Coast-to-Coast Tenders

5 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    August, 2006
  • 206 posts
Coast-to-Coast Tenders
Posted by SPer on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 3:52 PM

How did the Pennsylvania Railroad came up with crazy name coast-to-coast tenders.I don't know if they ran both coasts or this is a inside joke

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,955 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 5:42 PM

"Coast-to-coast" was a gag name.  Compared to some tenders on other 'roads they certainly were huge, but no way could they really go coast to coast.

  • Member since
    September, 2011
  • 3,988 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 9:23 PM

They did go from the East Coast to the "Third (great lakes) Coast".

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 11,073 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 10:18 AM

They were extended-range tenders that weren't as dependent on track pans as the tenders behind NYC Hudsons which had a large coal capacity and a relatively small water capacity.  I've seen pictures of them behind M1's but have read that some were attached to K4's.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 14,488 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 10:28 AM

Yes, some did get attached to K4s.  I think a few Mikados may have had them too, if memory is correct.  Of course the T1s and Js also had large tenders.

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 6,622 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 11:51 AM

I've seen pictures of them behind M1's but have read that some were attached to K4's.

There is a picture of a K4 with one of the long-distance designs in one of the Staufer Pennsy Power books -- it is as long as the engine.

A key issue emergent with the coast-to-coast tenders was the dual problem of good water treatment combined with truly enormous water rate associated with late SuperPower designs, notably the PRR Q2 and V1.  It becomes complicated to put pH 11 deoxygenated water out in track pans to be whipped to a froth with high-speed scooping, and while you can design pan systems for grades the usual kinds were emphatically NOT, so PRR went for cisterns sized relative to fuel capacity. 

NYC went the other way, the most interesting to me being the evolved pedestal tender developed for the C1a (which had a lower nominal water rate per hp than either the Hudsons or the Niagara design).  This was specified to have no less than 64t bunker capacity, which was really the only true 'coast-to-coast' nonstop design not requiring stopping for either fuel or water specifically between Harmon and the Chicago area.

Meanwhile N&W had a somewhat more sensible approach, putting the enhanced cistern capacity in a completely separate vehicle (which ISTR Ed King calling an A-tank) as part of a very sophisticated way to balance train load, timing, and speed between a specific pair of points.  It's fascinating to read about this ... and to see some of the pictures of locomotives arriving with very little fuel remaining in their bunkers...


Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!


Get the Classic Trains twice-monthly newsletter