Locomotives / Train Sets

4-6-2 (Pacific)

Steam Locomotive

Series: "Pacific"

Entry Last Edited: 04/10/2024 | Content ©www.RailRoadJunction.net | The following text is exclusive to this site.
Specifications [+]
The 4-6-2 Pacific steam locomotive proved a common sight for her time on the rails and was operated globally for decades.
The "Pacific" was the general term given to steam-based locomotives of the 4-6-2 wheel arrangement. The design brought along with it a deeper and wider firebox which aided power and performance while the four-wheel leading truck aided stability. First "tender" versions appeared in the United States with the Lehigh Valley Railroad in 1887 and were followed by "tank" versions in Australia beginning in 1896. New Zealand operated the first "true" models (namely the "Q-class") in 1901 with the New Zealand Railways Department. 4-6-2 locomotives succeeded the earlier 4-6-0 forms and were themselves followed by the 4-6-4 wheel arrangement.

In the 4-6-2 design, there were six wheels to a frame side with three large drive wheels, a pair of smaller forward wheels and a single pair / axle under the rear. This provided drive power to six total wheels with the driving wheels at front and the single-axle trailing wheels at rear.

Upon its entry into service (in its true type form), the locomotive was considered an evolutionary step in the world of trains - primarily utilized as a high-speed passenger hauler. In essence a further development of the earlier "Atlantic" passenger-movers (detailed elsewhere on Rail Road Junction), the Pacific operated from the early 1900s to the middle of the century, such was its footprint, even as diesel-electric and full-electric types were already coming onto the scene.

The Pacific was brought to life by combining specific qualities of the earlier 2-6-2 "Prairie" and 4-6-0 "Ten-Wheeler" types to bring about a more refined form that was larger than preceding Atlantics but could haul, at speed, just as effectively.

Like other ground-breaking steam locomotives of the period, the Pacific became something of an instant classic and was eventually used throughout the world. In time, it dominated New Zealand and Australian railways. Operators were eventually seen in Africa, Europe, Asia, Asia-Pacific, Canada, Scandinavia, the Middle East, and - of course - the United States.

The American Locomotive Company (ALCO) eventually took on production of nearly half of the total stock realized globally (an estimated 7,300 units being built in all by various players). Pennsylvania Railroad ended as the largest customer of the design, totaling nearly 700 units.

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Specifications [ 4-6-2 (Pacific) ]

Altoona Works - USA

New Zealand
1901 - 1955
Production Run

7,300 units
Production Total
Train driver seating position graphic

Driver Position
23.3m | 76.4 ft
NOTE: May include length of entire train set
117,000 kg
(257,985 lb | 129 US Tons)
Locomotive power source graphical icon
Power Source
1 x Coal- or wood-fired steam-based unit.
Engine / Drive Source
3,200 hp
Rated Output Power
140.0 kph
(87.0 mph)
Max Speed
Wheel Arrangement
(Loco Facing Left)

Series Variants
4-6-2 - Base Wheel Designation.
"Pacific" - General global series name.
Operating Countries
Argentina; Australia; Austria; Belgium; Bulgaria; Burma; Canada; China; Czechoslovakia; Egypt; Ethiopia; Finland; France; Germany; Hungary; India; Indonesia; Iraq; Italy; Japan; Malawi; Malaysia; Mexico; Mozambique; New Zealand; Nigeria; Philippines; Poland; Portugal; Russia; South Africa; Soviet Union; Spain; Sweden; Taiwan; Thailand; Tunisia; United Kingdom; United States

National flag of Argentina National flag of Australia National flag of Austria National flag of Belgium National flag of Bulgaria National flag of Canada National flag of China National flag of Czechia National flag of Egypt National flag of Ethiopia National flag of France National flag of Finland National flag of modern Germany National flag of Hungary National flag of India National flag of Indonesia National flag of Iraq National flag of Italy National flag of modern Japan National flag of Malaysia National flag of Mexico National flag of Mozambique National flag of New Zealand National flag of Nigeria National flag of the Philippines National flag of Poland National flag of Portugal National flag of Russia National flag of South Africa National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of Spain National flag of Sweden National flag of Taiwan National flag of Thailand National flag of Tunisia National flag of the United Kingdom National flag of the United States
Customers / Operators:
Pennsylvania Railroad
NOTE: Includes both past and present

Image of the 4-6-2 (Pacific)

Image of the 4-6-2 (Pacific)
Front right side view of a South African Railways Class 5 steam locomotive.
Public Domain
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