were used in freight service in Indiana. It is interesting that C&O conceived and built the first Mountains, but had only 10 locomotives out of over two thousand built in the U. S. This book tells the whole story of these versatile locomotives that were the progenitors of such an important part of the American steam locomotive fleet.
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