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Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Chessie's Famous “Big Mike”

C&O NO. 2705

 

—Built by American Locomotive Co., 1943-C&O Class K-4, 2-8-4 type —

 
The Chessie's Famous "Big Mike" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 16, 2011
1. The Chessie's Famous "Big Mike" Marker
Inscription. “Steam’s finest hour” was one railroad writer’s summation of the superb locomotives built on the eve of the diesel era---and this sophisticated brute was one of the reasons why. An excellent example of “superpower” design, it was capable of turning out high horsepower at sustained speed without running out of steam. Big but flexible, No. 2705 and 89 identical C&O 2-8-4 locomotives were equally comfortable with coal drags, merchandisers, and main line passenger trains.

C&O modern fleet of 2-8-4’s was built to handle booming wartime traffic and supplant obsolescent 2-8-2 Mikados. They were based on almost-identical powerful, high-speed freighters of two other C&O affiliates---the Nickel Plate Road and the Pere Marquette.

Called “Berkshires” elsewhere, the big 2-8-4’s were “Kanawhas” on C&O---named for the West Virginia river that winds through its territory. But to their affectionate and admiring crews, they were simply called “Big Mikes”

Engine weight: 230 tons
Driver diameter: 69 inches
Cylinders: 26 x 34 inches
Tractive effort: 69,350 pounds (without booster) 83,750 pounds (with booster)
 
Location. 39° 17.124′ N, 76° 37.896′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Chessie's Famous "Big Mike" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 16, 2011
2. The Chessie's Famous "Big Mike" Marker
Marker is on West Pratt Street. Touch for map. This marker is located on the grounds of the B&O Railroad Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 901 West Pratt Street, Baltimore MD 21223, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The National Road (within shouting distance of this marker); Railroads Eclipse a National Road (within shouting distance of this marker); Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); The Car That Carried Ike on His Last Trip (within shouting distance of this marker); Irish Railroad Workers Shrine (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Walters Public Bath House No. 2 (approx. 0.2 miles away); James L. (Jim) Caskey, Jr. (approx. ¼ mile away); Brig. General Lewis A. Armistead (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baltimore.
 
Categories. Railroads & Streetcars
 
The Chessie's Famous "Big Mike" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 16, 2011
3. The Chessie's Famous "Big Mike" Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 9, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 332 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 9, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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