Lima Super-Power Steam Locomotives

Lima would produce steam locomotives for just three more years after issuing this beautiful, spiral-bound book with hard covers advertising its products. The book has photos and detailed specifications of nearly twenty large steam locomotives, ranging from the Southern Pacific GS-4 (a class that included the still-operating 4449) to Central of Georgia class K 4-8-4 locomotives.

Click image to download a 46.5-MB PDF of this 60-page booklet.

Also shown are a number of locomotives that technically aren’t super-power, which by definition requires such a large firebox that it needs a four-wheel trailing truck. The non-super-power locomotives include a Shay built for Western Maryland; a number of smaller locomotives, ranging from 0-6-0s to 2-8-2s, built for the U.S. Army; two Mikados (2-8-2) built for the Akron, Canton & Youngstown Railway; and 200 more Mikados ordered by SNCF at the end of the war.

Although a significant portion of the booklet is devoted to showing the quality of Lima’s locomotives, what stands out is that each order of locomotives was essentially unique, with differing lengths, piston sizes, wheel diameters, and so forth. Since orders of 200 locomotives were rare–the largest order aside from the one from SNCF was for just 40 locos and there were plenty for just one or two–Lima and other steam locomotive manufacturers were unable to take advantage of the assembly line techniques General Motors applied to its standardized Diesels.

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