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Whyte notation

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The Whyte notation is a form of classification for steam locomotives,
Whyte Notation

A graphic of the Whyte notation, with the wheel-arrangement shown being a 4-8-4. (Four leading wheels, eight drive wheels, and four trailing wheels.

(which is also the main form of classifying steam locomotive wheel arrangements) is a wheel arrangement classification developed by Frederick Whyte in the mid-1800s. The notation classifies different forms of steam locomotives, as well as distinguishing them from one another. There are also different nicknames for the different types and forms of wheel arrangements as well.

How to read Whyte notationEdit

Whyte notation works by counting the wheels, and not the axles unlike the AAR and UIC classifications. Because of this, all the numbers in the Whyte notation are even and are never odd. There are 3-6 numbers in Whyte notation, separated by hyphens (-). The first number was always the leading wheels and the last number was always the trailing numbers. The 1-3 numbers in the center were the driving wheels, which moved the locomotive. A plus sign (+) between two groups of three numbers usually denotes that it is an articulated Garratt locomotive. A notation that contains 4 or 5 numbers is a Mallet articulated locomotive.

ProblemsEdit

A few wheel arrangements can't be covered by the Whyte notation. This includes a Turkish arrangement that started out as a 2-6-0. But when a pair of carrying wheels were added to the design, between the central and rear driving axles to fix an axle load issue, it cannot be explained using the Whyte notation. Some steam locomotives, although rare, don't rest their driving wheels on the rails. This is also impossible to explain using the Whyte notation. The driving wheels rest atop other wheels. This was be done to try to multiply the power (or speed) of the locomotive, or to act like gearing. Such designs were not set into production by railroad (railway) companies. Either through cost, height or other factors such as axle weight, they weren't able to be used on most railroads (railways).

Wheel arrangementsEdit

Experimental 4-4-4 steam locomotive

An experimental 4-4-4 steam locomotive.

There are many different forms of wheel arrangements for steam locomotives, this is an incomplete list.

Such examples are:


Non-articulated types:Edit

  • 0-4-0 (Example would the replica of the Best Friend)
  • 0-2-2 "Northumbrian"
  • 2-2-0 "Planet"
  • 0-4-4 "Forney"
  • 4-4-0 "American" ("Eight-wheeler")
  • 4-4-4 (hybrid)
  • 4-6-0 "Ten-wheeler"
    4-4-0 American Standard

    A 4-4-0 "American Standard" steam locomotive.

  • 4-6-2 "Pacific"
  • 2-4-6 "Adriatic"
  • 4-4-2 "Atlantic"
  • 4-6-4 "Hudson"
  • 0-8-0 "Eight-coupled"
  • 2-6-0 "Mogul"
  • 2-6-2 "Prairie"
  • 2-8-0 "Consolidation"
  • 2-8-2 "Mikado" (or "Emperor")
  • 2-8-4 "Berkshire"
  • 4-8-2 "Mountain"
  • 4-8-4 "Northern"
  • 0-10-0 "Ten-coupled"
  • 2-10-0 "Decapod"
  • 4-10-0 "El Gobernador"
  • 4-10-2 "Overland"
  • 2-10-4 "Texas"
  • 4-12-2 "Union Pacific" (unique to the actual railroad)
  • 4-14-4 "AA20" (only one of its kind)

Tenderless (tank engine) types:Edit

Suffixes: "T": "side-tank", "ST": "saddle-tank" (considered to be a modification), "PT": "pannier-tank", "WT": "well-tank".

  • 2-2-0T
  • 0-4-0T
  • 2-4-0T
    GWR 57xx

    A GWR 57xx or 5700 0-6-0PT (0-6-0T) tank engine.

  • 0-6-0T
  • 0-6-2T
  • 4-6-2T
  • 0-8-0T
  • 0-8-2T
  • 0-8-4T
  • 2-8-0T

Articulated LocomotivesEdit

Mallet LocomotivesEdit

  • 0-4-4-0 "BB II" (German)
  • 0-6-6-0 "Erie" (unique to the actual railroad)
  • 2-6-6-2 (rare)
    2-6-6-2ST

    Black Hills Central railroad 2-6-6-2ST (or 2-6-6-2T) No. 110, which is the last of its kind. Creative Commons License

  • 2-6-6-4 (Norfolk and Western was the only railroad to own this type)
  • 2-6-6-6 "Allegheny/Blue Ridge" (Chesapeake & Ohio and the Virginian railroads were the only two railroad to own this actual type; the heaviest locomotive ever built[1][2])
  • 4-6-6-2 MM-2 "Cab-forward" (from "AC Series" Southern Pacific cab forward steam locomotives; only railroad to own this type)
  • 4-6-6-4 "Challenger" (UP 3985 is the only one of the largest steam locomotives to actually operate steam excursions as of today)
  • 4-8-8-4 "Big Boy" (Union Pacific was the only railroad to own this type, and is the second heaviest steam locomotive ever built[1][2])
  • 2-10-10-2 "Santa Fe" (unique to actual railroad; one of the longest types steam locomotives ever built)
  • 2-8-8-8-2 "Triplex" (Erie railroad; three steam locomotives ever built with the most wheels)
  • 2-8-8-8-4 "Triplex" (Virginian railroad; one of the steam locomotives ever built with the most wheels)

MeyerEdit

  • 0-4-0+0-4-0
  • 0-6-2+0-6-2
  • 0-6-0+0-6-0

GarrattEdit

  • 0-4-0+0-4-0
  • 0-6-0+0-6-0
  • 2-6-0+0-6-2
  • 2-6-2+2-6-2
  • 4-6-2+2-6-4
  • 2-8-2+2-8-2
  • 4-8-2+2-8-4

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 http://books.google.com.au/books?id=XVMN0UcZFUgC&pg=PA90&dq=allegheny+class+locomotives&hl=en&sa=X&ei=0SJjUuSgB8WciQeOrIHQDA&ved=0CEoQuwUwBQ#v=onepage&q=allegheny%20class%20locomotives&f=false
  2. 2.0 2.1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2-6-6-6

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