Walt Disney World Railroad No. 2, Lilly Belle, October 7, 2006. Click to enlarge.

(SteamFan, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons)


2-6-0 MOGUL

Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives, 2-6-0 represents the wheel arrangement of two leading wheels on one axle, usually in a leading truck, six powered and coupled driving wheels on three axles and no trailing wheels. This arrangement is commonly called a Mogul.


Schematic of 2-6-0 steam locomotive wheel arrangement. Front of locomotive on left. Click to enlarge.

(Gwernol, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



In the United States and Europe, the 2-6-0 wheel arrangement was principally used on tender locomotives. This type of locomotive was widely built in the United States from the early 1860s to the 1920s.

Although examples were built as early as 1852–53 by two Philadelphia manufacturers, Baldwin Locomotive Works and Norris Locomotive Works, these first examples had their leading axles mounted directly and rigidly on the frame of the locomotive rather than on a separate truck. On these early 2-6-0 locomotives, the leading axle was merely used to distribute the weight of the locomotive over a larger number of wheels. It was therefore essentially an 0-8-0 with an unpowered leading axle and the leading wheels did not serve the same purpose as, for example, the leading trucks of the 4-4-0 American or 4-6-0 Ten-Wheeler types which, at the time, had been in use for at least a decade.

The first American 2-6-0 with a rigidly mounted leading axle was the Pawnee, built for heavy freight service on the Philadelphia & Reading Rail Road. In total, about thirty locomotives of this type were built for various American railroads. While they were generally successful in slow, heavy freight service, the railroads that used these first 2-6-0 locomotives didn't see any great advantages in them over the 0-6-0 or 0-8-0 designs of the time. The railroads noted their increased pulling power, but also found that their rather rigid suspension made them more prone to derailments than the 4-4-0 locomotives of the day. Many railroad mechanics attributed these derailments to having too little weight on the leading truck.

The first true 2-6-0s were built in the early 1860s, the first few being built in 1860 for the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. The new design required the utilization of a single-axle swiveling truck. Such a truck was first patented in the United Kingdom by Levi Bissell in May 1857.

In 1864, William S. Hudson, then the superintendent of Rogers Locomotive & Machine Works, patented an equalized leading truck that was able to move independently of the driving axles. This equalized suspension worked much better over the uneven tracks of the day. The first locomotive built with such a leading truck was likely completed in 1865 for the New Jersey Railroad & Transportation Company as their number 39.

It is likely that the locomotive class name derives from a locomotive named Mogul, built by Taunton Locomotive Manufacturing Company in 1866 for the Central Railroad of New Jersey. However, it has also been suggested that it derived from the British 2-6-0 engine of that name, the prototype of its class, built by Neilson & Company for the Great Eastern Railway in 1879.


SP 2-6-0 No. 1744 Working on the "Heber Creeper" along side deer valley reservoir in August of 1982. Click to enlarge.

(Drew Jacksich from San Jose, CA, The Republic of California, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)



United States

The first true 2-6-0s with single-axle swiveling leading trucks were built in the United States in 1860 for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. The New Jersey Locomotive and Machine Company built their first 2-6-0 in 1861, as the Passaic for the Central Railroad of New Jersey. The Erie Railroad followed in 1862 with the first large order of this locomotive type. In 1863, Rogers Locomotive & Machine Works built more for the New Jersey Railroad and Transportation Company.

The Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) No. 600, a 2-6-0 Mogul built at the B&O's Mount Clare Shops in 1875, won first prize the following year at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. It is preserved at the B&O Railroad Museum, housed in the former Mount Clare shops in Baltimore.

Well over 11,000 Moguls were constructed in the United States by the time production had ended in 1910. Very few of these classic steam locomotives still exist, most of them having been scrapped as newer, faster and more powerful steam engines were developed in the twentieth century. The USRA standard designs of 1914 did not include a 2-6-0.

Five notable 2-6-0 locomotives are still in operation in the United States.

  • Southern Pacific No. 1744 has spent more time out of service than it did under its own power in the preservation era. It is now being planned to operate on the Niles Canyon Railway in Sunol, California.
  • Ex-New Berlin & Winfield Railroad No. 2, built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1906, was rebuilt and is maintained by the Midwest Central Railroad.
  • Walt Disney World Railroad (WDWRR) No. 2 Lilly Belle (see above), built in September 1928 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works as No. 260 for the Ferrocarriles Unidos de Yucatán in Mexico, operates on the railroad circling the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida since 1 October 1971. Due to mechanical problems, this locomotive was shipped to the Strasburg Rail Road for an extensive overhaul in 2010. In late July 2016, it returned to the Magic Kingdom and resumed service on November 23, 2016.
  • Ex-Canadian National No. 89 operates in excursion service on the Strasburg Rail Road.
  • Everett Railroad no. 11 operates tourist trains on the Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania based shortline.

Preserved non-operating examples include:

  • The Southern Pacific no. 1785, located in Woodburn, Oregon.
  • The Southern Pacific no. 1774, located in Globe, Arizona. Retired early/mid 1950s.
  • The Virginia & Truckee Railroad no. 13, Empire at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, California.
  • The Duluth & Iron Range Railroad no. 3 in Two Harbors, Minnesota.
  • The Boston & Maine Railroad no. 1455 at the Danbury Railway Museum in Danbury, Connecticut. This was the last steam locomotive to regularly operate on the Boston & Maine Railroad in 1956.
  • The Magma Arizona Railroad no. 6 at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale, Arizona was built in October 1907 and operated until 1960.


Canadian National E-10-a class 2-6-0 No. 89, now owned by the Strasburg Rail Road.

Here we see the engine backing up as it prepares for another trip in the Pennsylvania Dutch countryside in March of 2010.

(jpmueller99 from Shenandoah Valley of VA, USA, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)



A large number of 2-6-0 locomotives were used in Canada, where they were considered more usable in restricted spaces, being shorter than the more common 4-6-0 Ten-Wheelers. Canadian National (CN) had several. One of them, the CN No. 89, an E-10-a class locomotive built by Canadian Locomotive Company in 1910, has been owned and operated since 1972 by the Strasburg Rail Road in Pennsylvania in the US, in conjunction with the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

A good preserved version, the White Pass & Yukon Route no. 51, can be found at the MacBride Museum of Yukon History in Whitehorse, Yukon.



Equivalent classifications
UIC class: 1'C
French class: 130
Turkish class: 34
Swiss class: 3/4
Russian class: 1-3-0
First known tank engine version
First use: c. 1870
Country: England
Railway: Garstang and Knot-End Railway
First known tender engine version
First use: 1852–53
Country: United States of America
Locomotive: Pawnee
Railway: Philadelphia & Reading Rail Road
Builder: Baldwin Locomotive Works, Norris Locomotive Works
Evolved from: 2-4-0
Evolved to: 2-6-2
Benefits Better: adhesion than the 2-4-0
Drawbacks: Small drivers caused by the firebox being placed in between the driving wheels
First known "True type" version
First use: 1860
Country: United States of America
Railway: Louisville & Nashville Railroad
Evolved from: 2-4-0
Evolved to: 2-6-2
Benefits: Better adhesion with 6 coupled drivers
Drawbacks: Small drivers limited speed


Some 2-6-0 Mogul Examples - Click to enlarge.


Missouri-Kansas-Texas, Locomotive No. 479 with Tender, 1937. (SMU Central University Libraries, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons)


O&W Engine No. 143, built by Cooke, 1901. (Cornell University Library, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons)

Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad No. 4 hauling a supply train out of Ludlow, CA. Circa 1906. (Frank Green, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Yosemite Valley Railroad Engine 29 built by Baldwin in 1922. (Yosemite Valley Railroad, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)