On the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
, locomotives were always considered of great importance, and the railroad was involved in many experiments and innovations.
The name Tom Thumb
is forever associated with the B&O, as the first steam locomotive
built in the United States for an American railroad. It was built strictly as a demonstrator, but it was succeeded by a series of similar locomotives (the "Grasshoppers" and the "Crabs") designed by Ross Winans
, the first head of motive power on the railroad. Early B&O designs were quite unlike those used on other roads, due to in-house design and the emphasis of pulling power. 4-2-0
locomotives from Norris (represented by the "Lafayette" reproduction in the B&O museum's collection) were the anomaly on a railroad which was already building eight-coupled (0-8-0
) locomotives well before the Civil War. By the beginning of the war, new power on the railroad had become more conventional, though many of the older, unconventional designs remained.
Up until 1884 locomotive numbers were reused when locomotives were retired; numbers were not allocated sequentially (unless lower numbers were used up). In 1884, in order to reduce confusion, all locomotives were renumbered to group like locomotives together, and thereafter numbers were retired along with the locomotive to which they referred.
The Baltimore Belt Line and electrification
John W. Garrett
's desire to have a line... Read More