Locomotives / Train Sets

2-8-2 (Mikado)

Steam Locomotive

Series: "Mikado"

Entry Last Edited: 04/12/2024 | Content ©www.RailRoadJunction.net | The following text is exclusive to this site.
Specifications [+]
The 2-8-2 Mikado was a consistent player across global freight-hauling duties from the end of the 1800s until the end of the age of steam itself.
The 2-8-2 classification (also known under the name of "Mikado", "McAdoo Mikado" - after Director General of Railroads William G. McAdoo - or simply "Mike") was a wheel arrangement common to steam locomotives in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In this arrangement, the frame was driven by four sets of wheels at midships bookended by a twin-wheeled leading truck and twin-wheeled trailing truck - six total wheels to a frame side for a grand total of twelve wheels.

The Mikado name is Japanese in its origin, this based on a series Type 9700 locomotives (by Baldwin Locomotive Works) built for the country and its specific track gauge of 3.5 feet. However, following the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to thrust the United States into World War 2, the Mikado name was dropped and the "MacArthur" name (after U.S. General Douglas MacArthur) adopted for a time until the end of the war in 1945.

The 2-8-2 arrangement was evolved from the preceding 2-8-0 and 2-6-2 forms. It was, itself, the basis for the subsequent 2-8-4 and 2-1002 wheel arrangements. The first 2-8-2 tender engine form appeared in the United States in 1884 with the locomotive named Calumet owned by the Chicago & Calumet Terminal Railway. The first recorded tank engine version was first seen in 1898 in America under the Alamogordo and Sacramento Mountain Railway company.

In the 2-8-2, the firebox was relocated to aft of the driving wheel sets (as opposed to over it) which allowed its dimensions to be increased therefore increasing the locomotive's output power potential in turn. Beyond this, balance was improved which made the series an excellent heavy hauler for freight services.

Various manufacturers were involved in bringing equally various forms of the 2-8-2 to market. This included the aforementioned Baldwin Locomotive Works, the American Locomotive Company (ALCO), and Lima Locomotive Works. Production numbered in the thousands (as many as 14,000 estimated in both the U.S. and overseas) and the type was quickly adopted across the world from Argentina and Australia to Africa, Asia, and Europe - such was its footprint for its time on the rails.

For its part in American railway history, the Mikado type was featured heavily in freight-running thanks to its inherent power and useful speed. As such, it was used to succeed an aging line of 2-8-0 Consolidation types then in service, these steam locomotives having more or less reached their technical and industry apex and could not compete with Mikados on speed. The 2-8-2 was featured in the inventories of all of the major railway players by the end of its reign - with arrived with the end of the steam era.

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Specifications [ 2-8-2 (Mikado) ]

Baldwin Locomotive Company; American Locomotive Company (ALCO); Lima Locomotive Works - USA / Armstrong Whitworth; Kitson and Company; North British Locomotive Company; Robert and Stephensen Company; William Beardmore and Company; Vulcan Foundry - UK / Henschel and Son; Hanomag; Orenstein and Koppel - Germany / Clyde Engineering - Australia / Canadian Locomotive Company - Canada / Tampella; Lokomo - Finland \ Skoda Works - Austrian Empire

United States
1884 - 1935
Production Run

14,000 units
Production Total
Train driver seating position graphic

Driver Position
19.8m | 65.0 ft
NOTE: May include length of entire train set
132,450 kg
(292,052 lb | 146 US Tons)
Locomotive power source graphical icon
Power Source
Coal-fired steam-based engine unit.
Engine / Drive Source
8 x Drive wheels (four to a frame side) with twin-wheeled leading truck and twin-wheeled trailing pair.
Traction Motor / Sets
3,300 hp
Rated Output Power
88.5 kph
(55.0 mph)
Max Speed
Wheel Arrangement
(Loco Facing Left)

Series Variants
2-8-2 - Base Series Designation (based on wheel arrangement).
"Mikado" - Adopted nickname.
"Katanga Mikado" - South African naming.
Operating Countries
Argentina; Australia; Austria; Belgium; Canada; China; Congo (Belgian Congo); Finland; France; Germany; India; Indonesia; Italy; Japan; Namibia (South West Africa); New Zealand; Philippines; Poland; South Africa; Soviet Union; Spain; Thailand (Siam); United Kingdom; United States; Yugoslavia

National flag of Argentina National flag of Australia National flag of Austria National flag of Belgium National flag of Canada National flag of China National flag of France National flag of Finland National flag of modern Germany National flag of India National flag of Indonesia National flag of Italy National flag of modern Japan National flag of Namibia National flag of New Zealand National flag of the Philippines National flag of Poland National flag of South Africa National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of Spain National flag of Thailand National flag of the United Kingdom National flag of the United States National flag of Yugoslavia
Customers / Operators:
Baltimore and Ohio; Boston and Maine; Buenos Aires and Pacific Railway; Canadian National; Canadian Pacific; Cape Government Railways; Central Argentine Railway; Central Northern Railway; Central South African Railways; Chemins de fer d-Alsace et de Lorraine; Compagnie du Chemin de fer du bas-Congo au Katanga; Chicago, Burlington and Quincy; Cordoba Central Railway; Delaware and Hudson; Deutsche Reichsbahn; East Argentine Railway; Ferrocarriles Patagonicos; General Urquiza Railway; Great Western Railway; Illinois Central; Milwaukee Road; Molli Railway; Natal Government Railways; New York Central; New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway; Ontario Northern Railway; Pennsylvania Railroad; Province of Buenos Aires Railway; Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac; South Australian Railways; South African Railways; South Maitland Railways; Southern Railway; St Louis Southwestern Railway; State Railway of Thailand; Western Maryland; Victorian Railways
NOTE: Includes both past and present

Image of the 2-8-2 (Mikado)

Image of the 2-8-2 (Mikado)
Front right side view of a 2-8-2 Mikado steam-powered locomotive.
Image from the Public Domain.
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