By 1940, C&O was looking for some new muscle to push, pull, and drag coal loads over the mountains between West Virginia and the eastern seaboard. Lima Locomotive Works knew they could design something that would fill C&O's needs even better than the big-boilered Texas 2-10-4s the railroad considered buying. The resulting locomotive was the 2-6-6-6 Allegheny (named for the tough mountain range it had to conquer), first delivered in 1941. The six-wheeled trailing truck that gave this locomotive a new wheel design was necessary because the firebox was located completely behind the drivers.
Not only did engineers have to add an extra set of wheels to the trailing truck, but they had to give the tender an unusual fourth pair of wheels on the rear truck. The Class H-8 Alleghenies required huge tenders-each carrying 25,000 gallons of water and 25 tons of coal. But because they still had to fit on the C&O's 115-foot turntables, the tank was made taller in the rear. The extra weight required extra wheels to support it. Other railroads, like the Virginian Railroad, that had to traverse similar mountainous territory also bought Alleghenies.
M.T.H. is proud to return the 2-6-6-6 Allegheny to our RailKing line, this time in all-new Imperial detail.
Did You Know?
Almost half the Alleghenies, which the War Production Board allowed to continue being built throughout World War II, were equipped with steam heat and signal lines for passenger service. These were sometimes used for troop trains.