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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Erie 2601

Erie 2601

Erie 0-8-8-0 Camelback locomotive at Port Jervis, N.Y., in 1911. The camelback design was unique in that the engineer sat in the tiny cab alongside the boiler, while the fireman worked at the usual spot behind the boiler. One of the main disadvantages was the obvious communication problem between engineer and the rest of the train crew while the engine was in operation. The Erie camelback mallets didn't last long, but smaller camelback locomotives survived well into the 1950's on roads like the Jersey Central. View full size.

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There were three of these

There were three of these used for pusher service, not hump service. Only the ERIE had articulated camelbacks, no other road had them. They were all rebuilt later with their cabs at the back.
There were alot of camelbacks in the east and even some western roads had them: Santa Fe, Canadian Pacific, MKT, Chicago & Indiana Coalm, C&IE, to name a few.
There are more pictures all over the Internet, even a color painting.
An HO scale model just sold on Ebay for over $3000.00!

Only one

There was only one of this type of locomotive ever built, and it was used for only one thing. Hump work. Basically this engine spent its whole life pushing long trains up the hump of a yard where they would be gravity sorted. The idea behind the placement of the cab was more for visibility than anything. As for communication, the engineer and fireman used their own whistles to communicate between themselves. The engineer used the train whistle, the fireman had a lighter, lower whistle he used.

Erie Engine No. 2601 Derailed at Gulf Summit

In my wife's hometown paper (The Deposit Courier), the "Looking Back" section "100 Years Ago, 12 October 1910" says, "Erie engine No. 2,601, one of the largest engines in the world, was derailed at Gulf Summit Sunday night. It was pulling a train of about eighty cars and was running along at a fairly good rate of speed when suddenly it left the track. The big engine pounded along the rails for about 500 yards, cutting off the ends of the ties and tearing up the roadbed for a considerable distance. The Susquehanna wrecking crew was called and repaired the damage."

Erie 0-8-8-0- More photos (Link)

There are a few more photos of these engines at:

Erie 0-8-8-0 mallet

The "Mother Hubbards," sometimes called "camelbacks", common on railroads in the Anthricite (hard coal) region of Pennsylvania. IIRC there weren't many articulated locomotives built this way. I believe this particular type of locomotive was typically used in "helper service," pushing coal trains over the mountains.

The design comes from the need for a very large firebox on locomotives burning hard coal. Hard coal required a fairly thin fire to burn well, thus a large area was required to burn the amount of fuel required to generate enough steam. The fact that they burned the lowest quality of coal available didn't help!

This particular locomotive is interesting in that it is a true compound; notice the size of the front low pressure cylinders compared to the high pressure cylinders on the rear engine. This makes it a "true" Mallet.

It turned out that compounding didn't work as well as expected on railroad locomotives, and later articulated locomotives were built as "simple" engines.

I've never seen any of the larger Mother Hubbards in service, but I did see several of the smaller 0-6-0s and 0-4-0s in active service.

BTW & FWIW - in the 70's we lived in McCloud for four years. Beautiful country in that end of the state!

Erie 0-8-8-0 Camelback

At Port Jervis, N.Y., in 1911.I model trains in HO scale. I have never seen anything like this engine. I have seen 0-4-0, 0-6-0 and 0-8-0 camel engines, but never an articulated camel. I have a 2-6-6-2 articulated and have seen the 4-8-8-4 UP engines, but not this one. Anyone know where I could get more pictures of this engine?

Don Rowland -

[You could try contacting the person who posted this picture. First sign up for a user account, log in, click on his username, and then "contact." - Dave]

Photo's History?

What might you know of the photo's history? Interesting shot of a very rare locomotive.

Don Hall
Yreka, CA

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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