Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway aka NC&StL, NC&Stl.L, ncstl,  




4-8-4 J2's (565 - 569) - Brief History

The 4-8-4 series of locomotives were unquestionably the finest steam locomotives on "The Dixie Line."  Throughout the U.S., 4-8-4s were traditionally classed as "Northerns," as this wheel arrangement was first conceived by the Northern Pacific.  Running as it did through the very heart of Dixieland, the NC&StL officially classed their first 4-8-4 series of locomotives, the J2 series delivered by Alco in 1930, as "Dixies," road numbers 565 - 569. Their story largely unheralded during the depression and later lost in the limelight of the wartime J3's, these 5 nonetheless paved the way. 

Highly advanced for the time, they came equipped with such innovative features as lateral motion  journal boxes for the forward-most two driving axles, cast one piece steel frame cast integral with both cylinders, 70 inch drivers, and a vastly improved steaming capacity when compared with just about anything then available (over 4,000 square feet of heating area at 250 P.S.I.). These features made them uniquely suited to the needs of the NC&StL's curves and grades, and in both the passenger and freight role. 

While these 5 actually coined the "Dixie" classification name, they were referred to by their crews as "Gliders" for their ability to seemingly glide in and out of curves. They were the smallest U.S. 4-8-4s ever built, and were beloved by the road crews who operated them as well as by the maintainers who kept them running. Because of their wonderful ability to handle the tightest curves, they served the mainline from Atlanta to Memphis.

Also note the unique lateral (or outside) journals of the leading trucks.

4-8-4 J2 | J2 Specifications |J2 photos


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