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The 'Pioneer': Light Passenger Locomotive of 1851 - United States Bulletin 240, Contributions from the Museum - of History and Technology, paper 42, 1964


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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The 'Pioneer': Light Passenger Locomotiveof 1851, by John H. WhiteThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.orgTitle: The 'Pioneer': Light Passenger Locomotive of 1851United States Bulletin 240, Contributions from the Museumof History and Technology, paper 42, 1964Author: John H. WhiteRelease Date: February 23, 2009 [EBook #28160]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK LIGHT PASSENGER LOCOMOTIVE ***Produced by Chris Curnow, Louise Pattison, Joseph Cooperand the Online Distributed Proofreading Team athttp://www.pgdp.netThis is Paper 42 from the Smithsonian Institution United States National Museum Bulletin 240, comprising Papers 34-44, which will also beavailable as a complete e-book.The front material, introduction and relevant index entries from the Bulletin are included in each single-paper e-book.Underlined Figure numbers link to high resolution copies of selected images.Corrections to typographical errors are underlined like this. Mouse over to view the original text.SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTIONUNITED STATES NATIONAL MUSEUMBULLETIN 240Smithsonian Press LogoSMITHSONIAN PRESSMUSEUM OF HISTORY AND TECHNOLOGYContributionsFrom theMuseumof History andTechnologyPapers 34-44On Science and ...



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Produced by Chris Curnow, Louise Pattison, Joseph Cooper and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
MUSEUM OF HISTORY AND TECHNOLOGY Contributions From the Museum of History and Technology Papers 34-44 On Science and Technology SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION · WASHINGTON, D.C. 1966
This is Paper 42 from the Smithsonian Institution United States National Museum Bulletin 240, comprising Papers 34-44, which will also be available as a complete e-book. The front material, introduction and relevant index entries from the Bulletin are included in each single-paper e-book. Underlined Figure numbers link to high resolution copies of selected images. Corrections to typographical errors are underlined like this. Mouse over to view the original text.
 muesuM tinU dnateta SedontiNas fot gn stideehnUtes  StaonalNati
Figure 1.—The "Pioneer." Figure 1.—The “Pioneer,” built in 1851, shown here as renovated and exhibited in the Museum of History and Technology, 1964. In 1960 the locomotive was given to the Smithsonian Institution by the Pennsylvania Railroad through John S. Fair, Jr. (Smithsonian photo 63344B.)
John H. White
Contributions from The Museum of History and Technology: Paper 42
244 249 251
The “Pioneer”: Light Passenger Locomotive of 1851 In the Museum of History and Technology John H. White
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The “PIONEER”:  LIGHT PASSENGER LOCOMOTIVE of 1851 In the Museum of History and Technology In the mid-nineteenth century there was a renewed interest in the light, single-axle locomotives which were proving so very successful for passenger traffic. These engines were built in limited number by nearly every well-known maker, and among the few remaining is the 6-wheel “Pioneer,” on display in the Museum of History and Technology, Smithsonian Institution. This locomotive is a true representation of a light passenger locomotive of 1851 and a historic relic of the mid-nineteenth century. The Author: John H. White is associate curator of transportation in the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of History and Technology. The “Pioneer” is an unusual locomotive and on first inspection would seem to be imperfect for service on an American railroad of the 1850’s. This locomotive has only one pair of driving wheels and no truck, an arrangement which marks it as very different from the highly successful standard 8-wheel engine of this period. All six wheels of the Pioneer  are rigidly attached to the frame. It is only half the size of an 8-wheel engine of 1851 and about the same size of the 4—2—0 so common in this country some 20 years earlier. Its general arrangement is that of the rigid English locomotive which had, years earlier, proven unsuitable for use on U.S. railroads. These objections are more apparent than real, for the Pioneer , and other engines of the same design, proved eminently successful when used in the service for which they were built, that of light passenger traffic. The Pioneer’s  rigid wheelbase is no problem, for when it is compared to that of an 8-wheel engine it is found to be about four feet less; and its small size is no problem when we realize it was not intended for heavy service. Figure 2, a diagram, is a comparison of the Pioneer and a standard 8-wheel locomotive. Since the service life of the Pioneer  was spent on the Cumberland Valley Railroad, a brief account of that line is necessary to an understanding of the service history of this locomotive. The Cumberland Valley Railroad Exhibits of the “Pioneer” The Cumberland Valley Railroad (C.V.R.R.) was The Pioneer has been a historic relic since 1901. In the chartered on April 2, 1831, to connect the Susquehanna and Potomac Rivers by a railroad fall of that year minor repairs were made to the through the Cumberland Valley in south-central locomotive so that it might be used in the Pennsylvania. The Cumberland Valley, with its rich sesquicentennial celebration at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. farmland and iron-ore deposits, was a natural north- On October 22, 1901, the engine was ready for south route long used as a portage between these two service, but as it neared Carlisle a copper flue burst. rivers. Construction began in 1836, and because of the The fire was extinguished and the Pioneer was pushed level valley some 52 miles of line was completed into town by another engine. In the twentieth century, the between Harrisburg and Chambersburg by November Pioneer  was displayed at the Louisiana Purchase 16, 1837. In 1860, by way of the Franklin Railroad, the Exposition, St. Louis, Missouri, in 1904, and at the line extended to Hagerstown, Maryland. It was not until Wheeling, West Virginia, semicentennial in 1913. In 1871 that the Cumberland Valley Railroad reached its 1927 it joined many other historic locomotives at the projected southern terminus, the Potomac River, by Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s “Fair of the Iron Horse” extending to Powells Bend, Maryland. Winchester, which commemorated the first one hundred years of Virginia, was entered in 1890 giving the Cumberland that company. From about 1913 to 1925 the Pioneer Valley Railroad about 165 miles of line. The railroad also appeared a number of times at the Apple-blossom which had become associated with the Pennsylvania Festival at Winchester, Virginia. In 1933-1934 it was Railroad in 1859, was merged with that company in displayed at the World’s Fair in Chicago, and in 1948 1919. at the Railroad Fair in the same city. Between 1934  By 1849 the Cumberland Valley Railroad was in poorIannsdti tutMe,a rPchhi la1d9e4lp7h iiat,  Pweansn seylxvhainbiitae.d at the Franklin condition; the strap-rail track was worn out and new locomotives were needed. Captain Daniel Tyler was hired to supervise rebuilding the line with T-rail, and easy grades and curves. Tyler recommended that a young friend of his, Alba F. Smith, be put in charge of modernizing and acquiring new equipment. Smith recommended to the railroad’s Board of Managers on June 25, 1851, that “much lighter engines than those now in use may be substituted for the passenger transportation and thereby effect a great saving both in point of fuel and road repairs....” [1]  Smith may well have gone on to explain that the road was operating 3- and 4-car passenger trains with a locomotive weighing about 20 tons; the total weight was about 75 tons, equalling the uneconomical deadweight of 1200 pounds per passenger. Since speed was not an important consideration (30 mph being a good average), the use of lighter engines would improve the deadweight-to-passenger ratio and would not result in a slower schedule.
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Columbia Pioneer Hudson River Railroad Cumberland Valley Railroad Lowell Machine Shop, 1852 Seth Wilmarth, 1851 Wt. 27-1/2 tons (engine only) 12-1/2 tons Cyl. 16-1/2 x 22 inches 8-1/2 x 14 inches Wheel diam. 84 inches 54 inches
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