|Predecessor||Lima Machine Works|
|Fate||Merged with Baldwin Locomotive Works in September 1951|
|Successor||Lima-Hamilton Corporation (July 1947)|
Lima Locomotive Works was an American firm that manufactured railroad locomotives from the 1870s through the 1950s. The company took the most distinctive part of its name from its main shop's location in Lima, Ohio ( /ˈlaɪmə/ LY-mə  ). The shops were located between the Erie Railroad main line, the Baltimore & Ohio's Cincinnati-Toledo main line and the Nickel Plate Road main line and shops.
The company is best known for producing the Shay geared logging-steam locomotive, developed by Ephraim Shay, and for William E. Woodard's "Super Power" advanced steam locomotive concept – exemplified by the prototype 2-8-4 Berkshire, Lima demonstrator A-1. In World War II the Lima plant produced the M4A1 version of the M4 Sherman tank.
In 1878 James Alley contracted the Lima Machine Works to build a steam locomotive that Ephraim Shay had designed. In April 1880, Lima rebuilt Ephraim Shay's original design, using vertically side-mounted pistons mounted on the right, connected to a drive line on the outside of the trucks. The Shay was geared down to provide more slow-moving, pulling ability for use in the lumber industry. The first Shay locomotive was built in 1880; it was such a success that many people in the lumber industry wanted one. To accommodate the new demand for the locomotive, Shay licensed the right to build his locomotive to the Lima Machine Works, which expanded and began to ship Shay locomotives to lumbermen across the frontier. Two years later, locomotives were the main product being produced by the Lima Machine Works, which would produce over 300 locomotives during the next ten years.
After a serious fire, a new shop was opened in 1902 and Shay production continued. Then, with initial demand for low-speed geared locomotives well on the way to being sated, and the new facilities in place, Lima moved into the heavy railroad locomotive field.
Success returned to Lima in the 1920s with the new concept of "Super Power" developed by Lima's mechanical engineer William E. Woodard. By making a number of significant changes to maximize a steam locomotive's capacity to generate and utilize steam, Woodard was able to make such locomotives significantly more powerful and faster. He did this by starting in 1922 with the H-10 experimental heavy 2-8-2 design for the New York Central (Michigan Central 8000) and applying both relatively new science (the Cole ratios), and every efficiency-enhancing tool available – a larger firebox, increased superheat, a feedwater heater, improved draughting, higher boiler pressure, streamlined steam passages and a trailing-truck booster engine, and by applying limited cutoff (the range of steam valve admission settings) to prevent locomotive engineers from using excessive steam at starting. The 2-8-2 thus produced was demonstrated to be 26% more efficient overall than its immediate predecessor, and the NYC bought 301 locomotives.
A large increase in firebox area (from 66 square feet (6.1 m2) on the H-10 to 100 square feet (9.3 m2) on the A-1), characteristic of his work, necessitated adding another axle to the trailing truck, thus creating the 2-8-4 wheel arrangement. Built in the spring of 1925, the demonstrator owned by Lima was dubbed the A-1. In addition to supporting the very large firebox and grate, the four-wheeled trailing truck carried the ash pan. For this purpose, the truck was redesigned as an articulated extension of the locomotive frame. The result was an ash pan that could hold more ash, allowing the locomotive to travel farther between cleanings. For roads that burned coal, this was a significant innovation. But it was not without tradeoffs. The articulated frame reduced weight on the driving wheels, which did not aid tractive effort (pulling ability). The locomotives so configured also had more difficulty staying on the rails in reverse, particularly through yard trackwork like switch frogs.
The locomotive quickly proved to be 26-30% more efficient than the New York Central H-10. After a highly successful series of tests in the mid-1920s it was sent around the country to make the idea of "Super Power" known. The first forty-five were purchased by New York Central's subsidiary Boston & Albany following initial road testing across the summit of the Berkshire Hills, and so the 2-8-4 wheel arrangement came to be known as the "Berkshire" on most railroads. The prototype itself was later sold to the Illinois Central as part of an order for 50 similar locomotives. Woodard summed up "Super Power" by defining it as "horsepower at speed". Previous design principles emphasized tractive effort (pulling ability) rather than speed. By 1949 some 613 Berkshires had been constructed for North American service, of which twenty are preserved – at least two in operating condition (NKP 765 and Pere Marquette 1225), both Lima products.
There were at least three successive waves of "Super Power". The first began with NYC 8000 and the A-1, and included Missouri Pacific 2-8-4s and Texas & Pacific 2-10-4s. These locomotives had conventional 63" driving wheels. In 1927, the Erie Railroad took delivery of a "second-phase" Berkshire with 70" driving wheels, capable not only of great power but higher speed; in turn, this design evolved into the Chesapeake & Ohio T-1 2-10-4s of 1930, with 69" driving wheels. The "third-phase" of the later 1930s and war years can be identified with locomotives such as the homebuilt N&W 2-6-6-4s, C&O/Virginian 2-6-6-6 and virtually all American 4-8-4s. Boiler pressures rose as high as 310 lbs/sq.in.; thermic siphons added to the firebox and combustion chamber added 8% to the efficiency of the boiler; roller bearings appeared on main axle boxes and sometimes on running gear. And the "Super Power" concept had extended to other builders such as Alco (the Union Pacific Big Boy) and Baldwin (the Santa Fe 5001- and 5011-class 2-10-4s). The four-wheel trailing truck became the standard for large locomotives (i.e., 4-8-4, 2-10-4, 4-6-6-4, 2-8-8-4), though the articulated main frame did not. Many railroads, particularly roads like the Santa Fe (which favored oil-burning locomotives and, therefore, did not need the oversized ash pan), adopted many of the Super Power features but utilized a conventional full frame and separate trailing truck.
The construction of the first 2-8-4 locomotive is documented in David Weitzman's book, Superpower: Making of a steam locomotive. David also explains some of the innovations it made at the time.
While delivering the first group of 2-6-6-6 locomotives in 1941, Lima miscalculated and misrepresented the locomotives' weight. Maintenance crews recalculated the weight, and discovered that the H-8s weighed 771,300 pounds, which was thousands of pounds heavier than Lima first claimed. The train crews that worked with the H-8s, whom were getting paid based on the locomotive's weight on the driving wheels at the time, started seeing this misrepresentation as an attack on their livelihood. The C&O was forced to pay their crews thousands of dollars to make up for lost payment, and they subsequently sued Lima for over 3 million dollars in 1944.  Lima also lost their pride in building fine machinery, and they would subsequently lose more money within the following years.
In April 1947, the firm merged with General Machinery Corporation of Hamilton, Ohio, to form the Lima-Hamilton Corporation.
Lima-Hamilton’s last steam locomotive was Nickel Plate Road No. 779, a 2-8-4 "Berkshire", which left the erecting halls in May 1949. That same year Lima promoted a new wheel arrangement, the 4-8-6. This would have allowed an even larger firebox than the 4-8-4. No example of the type was built, however.
From 1949 to 1951 Lima-Hamilton produced a total of 175 diesel locomotives, in 7 different models.
In 1951, Lima-Hamilton merged with Baldwin Locomotive Works to form Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton (BLH). The Lima-Hamilton line of diesels was discontinued, in favor of Baldwin's existing line. Though Lima and Baldwin had been known for high-quality steam locomotives, their line of diesel-electric locomotives was unable to compete with EMD, Alco, and GE. BLH left the locomotive business in 1956.
For a time, Clark Equipment Company manufactured Lima-brand construction cranes in the old plant. Most of the company's records and builder's drawings have been transferred and are housed in the California State Railroad Museum's library in Sacramento, California.
Many Lima-built steam locomotives are preserved across the United States. Numerous Lima-built engines are still operational, especially Shay-type locomotives. Shays are operated at the Colorado Railroad Museum, the Cass Scenic Railroad, the Georgetown Loop Railroad, the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad, and the Roaring Camp and Big Trees Narrow Gauge Railroad. Other widely known preserved Lima-built steam locomotives include Southern Pacific 4449, Nickel Plate Road 765, Pere Marquette 1225, Chesapeake and Ohio 614, Texas and Pacific 610, Atlanta and West Point 290, Boston and Maine 3713, Tioga Lumber Company Shay C/N 1568 in Harrod, Ohio, and Chesapeake & Ohio 1601 - an Allegheny locomotive displayed indoors at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
Lima-built USATC S160 Class 5197 is preserved at the Churnet Valley Railway in Staffordshire, UK. In Heritage Park Historical Village in Calgary, Alberta operates a 0-6-0 Switcher Locomotive CPR 2024. Built in 1944 by lima. It was originally US Army 4076 and was never owned by Canadian Pacific Railway.
A geared steam locomotive is a type of steam locomotive which uses gearing, usually reduction gearing, in the drivetrain, as opposed to the common directly driven design.
The Shay locomotive is a geared steam locomotive that originated and was primarily used in North America. The locomotives were built to the patents of Ephraim Shay, who has been credited with the popularization of the concept of a geared steam locomotive. Although the design of Ephraim Shay's early locomotives differed from later ones, there is a clear line of development that joins all Shays. Shay locomotives were especially suited to logging, mining and industrial operations and could operate successfully on steep or poor quality track.
The Baldwin Locomotive Works (BLW) was an American manufacturer of railroad locomotives from 1825 to 1951. Originally located in Philadelphia, it moved to nearby Eddystone, Pennsylvania, in the early 20th century. The company was for decades the world's largest producer of steam locomotives, but struggled to compete as demand switched to diesel locomotives. Baldwin produced the last of its 70,000-plus locomotives in 1951, before merging with the Lima-Hamilton Corporation on September 11, 1951, to form the Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corporation.
Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives, a 2-10-4 locomotive has two leading wheels on one axle, usually in a Bissel truck, ten coupled driving wheels on five axles, and four trailing wheels on two axles, usually in a bogie. These were referred to as the Texas type in most of the United States, the Colorado type on the Burlington Route, and the Selkirk type in Canada.
A 2-8-8-4 steam locomotive, under the Whyte notation, has two leading wheels, two sets of eight driving wheels, and a four-wheel trailing truck. The type was generally named the Yellowstone, a name given it by the first owner, the Northern Pacific Railway, whose lines ran near Yellowstone National Park. Seventy-two Yellowstone-type locomotives were built for four U.S. railroads.
The New York Central Hudson was a popular 4-6-4 "Hudson" type steam locomotive built by the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) and the Lima Locomotive Works in three series from 1927 to 1938 for the New York Central Railroad. Named after the Hudson River, the 4-6-4 wheel arrangement came to be known as the "Hudson" type in the United States, as these locomotives were the first examples built and used in North America. Built for high-speed passenger train work, the Hudson locomotives were famously known for hauling the New York Central's crack passenger trains, such as the 20th Century Limited and the Empire State Express. With the onset of diesel locomotives by the mid-20th Century, all Hudson locomotives were retired and subsequently scrapped by 1957, with none preserved today except for a converted tender from J-1d 5313, which is preserved at the Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Under the Whyte notation, a 2-8-4 is a steam locomotive that has two unpowered leading wheels, followed by eight coupled and powered driving wheels, and four trailing wheels. This locomotive type is most often referred to as a Berkshire, though the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway used the name Kanawha for their 2-8-4s. In Europe, this wheel arrangement was mostly seen in mainline passenger express locomotives and, in certain countries, in tank locomotives.
A 4-4-4-4 steam locomotive, in the Whyte notation for describing locomotive wheel arrangements, has a four-wheel leading truck, two sets of four driving wheels, and a four-wheel trailing truck. While it would be possible to make an articulated locomotive of this arrangement, the only 4-4-4-4s ever built were duplex locomotives—with two sets of cylinders driving two sets of driven wheels in one rigid frame, essentially a 4-8-4 with divided drive.
The 2-6-6-6 is an articulated locomotive type with two leading wheels, two sets of six driving wheels and six trailing wheels. Only two classes of the 2-6-6-6 type were built. One was the "Allegheny" class, built by the Lima Locomotive Works. The name comes from the locomotive's first service with the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway beginning in 1941, where it was used to haul loaded coal trains over the Allegheny Mountains. The other was the "Blue Ridge" class for the Virginian Railway. These were some of the most powerful reciprocating steam locomotives ever built, at 7,500 hp, and one of the heaviest at 386 tons for the locomotive itself plus 215 tons for the loaded tender.
The BLH S12 was a 1,200-horsepower (890 kW) diesel-electric locomotive intended for use in yard switching. Utilizing a turbocharged 6-cylinder version of the powerful 606A diesel prime mover, S12s were known for their "lugging" power, despite being temperamental. Like most BLH switchers, the S12 had AAR Type-A switcher trucks in a B-B wheel arrangement. 451 units were built between 1951 and 1956, when BLH left the locomotive market.
The Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad (YMSPRR) is a historic 3 ft narrow gauge railroad with two operating steam train locomotives located near Fish Camp, California, in the Sierra National Forest near the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park. Rudy Stauffer organized the YMSPRR in 1961, utilizing historic railroad track, rolling stock and locomotives to construct a tourist line along the historic route of the Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Company.
Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives, a 4-8-6 locomotive would have had four leading wheels, eight coupled driving wheels and six trailing wheels.
The BLH AS-16 was a diesel-electric locomotive rated at 1,625 hp (1,212 kW), that rode on two-axle trucks, having a B-B wheel arrangement. It was the successor to Baldwin's DRS-4-4-1500 model, and remained in production until Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton quit the locomotive manufacturing business in 1956.
The BLH S8 was an 875-horsepower (652 kW) diesel-electric locomotive intended for use in yard switching. The Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corporation produced a total of 63 units between 1951 and 1953. Of these, nine were "calf" units built for Oliver Iron Mining Company in Minnesota. A tenth calf had been built for them on order, but when delivery was refused, it was fitted with a cab, and converted to a regular S8.
The A-3177 (LT-2500) was a diesel-electric transfer-unit locomotive, built by the Lima-Hamilton Corporation between 1950 and 1951. The A-3177 was the final locomotive model produced by Lima-Hamilton before the company merged with the Baldwin Locomotive Works in September 1951 to form the Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corporation (BLH).
The A-3080 (LS-1000) is a diesel-electric switching locomotive built between May 1949 and April 1950, by the Lima-Hamilton Corporation of Lima, Ohio, United States. The A-3080 is a 1,000 hp switcher, which became the standard for Lima's designs. By changing fuel rack settings, the A-3080 was upgraded to the A-3170, producing 1,200 horsepower from the same turbocharged Hamilton T89SA four-stroke, eight cylinder inline diesel engine, a Westinghouse generator and four Westinghouse traction motors provided the 74,508 lbf of tractive effort.
The BLH RS-12 railroad locomotive was a 1,200 hp (895 kW) diesel-electric road-switcher configured with an AAR type B-B wheel arrangement. It was the follow-on model to the former Baldwin DRS-4-4-1000, first introduced in 1948. It was more successful than its predecessor selling 50 units to eight railroads, versus 22 units to three railroads. Only one railroad, The Pennsylvania Railroad bought both models.
"Superpower steam" was a term coined by Lima Locomotive Works in the mid-1920s, referring to steam locomotives with booster-equipped four-wheel trailing trucks supporting large fireboxes, as well as enlarged superheaters. The wheel arrangements introduced in the 1920s for these locomotives were the 4-6-4's, 2-8-4's, 4-8-4's and 2-10-4's; and in the 1930s, the 2-6-6-4's. The term "superpower" was later often applied to all locomotives with 4-wheel trailing truck arrangements, though many did not have boosters and almost all steam of any wheel arrangement built after that time had large superheaters.
A "Berkshire" type steam locomotive refers to a steam locomotive built with a 2-8-4 wheel configuration. The design was initially intended to improve on the USRA Mikado design (2-8-2), which was deemed to lack sufficient speed and horsepower. That was overcome by the inclusion of a larger, 100-square-foot (9.3 m2) firebox, requiring an extra trailing axle, giving the locomotive its distinctive 2-8-4 wheel arrangement.
The Louisville and Nashville M-1 was a class of forty-two 2-8-4 steam locomotives built during and after World War II as dual-service locomotives. They were nicknamed "Big Emmas" by crews and were built in three batches between 1942 and 1949.
Coordinates: 40°43′02″N84°06′35″W / 40.71714°N 84.10961°W