The Lima 0-4-0T (or 0-4-0F; the "F" meaning "fireless") Fireless Switcher is a type of 0-4-0T fireless steam locomotive built by the Lima Locomotive Works of Lima, Ohio from the 1920s to the 1940s, with several numerous versions and variants also built during that time.
They were a series of switchers built mainly for large and hazardous industrial areas to where a single spark from a Shay-type could possibly cause a fire. The design of each unit varied, and only names and numbers distinguished them because they were never given an actual "type" name (other than their respective designations).
NCR (National Cash Register Company) of Dayton, Ohio was one of the first companies to use this particular type of switcher, and owned three. Known as Rubicon, South Park, and Dayton. Only very few others (of various designs) were built for other industries, and only about 4 out of the many various types are preserved (one of them being the Rubicon).
- The fireless switcher is powered mainly by heated steam. There is; however, no firebox to power the steam locomotive.
- Instead, heated water would be used to create steam, which would power the locomotive and have it run at slow speeds perfect for switching or shunting freight cars, or trucks in crammed, narrow industrial areas.
- No coal tenders or bunkers are/were added either, because they were unnecessary due to its obvious name.
- This was the only type of fireless switcher to be built by Lima before World War 2. Every other fireless steam locomotive was built with another company during and after.
- Other companies and builders; however, have also built their own versions of fireless steam locomotives, yet Lima was one of the only other companies (in North America) to design and manufacture successful 0-4-0T types.